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Blood List by Ali Carter | Blog Tour 

@alicrimewriter @Madatorbooks @RandomThingsTours
#BloodList

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Blood List by Ali Carter today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and the wonderful review copy received via Matador Books!

Book Summary

Think the Lake District is a lovely place to visit? Think again. A Psychological & Chilling Thriller set in and around the fictional town of Kirkdale in Cumbria. One by one the young women of Kirkdale are being found grotesquely murdered, with no clues as to why.

Lying between the great lake Kirkwater and the base of Kirkby Pike, although beautiful, Kirkdale isn’t exactly the most exciting place on the planet. But after young reporter Jenny Flood moves into the relaxed Cumbrian town, it sets a catalogue of events in motion that brings this comfortable community to its knees.

When middle aged G.P. Charlotte Peterson discovers Jenny has followed her from Bradenthorpe, six years after a fling with her philandering doctor husband Miles, it stirs deeply buried mental health issues from her youth. In the run up to the Kirkdale country show, the arrival of this third and most recent adversary triggers the already edgy and emotionally scarred Charlotte into finally stepping over the edge. Her longing to destroy Jenny has been on a slow and very resentful burn for years, now the reality of achieving that presents itself as a genuine possibility.

Can journalist Andrew Gale protect new colleague Jenny, girlfriend Gina and her best friend Molly from the psychotic GP’s insane agenda? How will sarcastic ex Met. Officer Harry Longbridge deal with Andrew’s continued interference?

Then there’s the unexpected arrival of an American mystery woman. And just who is on the Blood List?

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Troubador Publishing (11 Oct. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1789015707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1789015706

Click here to buy Blood List from Amazon UK now

I Thought…

I was so thrilled to be one of the first to read Blood List, the début thriller by Ali Carter. What a fabulous and exciting read it was!

One of the reasons it was so appealing was its setting. I loved the author’s descriptions of Kirkdale, a beautiful and picturesque, quiet village lying between lake Kirkwater and Kirkby Pike. I have visited Cumbria on several occasions so the setting was quite special for me.

Blood List had an enthralling plot and Ali Carter displayed some amazing writing skill with her perfect pacing of the story and my goodness, there was never a dull moment! I didn’t want to stop reading this novel. The characters that the author created were so masterfully drawn and I often felt that I was in the village of Kirkdale eating shepherd’s pie with them!

I didn’t really have a favourite character, but I grew rather fond of Andrew with his kind and caring nature, as the story progressed. I even found the sarcasm and abrupt manner of ex Met. Officer Harry Longbridge quite endearing as well, although I wasn’t keen on his passion for barley sugars.

Blood List was an intense, highly absorbing story full of angst, hatred, obsession and mental anxiety issues but it was also rich in friendship and the importance of looking out for one another. I really enjoyed reading every page of the wonderful début, from the very first pages right through to its fulfilling ending.

If thrillers are one of your favoured genres then I strongly recommend that you get yourself a copy of Blood List as I don’t think you’ll regret it.

I will be looking out for more by Ali Carter in the future.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

About The Author

Ali Carter was born in Surrey in 1958 and moved to East Anglia in 2003, settling just outside King’s Lynn 4 years later where she currently lives with her husband, 5 dogs and 6 cats. (Yes she knows the dog/cat thing is a bit mad!)

She originally found some success in writing poetry in the 80’s and 90’s, but inspiration for her debut novel ‘Blood List’ came after the Shipman case hit the headlines – a few years later the dark and deeply psychotic G.P. ‘Charlotte’ was born. The full story took its time in completion however as there was a very long period of writer’s block about three quarters of the way through the book. It was an author friend who finally persuaded her to pull it out of the laptop and finish it, for which she will be eternally grateful. At the time of writing, a sequel is in its infancy which she sincerely hopes won’t take another 12 years to come to fruition!

Ali is also a proud mum to two grown up sons, and an extra proud nanny to her adorable granddaughter, although at only 5 she won’t be reading ‘Blood List’ anytime soon!

She hopes you will enjoy her first long awaited thriller, and you can follow Ali on Twitter @alicrimewriter and on her website at alicarterauthor.com


Be sure to check out the rest of the bloggers on the blog tour!

