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What She Saw by Diane Saxon | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for What She Saw by Diane Saxon today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

What She Saw by Diane Saxon 

Publication Date: September 22, 2020

Publisher: Boldwood Books

ISBN: 9781838892685

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

‘An addictive 5* read that kept me guessing. Diane Saxon’s DS Jenna Morgan series is brilliant’ – bestselling author, Ross Greenwood.

Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter
Why does someone want the Lawrence family dead?

The Lawrence’s were the perfect family; successful, beautiful, and happy until one night their whole world was ripped apart. 
Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan is called to investigate the suspected arson attack and death of the Lawrence family at the charred remains of their stunning home, Kimble Hall.
The case takes a sinister turn as the body count fails to tally.
Suspecting that someone may have survived the inferno, DS Morgan and her team need to discover whether they have a witness, or someone far more dangerous.
Who set the fire? Who wanted this family extinguished beyond recognition?
As the case progresses, DS Morgan realises she has a calculating, cold-blooded killer on her hands, and the race is on to track them down before they kill again.

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I Thought…

What She Saw is the third instalment in the Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan series, set in Shropshire, England. Even though I have yet to read the first two books, I jumped at the chance to read this one, and I’m so pleased I did!

The story opens with teenager, Poppy, lying on her bedroom floor along with her dead boyfriend, Aiden, looking at her father who has just shot them. As Poppy plays dead, her father continues his mission to kill the rest of the Lawrence family before setting fire to their home – Kimble Hall.

This exciting start set the tone for the whole book and I was totally hooked. DS Jenna Morgan lives with her sister, Fliss, who is currently dating Jenna’s work partner, DS Mason Ellis. As Jenna and Mason investigate, Diane Saxon strikes a great balance between the crimes and Jenna’s personal life and both are compelling to read. This captivating police procedural is very well plotted and paced and I found Jenna to be a likeable protagonist, though she was certainly not perfect.

With numerous twists and good use of misdirection throughout, What She Saw held my interest. As the tension levels peaked, the shocking revelations left me reeling. A magnificent very highly recommended read.

Thank you to Diane Saxon, Boldwood Books, Rachel’s Random Resources and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion. 

About the Author:

Diane Saxon previously wrote romantic fiction for the US market but has now turned to writing psychological crime. Find Her Alive was her first novel in this genre and introduced series character DS Jemma Morgan. She is married to a retired policeman and lives in Shropshire.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest * Bookbub * Newsletter sign up 

Purchase at: Amazon 

Until Next Time, 

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When I Was You by Amber Garza | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ MIRA Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for When I Was You by Amber Garza, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

When I Was You by Amber Garza

Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Publisher: MIRA Books

ISBN: 9780778361046

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

YOU meets FATAL ATTRACTION in this up-all-night psychological thriller about a lonely empty-nester’s growing obsession with a young mother who shares her name.

It all begins on an ordinary fall morning, when Kelly Medina gets a call from her son’s pediatrician to confirm her upcoming “well-baby” appointment. It’s a cruel mistake; her son left for college a year ago, and Kelly has never felt so alone. The receptionist quickly apologizes: there’s another mother in town named Kelly Medina, and she must have gotten their numbers switched.

But Kelly can’t stop thinking about the woman who shares her name. Lives in her same town. Has a son she can still hold, and her whole life ahead of her. She can’t help looking for her: at the grocery store, at the gym, on social media. When Kelly just happens to bump into the single mother outside that pediatrician’s office, it’s simple curiosity getting the better of her.

Their unlikely friendship brings Kelly a renewed sense of purpose, taking care of this young woman and her adorable baby boy. But that friendship quickly turns to obsession, and when one Kelly disappears, well, the other one may know why.

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I Thought…

There are two women named Kelly Medina living in the town of Folsom. The older Kelly is married to Rafael who is a Professor and they have a son, Aaron, aged 19 and at college. One day she takes a call from the paediatrician’s office about her son’s appointment. It soon becomes apparent that an error has been made and the two Kelly Medinas have been mixed up. But the older Kelly, with time on her hands now that Aaron has left home, decides to turn up for the younger Kelly’s appointment and the two women’s stories follow.