Until Next Time, 

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Featured

The Killer You Know by S R Masters | Blog Tour 

@littlebrownuk @SRMastersAuthor @annecater #RandomThingsTours #thekilleryouknow

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Killer You Know by S R Masters today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and the wonderful review copy received via NetGalley!

Book Summary

You need to kill at least three people, right? So that’s what I’ll do.

When Will jokes about becoming a serial killer, his friends just laugh it off. But Adeline can’t help but feel there’s something more sinister lurking behind his words.

Fifteen years later, Adeline returns to Blythe for a reunion of the old gang – except Will doesn’t show up. Reminiscing about old times, they look up the details of his supposed murder spree. But the mood soon changes when they discover two recent deaths that match.

As the group attempts to track Will down, they realise that he is playing a sinister game that harks back to one they used to play as kids. Only this time there are lives at stake . . .

Praise for The Killer You Know

The Killer You Know is one of my favourite reads of the year. I LOVED it. Pacey, nostalgic, excellent very well-developed characters, and a clever plot’

NIKI MACKAY, bestselling author of I Witness

‘I read and loved and HEARTILY recommend for any fans of Stand By Me. . . A thrilling, nostalgic twisty read’

CLAIRE ALLAN, author of Her Name was Rose

‘The Killer You Know has a fantastic killer concept… and is gripping and creepy to boot – loved it’

SAM CARRINGTON, author of Bad Sister 

‘A twisty, clever exploration of claustrophobic childhood friendships and the darkness they can lead to’

DERVLA MCTIERNAN, author of The Ruin

‘A compelling, unpredictable thriller that conveys the changing nature of long-lasting friendships beautifully. How well do we know even our closest of friends? Highly recommended’

ELISABETH CARPENTER, author of 99 Red Balloons

‘An original and gripping thriller combined with an evocative coming of age story that will be achingly familiar’

LAURA MARSHALL, author of Friend Request

‘A gripping, compelling read with a brilliant premise and a wonderfully twisting storyline. An incredible debut’

TM LOGAN, author of Lies

‘A thrilling read and an exceptional debut novel’

RACHEL EDWARDS, author of Darling

‘Compelling, creepy, and brilliantly executed, The Killer You Know is an original new voice in the thriller world’

PHOEBE MORGAN, author of The Doll House

A gripping, atmospheric debut psychological thriller – perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, Alex Marwood and Ali Land.

THE KILLER YOU KNOW

By

S.R MASTERS

2nd May 2019

Published in paperback by Sphere, £7.99

Ebook and Audio also available

Click here to buy The Killer You Know from Amazon UK now

I Thought…

The Killer You Know is a fantastic, dark and disturbing début psychological thriller written by author S R Masters. It features five friends that lived in Blythe while they were in their teens and spent the summers of 1997 and 1998 together. Each one has their own problems and issues to deal with.

They all move on and don’t see other again until, in 2015, a nostalgic reunion is organised, so they meet up with each other and reminisce about good times past. Adeline, a successful film pod-caster along with Xan and Jon returns and stays at a hotel because she has a strained relationship with her mother. Adeline is the main narrator, however, Steve, recently divorced Dr. Rupesh, teacher, Jen, and Will, the odd guy, all offer their own perspectives in both the past and the present.

When Will doesn’t show up at the reunion, the friends remember his preference for disappearing and the games they used to play about becoming an undetected serial killer and disguising murders as suicides.

The rest of the friends try to locate Will, however, two deaths that were deemed suicides have the four of them deeply concerned that Will may have carried out his grisly plan. Gradually, details of their pasts begin to emerge…

This was such a compelling read for me! It was so well plotted and a brilliant and fast-paced psychological thriller. Not only a thriller, it was also a coming-of-age novel with all the angst, issues and dynamics that are part of being a teenager. The intense emotions, the desperate need to fit in or at least be tolerated or accepted, the jealousies and feelings of betrayal.

For me, S R Masters’ characterisation was incredibly skilful, although none of the characters appealed to me, nor were they particularly reliable as narrators. This however complemented the story. Far from being an average psychological thriller, I found myself totally fascinated by this book. I think it was Will’s interest in serial killers that made it special.