I devoured When I Was You and I flew through its pages, fully immersed in the obsessiveness of the older Kelly Medina and her fixation on the young mother and her baby, Sullivan. Her determination to befriend baby Sullivan’s mother and wriggle her way into their lives was shocking, but believable. With Amber Garza‘s excellent execution, the frequent surprises, alongside an extremely chilling atmosphere, events really turned disturbing in the second half. Written with precisely the right amount of drive resulting in a powerful, and engaging tale, When I Was You was an absolute pleasure to read.

This is the first novel I have read by Amber Garza and I am excited to see what she compiles next. For me, a fabulous, standout novel.

 A special thank you to MIRA Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Amber Garza has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they’re real people. She lives with her husband and two kids in Folsom, California, which is—no joke—home to another Amber Garza.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase at:  HarlequinIndieboundAmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-Million / TargetWalmart / Google / iBooks / Kobo

Until Next Time, 

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Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ Graydon House Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Publisher: Graydon House Books

ISBN: 9781525836749

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

You’re not alone. Someone’s waiting. Someone’s watching…Someone’s listening.

 In SOMEONE’S LISTENING (Graydon House Books; July 28; $16.99) Dr. Faith Finley has everything she’s ever wanted: she’s a renowned psychologist, a radio personality—host of the wildly popular “Someone’s Listening with Dr. Faith Finley”—and a soon-to-be bestselling author. She’s young, beautiful, and married to the perfect man, Liam.

Of course Liam was at Faith’s book launch with her. But after her car crashes on the way home and she’s pulled from the wreckage, nobody can confirm that Liam was with her at the party. The police claim she was alone in car, and they don’t believe her when she says otherwise. Perhaps that’s understandable, given the horrible thing Faith was accused of doing a few weeks ago.

 And then the notes start arriving—the ones literally ripped from the pages of Faith’s own self-help book on leaving an abusive relationship. Ones like “Secure your new home. Consider new window and door locks, an alarm system, and steel doors…”

Where is Liam? Is his disappearance connected to the scandal that ruined Faith’s life? Who is sending the notes? Faith’s very life will depend on finding the answers.

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I Thought…

Someone’s Listening is an extremely suspenseful story and kicks off with a tantalising prologue. The reader is first introduced to Faith Finley, a talented psychologist with a flourishing career, a bestselling author and the host of a popular local radio program, Someone’s Listening. One icy winter’s night she is travelling home from a book launch party, then wakes up in hospital having been in a car crash. Happily married Faith asks for her husband Liam, but he appears to have vanished… into thin air. The police aren’t listening to Faith’s concerns, but then she starts receiving threatening messages.

This compelling début had me hooked from the very first paragraph, and Faith made a very good, if unreliable protagonist. In this chaotic whirl of lies and duplicity, the abundant wicked twists and turns kept me guessing from the start. The complex characters and arresting dialogue helped to make Someone’s Listening a riveting read. For me, the cherry topping was the obvious ability of Seraphina Nova Glass as she probed ever deeper into the psyches of her characters, creating some fascinating, though alarmingly troubled souls. I read it in one day and was left dumbfounded after the astounding, fast-paced conclusion. Very highly recommended to fans of the genre.

 A special thank you to Graydon House Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Texas-Arlington, where she teaches Film Studies and Playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and has optioned multiple screenplays to Hallmark and Lifetime. Someone’s Listening is her first novel.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase atHarlequin / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / Amazon / Powell’s 

Until Next Time, 

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The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ Graydon House Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Karen Hamilton’s latest novel The Last Wife and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

Publication Date: July 7, 2020

Publisher: Graydon House Books

ISBN: 9781525831744

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

In Karen Hamilton’s shocking thriller, THE LAST WIFE (Graydon House, July 7, $17.99) Marie Langham is distraught when her childhood friend, Nina, is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before Nina passes away, she asks Marie to look out for her familyher son, daughter, and husband, Stuart. Marie would do anything for Nina, so of course, she agrees.

Following Nina’s death, Marie gradually finds herself drawn into her friend’s lifeher family, her large house in the countryside. But when Camilla, a mutual friend from their old art-college days, suddenly reappears, Marie begins to suspect that she has a hidden agenda. Then, Marie discovers that Nina had long suppressed secrets about a holiday in Ibiza the women took ten years previously when Marie’s then-boyfriend went missing after a tragic accident and was later found dead.