I will be looking out for more by S R Masters in the future.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Little, Brown Book Group UK via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

About The Author

S. R. Masters studied Philosophy at Girton College, Cambridge before working in public health and health behaviour for the NHS. He is a regular contributor to UK short fiction anthology series The Fiction Desk, having won their Writer’s Award for his short story Just Kids. His story Desert Walk was included in Penguin Random House USA’s Press Start to Play collection and he continues to have short fiction published in a variety of magazines. He grew up around Birmingham but now lives in Oxford with his wife and son.

The Killer You Know is his first novel.

You can find him on Twitter @SRMastersAuthor or on his website http://www.sr-masters.com/ 

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT MILLIE SEAWARD, PUBLICITY MANAGER

Millie.seaward@littlebrown.co.uk |0203 122 6757 |@millieseaward


Be sure to check out the rest of the bloggers on the blog tour!

Until Next Time, 

A Fatal Flaw by Faith Martin | Review

About The Book

The brand new Ryder & Loveday novel from global bestseller Faith Martin!

1960, Oxford

As the city of Oxford prepares itself for the inaugural Miss Oxford Honey Beauty Pageant at The Old Swan Theatre, excitement is in the air.

Then, tragedy strikes the competition when one of the leading contestants is found dead.

Initially, the authorities assume her death was suicide. But after a malicious series of pranks and blackmail attempts are reported, WPC Loveday and Coroner Clement Ryder are called upon to solve the case.

In an atmosphere of fierce competition, the list of suspects is endless. Could what have started as harmless fun become a deadly race to win the prize?

With time running out, the duo need to spot the killer before tragedy strikes again…

A gripping murder mystery, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and M.C. Beaton.

The Ryder and Loveday Series

Book 1: A FATAL OBSESSION

Book 2: A FATAL MISTAKE

Book 3: A FATAL FLAW

Book 4: A FATAL SECRET

Readers love the Ryder & Loveday series:

‘Insanely brilliant’

‘I absolutely loved this book’

‘Faith Martin, you’ve triumphed again. Brilliant!’

‘If you haven’t yet read Miss Martin you have a treat in store’

My Thoughts

I first discovered the author, Faith Martin a few months ago, when I read two of her books from the ‘Jenny Starling’ series, both of which I totally adored. I have not read any books from the series featuring Hillary Greene. “A Fatal Flaw” is the first book I’ve read from this series featuring WPC Trudy Loveday and Coroner Clement Ryder, though it is actually the third in the series and is published by HQ. So far, I have taken great delight in each book that Faith Martin has released. “A Fatal Flaw” has proven to be no exception.  

I loved Faith Martin’s characterisation of WPC Trudy Loveday who was enthusiastic, feisty, considerate and, at times stubborn.

Also quite special was the author’s portrayal of Clement Ryder, who was the area coroner. Ryder was a man who has experienced his fair share of life – someone of a certain age who has lived a little.

The duo, Trudy, always eager to learn and Ryder, worked really well together and being a probationary WPC, Trudy was determined to draw on Ryder’s wealth of experience. For his part, Ryder knew the potential in Trudy and their great partnership complemented the story beautifully.

“A Fatal Flaw” is so wonderfully well-written and the writing style was really comfortable for me, helping to tempt me into the story.  There was plenty going on which kept my attention throughout and I never once felt bored.

I found this mystery to be totally addictive once I had started to read it, so much so that I was hooked before I even had the chance to scroll to the second page! Faith Martin’s writing was so convincing that I  could have been another in their team.  

I thought “A Fatal Flaw” was a superb read and a real winner. I would recommend it to other mystery readers. I am looking forward to my next book by Faith Martin, whether that will be something new or a book I’ve never yet read from an existing series.

My thanks to #NetGalley, HQ Digital and the author for providing me with a complimentary advanced copy of #AFatalFlaw.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

Barty and Darcy by Mo Bird | Review

About The Book

How often do we come across a couple who are complete opposites and yet bond brilliantly?

This book tells of a pig and a duck who suffer similar fates. Both of them run away from home and by chance meet up where they create a bond which proves unbreakable. Together they decide to seek a new future which is reliant on the pig finding a cure for his affliction.

Like a lot of mothers who encourage their children to pursue their talents Barty Hog’s mother was convinced her son was going to be a World famous singer. Unfortunately, neither she or Barty were aware of a serious problem he had with his voice.

There was also a similar situation with Barty’s new friend Darcy. The problem with Darcy was the fact that her legs were too long to pursue her first chosen career. Follow them both as they journey through their young lives trying to overcome what they call their handicap.

There could be a tear at the end, not only from Barty and Darcy but also you the reader!

My Thoughts

What an adorable, simple, little book! “Barty and Darcy” is a sweet and entertaining tale of a piglet, Barty, that aspires to be an opera singer and a duck, Darcy, a budding ballerina.

When I opened this wonderful book, my first thoughts were how beautifully it had been illustrated by Brenda Howden.

Bartholomew (Barty) lives on Gentle Farm and anyone who lives there is certain to have a long and peaceful life. He also has a magical voice and his dream is to sing at the most famous opera house in the world.

His mum, Elsie, makes it her mission to give Barty every opportunity to become a world famous singer.

Unfortunately, Barty suffers from Aqua Voce, a non-life-threatening condition that renders him unable to sing unless submerged in water.

In order to achieve this Elsie creates the Gentle Farm Symphony Orchestra with the help of the other farmyard birds and animals.

However, Barty’s fellow animals mock and boo him and embarrassed and upset, he runs away.

He meets Darcy at a pond some miles away, who, having failed at becoming a synchronised swimmer, empathises with him. Long-legged Darcy now hopes to become a ballerina.

The couple find out from a wise old owl that there is a cure for Aqua Voce but they have to travel to Italy to find it.

“Barty and Darcy” communicates a positive message of perseverance and eventually finding solutions to problems, no matter how big they might seem, in order to realise your dreams. The pig and the duck eventually became world-famous, but they never forgot the support of those who believed in them.

This story, as well as being very amusing in parts, was beautifully and vibrantly illustrated using different animals throughout and I would definitely recommend it. The book would make a lovely addition to a family library.

Thank you to NetGalley and Troubador Publishing Limited (Matador) for the complimentary ARC. This is my honest and totally voluntary opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

You Fit The Pattern by Jane Haseldene | Review

About The Book

In this gritty, riveting new novel, Detroit reporter Julia Gooden tracks down a serial killer—only to realize she has become his obsession . . .

Crime writer Julia Gooden has just completed the most important story of her life—a book about her beloved brother’s childhood abduction and how she found his killer after thirty years. But that hasn’t taken her focus off her day job—especially with what looks to be a serial killer terrorizing the city. Female runners are being snatched off jogging trails, then slaughtered in abandoned churches.

As Julia begins investigating, with help from Detective Raymond Navarro, she realizes just how personal this case has become. The murders, planned and executed with uncanny precision, are of women who share traits with Julia. Now he’s contacting her directly, insisting things will get much worse unless Julia makes him famous through her writing.

But no matter how skillfully she plays along, her opponent’s ultimate goal is clear. And only by unravelling the threads that link a killer’s twisted mind to her own dark past can Julia prevent herself from becoming his final victim . . .

My Thoughts

Author, Jane Haseldine, has added to her ‘Julia Gooden Mystery’ series with this book – “You Fit The Pattern”. I have not read the first three books in this series, ‘The Last Time She Saw Him’, ‘Duplicity’, and ‘Worth Killing For,’ so I didn’t really know what to expect here, however I needn’t have worried as I thought it was a fantastic read and I was so glad it had caught my attention!

I did not feel disadvantaged in any way not having read the other three books first as it was a perfectly fine read as a stand-alone story, though it would have been preferable to me if I had read them in their intended sequence. 

“You Fit the Pattern” is a creepy, suspenseful and extremely chilling psychological thriller, set in Detroit.

For me, Julia Gooden as the protagonist worked well in this extremely well-paced thriller and the author Jane Haseldine has drawn a great character in this gutsy crime-writer. I really invested in this character and I wanted her to succeed. The other characters were also brilliantly drawn and were well portrayed as being very strong and real, if not without faults and added depth to the story. I particularly liked Detective Navarro.

Jane Haseldine’s writing style is really engaging and it was a good, fast-paced read with more than one false lead that threw me off the scent.

Full of so many twists and gripping tension, this was a thrilling and compulsive read from the offset and there was even an element of romance!

The conclusion was a very fulfilling ending to a wonderful book that regularly had me looking over my shoulder and was, all-in-all, a very worthwhile and well-balanced read. 

Thanks to NetGalley, Kensington Books and the author, Jane Haseldine, for my free ARC of You Fit The Pattern. My honest review was completely voluntary.

#NetGalley #YouFitThePattern

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine | Review

About The Book

The internationally best-selling author of The Last Mrs Parrish follows that success with an addictive novel filled with shocking twists about the aftermath of a brutal high-society murder.

Kate English’s mother, Lily Michaels, is dead, the victim of a terrifying attack in her tony suburban Baltimore home. Barely keeping it together for the sake of her family, Kate is surprised and grateful to see Blaire Barrington, her old high school BFF, at the funeral.

Thick as thieves from middle school through college graduation, the girls fell out on the morning of Kate’s wedding to the confident, arrogant Simon English nearly fifteen years before. Almost instantly the years of separation fall away, and Kate and Blaire slip comfortably back into their old roles. Kate, now a prominent heart surgeon, is the accomplished, anxious achiever, while Blaire, a best-selling mystery author, serves as her fierce defender against all enemies.

And now more than ever, Kate needs Blaire’s loving protection. Lily’s killer is still out there . . . and has begun taunting Kate with threatening notes sometimes accompanied by gruesome clues. Without any solid leads, the police investigation has stalled. As the messages become increasingly macabre, Blaire decides to take matters into her own hands, alienating friends and relatives with her relentless, almost accusatory questions.

As Blaire pushes further, the danger for those around her—including the increasingly unstable Kate—grows. But will her relentless quest for the truth push her—and Kate—over the edge?

In this second novel, told with the lightning pace of The Last Mrs Parrish, Liv Constantine raises the stakes, creating an exquisitely tension-filled and absorbing tale of psychological suspense in which innocent lives—and one woman’s sanity—hang in the balance.

My Thoughts

This new novel by international best-seller Liv Constantine was incredibly creepy and intense!  

I went into The Last Time I Saw You with much enthusiasm, having read ‘The Last Mrs Parrish’. I was not disappointed as this novel was also an absolute treat. For me, it was another best read of the year.

The murder of Blaire’s mother reunites estranged friends Kate and Blaire. As the two women, now a successful author and a surgeon respectively, grow closer, Blaire begins to notice that Kate is becoming increasingly unstable. With the murderer still on the loose, Blaire vows to find justice for her mother even as her childhood friend’s behaviour becomes more and more erratic.

The Last Time I Saw You was cleverly told from different perspectives resulting in the reader not knowing who was reliable, nor who could be trusted.

This book was jam-packed with drama and deceit and there were many twists and turns throughout this hugely suspenseful story. Kate was a really unreliable narrator, forcing me to ask myself what was real and imagined. There were so many secrets and the pacing of the many twists and turns was excellent.

I can’t say that I particularly warmed to any of the characters created by Liv Constantine in this thrilling novel, but they still lent a great deal to the story and I believe that was the intention.

The emotional complexity of the story was definitely one of the highlights of this book and I loved Liv Constantine’s particular writing style. It had everything for me, from secrets and friendship to suspicion, tragedy and fear.

I thought that Liv Constantine presented a very comprehensive and fulfilling conclusion to a complex mystery and an extremely delightful story.

All in all, I found this book to be a fantastic and very worthwhile read and I look forward to reading more from Liv Constantine.

Thanks to Edelweiss, HarperCollins and the author, Liv Constantine for my complimentary ARC of The Last Time I Saw You. My honest review is entirely voluntary.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

The East End by Jason Allen | Blog Tour 

@HarperCollins @parkrowbooks @justine_sha @EathanJason #TheEastEnd.

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The East End by Jason Allen today! My thanks to Justine at Park Row Books for the invitation to join and the wonderful review copy received via NetGalley!

The East End is available to buy NOW!

Buy Links:

Harlequin

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Powell’s

THE EAST END

Author: Jason Allen

ISBN: 9780778308393

Publication Date: 5/7/19

Publisher: Park Row Books

BOOK SUMMARY

THE EAST END opens with Corey Halpern, a Hamptons local from a broken home who breaks into mansions at night for kicks. He likes the rush and admittedly, the escapism. One night just before Memorial Day weekend, he breaks into the wrong home at the wrong time: the Sheffield estate where he and his mother work. Under the cover of darkness, their boss Leo Sheffield — billionaire CEO, patriarch, and owner of the vast lakeside manor — arrives unexpectedly with his lover, Henry. After a shocking poolside accident leaves Henry dead, everything depends on Leo burying the truth. But unfortunately for him, Corey saw what happened and there are other eyes in the shadows.

Hordes of family and guests are coming to the estate the next morning, including Leo’s surly wife, all expecting a lavish vacation weekend of poolside drinks, evening parties, and fireworks filling the sky. No one can know there’s a dead man in the woods, and there is no one Leo can turn to. With his very life on the line, everything will come down to a split-second decision. For all of the main players—Leo, Gina, and Corey alike—time is ticking down, and the world they’ve known is set to explode.

Told through multiple points of view, THE EAST END highlights the socio-economic divide in the Hamptons, but also how the basic human need for connection and trust can transcend class differences. Secrecy, obsession, and desperation dictate each character’s path. In a race against time, each critical moment holds life in the balance as Corey, Gina, and Leo approach a common breaking point. THE EAST END is a propulsive read, rich with character and atmosphere, and marks the emergence of a talented new voice in fiction.

I THOUGHT…

My word, how exciting and enthralling was this début novel by newcomer Jason Allen?!  

Being honest, I went into The East End without much enthusiasm, thinking “Oh well, yet another novel about dysfunctional behaviour and taking drugs.” (Huge sigh). But if I had continued with that line of thought and not read The East End, I would have missed out on so much as it turned out to be one of the best reads of the year so far.

I was immediately blown away by all of the drama, from page one. Yes there was some drug-taking – well a lot actually – however, it was absolutely essential to the story-line.

The book opens with a break-in. Living with his mum, Gina, in the Hamptons, Corey Halpern has just graduated from high school and Gina  is employed as a housekeeper for billionaire Leo Sheffield. Full of angst towards the filthy rich, Corey spends much of his time breaking into their homes, not to steal but to play pranks on them. He decides to break into the Sheffield mansion which is home to Leo, wife Sheila and teenage daughter, Tiffany and witnesses something he wished he had not. But what will he choose to do next?  

The East End was told from several different perspectives which is normally something I am not too fond of, however, Jason Allen achieved this admirably and without any confusion for me.

The characters that Jason Allen created were so well drawn it was almost unbelievable. I felt that I was part of the unfolding drama with every chapter, as I found myself shouting out advice to the particular character who was facing their latest dilemma. I found it difficult to choose a favourite character so I opted for three of them – Leo, Gina and Angelique. Leo, I felt huge sadness for, as he was so down on his luck, though he did habitually make a lot of bad choices. I had so much empathy with Gina and who could not adore Angelique? She was so feisty, gutsy and full of hope despite her start in life.

The emotional complexity of the story was definitely one of the highlights of The East End and I loved the tenderness between Corey and Angelique.

Jason Allen’s writing style was very unique. There were longer paragraphs of narrative and less dialogue in this book than I’m used to, however, the plot was so engrossing that it didn’t prevent me from loving the story.

This book has everything from secrets, love and family to addiction, scandal, desperation, tragedy and greed. The plot was presented in the form of a slow burning mystery with underlying themes of class, social structure and discrimination packaged as a family drama but with added comedic aspect.

The ending was a surprise and, for me, very fitting and fulfilling. All in all, I found this book to be a fantastic and very worthwhile read and I look forward to reading more from Jason Allen.

Thanks to NetGalley, Park Row Books and the author, Jason Allen for my complimentary ARC of The East End. My honest review is entirely voluntary.

#TheEastEnd #NetGalley

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Allen grew up in a working-class home in the Hamptons, where he worked a variety of blue-collar jobs for wealthy estate owners. He writes fiction, poetry, and memoir, and is the author of the poetry collection A MEDITATION ON FIRE. He has an MFA from Pacific University and a PhD in literature and creative writing from Binghamton University, and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where he teaches writing. THE EAST END is his first novel.

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @EathanJason

Facebook: @jasonallenauthor

Goodreads

Jason Allen is also doing a book tour on the east coast to the cities listed below.

Until Next Time, 

Finding Grace by K. L. Slater | Review

About the Book

This morning, my daughter sat right here, munching her breakfast, too excited to finish it. Now, she is missing.

The day after her ninth birthday, Lucie and Blake Sullivan agree, for the very first time, to let their daughter, Grace, make the four-minute walk back home alone from a friend’s house just down the street.

They joke with friends about hiding behind bushes to ensure she is safe. But the joke turns sour when Grace does not appear.

Despite the best efforts of the police and local community, Grace seems to have vanished into thin air. With hope fading fast, Lucie knows she can rely on her husband to support her through such dark times. That is until the day she makes a shocking discovery, hidden in Blake’s desk, and suddenly she begins to doubt everything she knew about the man she married.

But Lucie harbours a terrible secret of her own. One that she has never shared with anyone, even Blake …

And as the search for Grace reaches fever pitch, Lucie receives a terrifying message. If she is ever to see Grace again, Lucie has no choice but to face the past she tried hard to bury forever. And she must do it alone.

The most gripping psychological thriller you’ll read this year from the bestselling author K.L. Slater. If you love The Wife Between Us or Gone Girl, you’ll be totally hooked on Finding Grace. 

Advance Praise

What everyone is saying about K.L Slater:

Omg! Slater is amazing! … Up to the very last page you will be shocked! … Such a memorable book! The end will have you gasping in disbelief! Whoa!!!!! 10 Stars!’ Two Girls and a Book Obsession, 5 stars

‘Wow! Just Wow! This was absolutely insane, twisted, and completely mind-blowing – I loved it! … An outstanding psychological thriller that I just couldn’t put down – I was hooked right from the start!’ 5 stars – Goodreads Reviewer

‘Had me sitting up until 1am doing the ‘just one more chapter, then I’ll go to sleep’ routine … I couldn’t bear to put it down … A mesmerising read.’ Sandy’s Book a Day, 5 stars

‘Keeps you guessing until the very end! I loved every twist and turn and couldn’t stop reading because I was dying to know what the big secret was … will keep you up late reading to find out the truth!’ Buried in a Book, 5 stars

‘One of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read … nothing short of stunning.’ Nigel Adams Book Worm 5 stars

‘WOW! Another superb thriller from K L Slater! Couldn’t put it down! … A truly gripping read, just what we have come to expect from the Queen of psychological thrillers.’ 5 stars – What Rachael Read Next

‘It had so many juicy secrets that I couldn’t put it down… jaw dropping… a gripping, addictive, twisty, fast-paced psychological thriller.’ A Haven for Book Lovers, 5 stars

My Thoughts

I was expecting great things from this novel and that is exactly what I got! Although I have not read any of K L Slater’s books, I have several on my reading list, including ‘The Visitor’ and ‘Safe With Me.’

In “Finding Grace”, Lucie is facing every mother’s worst nightmare – her little girl, Grace, has vanished.

Although the premise of this thriller isn’t new by any means, right from the start, I was absorbed by this story. It was chock-full of so many lies and secrets. I really liked K L Slater’s style of writing and the unpredictability of the story-line. The author’s great characterisation is worth mentioning and I also particularly enjoyed the different timelines.

Reading this suspenseful thriller was quite the twisty roller-coaster ride and K L Slater’s clever writing had me mistrusting of so many of the suspects.

I loved the parts of the book that were concerned with Lucie’s past history and was pleased with the way in which the story-lines connected through to the stunning and fulfilling conclusion.

All in all, I found this book to be a worthwhile read and I look forward to reading more from K L Slater, including those books I already own! I would recommend “Finding Grace” to anyone who likes a good psychological thriller.

Thanks to Netgalley, Bookouture and the author, K L Slater for my free ARC of Finding Grace. My honest review is entirely voluntary.

#FindingGrace #NetGalley

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

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The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves | Review

About the Book

‘The most riveting, rewarding, refreshing novel I’ve read in years’ – Barbara Delinsky, bestselling author

What if you had a second chance at first love?

Annika Rose likes being alone. She feels lost in social situations, saying the wrong thing or acting the wrong way. She just can’t read people. She prefers the quiet solitude of books or playing chess to being around others. Apart from Jonathan. She liked being around him, but she hasn’t seen him for ten years. Until now that is. And she’s not sure he’ll want to see her again after what happened all those years ago.

Annika Rose likes being alone. Except that, actually, she doesn’t like being alone at all.

The Girl He Used to Know is an uplifting novel full of surprising revelations that keep you turning the page. Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Gail Honeyman, Jill Santopolo and Sliding Doors.

‘Tracey Garvis Graves has crafted an incredible story with a unique premise and characters… this book is beautiful.’ – Colleen Hoover, #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us

‘I adore Tracey Garvis Graves’ work.’ – Sarah Pekkanen, best-selling co-author of The Wife Between Us

My Thoughts

Tracey Garvis Graves has totally astounded me with this evocative and emotional story. I haven’t read any of the other books by this author and so I had no real expectations other than the reviews I had seen and the plot synopsis. I was not prepared for the emotional suffering this book inflicted on my heart!

“The Girl He Used To Know” was one of the best love stories I have read for some time that had me enthralled from the start.

One of the things that made this book special was Annika Rose. As the main character, she was so easy to relate and warm to. I could completely identify with her social awkwardness and her many other issues – from being unsure of what those around her were thinking, to the constant need to scrutinise other people and copy their behaviour in an effort to fit in and be accepted as normal.

For his part, I loved Jonathan’s level of patience and understanding. He put others’ expectations aside even though he didn’t know how he could help Annika.

Tracey Garvis Graves created a set of characters with such complexity and depth, helping to make this love story quite special. There are so many books in this genre that, inevitably, comparisons will be drawn, however, this was a totally and fabulously unique story for me.

The book is told from the point of view of both Annika and Jonathan, going back and forth between their time in college and the present. As Annika and Jonathan alternately tell their respective stories, the reader gets to know more about the two of them and the events that caused their separation. The reader then comes to understand Annika’s problems, how she has been able to overcome them and how they have both developed as individuals.

Even though there were instances when this was a difficult read for me, I loved where Tracey Garvis Graves took her story, right through to its conclusion.

I know I have found another author to add to my ever-growing list of favourites. I thoroughly recommend this book as it is definitely worth a read.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Orion Publishing via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

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Diary of a Drag Queen by Crystal Rasmussen | Review

About The Book

Life’s a drag… Why not be a queen?

‘Stories like the one where you shagged a 79-year-old builder and knocked over his sister’s ashes while feeding him a Viagra. Or the time you crashed your car because you were giving a hand job in barely moving traffic and took your eye off the car in front. That’s the kind of dinner-party ice-breaker I’m talking about.’

Northern, working-class and shagging men three times her age, Crystal writes candidly about her search for ‘the one’; sleeping with a VIP in an attempt to become a world famous journalist; getting hired and fired by a well-known fashion magazine; being torn between losing weight and gorging on KFC; and her need for constant sexual satisfaction (and where that takes her).

Charting her day-to-day adventures over the course of a year, we encounter tucks, twists and sucks, heinous overspending and endless nights spent sprinting from problem to problem in a full face of make-up.

This is a place where the previously unspeakable becomes the commendable – a unique portrayal of the queer experience.

My Thoughts

How often do you pick up a book to read and it turns out to be very different from what you expected?

Thinking along the lines of a book that I read a few months ago, I was expecting a tongue-in-cheek look at the glamorous side of being a drag queen, but this was very much more than that. It’s a stark look at sex, the right to identify as you wish and the prejudices that still arise from all sides of the LGBTQ+ community.

Told in diary format, the reader follows Crystal throughout a period of a year. It is a selection of powerful, amusing and incredibly moving stories that I took with a very large pinch of salt.

“Diary of a Drag Queen” was so intimately told by Crystal and it felt like I was a personal confidante. This made it very easy to like Crystal and therefore the book as a whole.  

The diary style gave the author more ability to choose the parts to be shared or not and for me, some of these appeared to have been included to spice things up for their shock content. This affected some of the vital issues and points that were being made.

All in all, I really enjoyed this witty, thought-provoking and entertaining book and I think it was a very worthwhile read.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Penguin Random House UK, Ebury Publishing via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Four Stars

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