Marie used to envy Nina’s beautiful life, but now the cards are up in the air and she begins to realize that nothing is what it seemed. As long-buried secrets start surfacing, Marie must figure out what’s true and who she can trust before the consequences of Nina’s dark secrets destroy her.

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I Thought…

Best friends Nina and Marie are inseparable until Nina dies from a terminal illness. In her final days she asks Marie to make sure her children, Emily and Felix, are looked after and Marie is only too happy to oblige. But how well did Nina really know Marie and what lengths is Marie prepared to go to in order to achieve her goals?

This was a really twisted psychological thriller, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Marie was perfectly portrayed by Karen Hamilton as the ultimate unreliable and creepy character, and I questioned her integrity from the opening chapters. As she barrelled her way into Nina’s life I was given a powerful sense of exactly how manipulating Marie was prepared to be.

Narrator Marie, along with pretty much the whole of the adult cast, was not particularly affable and, in my opinion, was practically insane as well as being quite the scheming manipulator. As the story progressed I found myself pondering about the agendas and mind games of some of the others, particularly Nina’s husband, Stuart, not to mention Camilla, the friend of Marie and Nina from their University days who suddenly arrives from Canada. As secrets constantly kept bubbling up to the surface and occurrences clearly weren’t as they had first appeared, I began to feel that Marie at least deserved some benefit of doubt, even if I was on tenterhooks wondering what she was going to do next, most of the time.

With buckets of tension, a myriad of twists and different avenues keeps the reader on their toes, building up to an interesting and enthralling conclusion.  

The Last Wife is a dark, dubious and chilling family drama with some great characters, and plenty of oomph!

 
A special thank you to Graydon House Books, the author, NetGalley and Pigeonhole for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy and worked as a flight attendant for many years. Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy and, having now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband, she satisfies her wanderlust by exploring the world through her writing. She is also the author of the international bestseller The Perfect Girlfriend.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase atHarlequin / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / Amazon / Powell’s 

Until Next Time, 

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Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Park Row Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Kimberly Belle’s latest novel Stranger in the Lake and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle

On Sale Date: June 9, 2020

Publisher: Park Row

ISBN: 978-0778309819

Pages: 352

Genre: Fiction, Thrillers, Psychological

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned.

At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two.

As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.

I Thought…

Charlotte (Charlie), has recently married Paul Keller, a former widow and feels extremely happy in her surroundings. Paul is wealthy and the couple live in a gorgeous home overlooking Lake Crosby, North Carolina. The minted owner of Keller Architecture, Paul is a highly respected magnate and entrepreneur whereas Charlotte, a twenty-something gas station attendant, grew up in a caravan home, and often took charge of her younger brother, Chet when her mother was absent. Charlotte ignored all the rumours when she was swept off her feet by Paul. After all, despite her being a strong swimmer, the death of Paul’s first wife, Katherine, by drowning was deemed to be an accident. But when a second woman also drowns, in exactly the same spot under Paul’s jetty, secrets begin to surface…

 The story switches seamlessly between two timelines, the present and 1999, when Paul and friends Jax Edwards and Micah Hunt are spending their summer partying before leaving for college. The scenes from the present are mostly centred on the investigation that ensues. Stranger in the Lake has a thrilling premise and it is doubtlessly a spine-tingling story, while I regularly found myself pondering who to trust.

 With its comfortable pacing, the icing on the cake for me in this exhilarating tale was the incredible atmospheric setting. The lake was truly a malevolent presence throughout the proceedings. Kimberly Belle did a sterling job of exploring the motivation behind human weakness and imperfection, and I liked those aspects of the story detailing Charlotte’s bond with Sam Kincaid (Charlotte’s policeman friend), though I think more could have been made of this.

If you’ve enjoyed Kimberly Belle‘s previous books, or if novels with oodles of secrets, lies, misdirection and surprises dripping from the pages give you a buzz, then look no further than Stranger in the Lake!

A special thank you to Park Row Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Social Links: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Goodreads

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble / Books-A-MillionAmazon / IndieBound / Bookshop   

Until Next Time, 

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This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Park Row Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Heather Gudenkauf’s latest novel This Is How I Lied and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

PUBLISHER: Park Row Books

PUBLICATION DATE: May 12th, 2020

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Book Summary

With the eccentricity of Fargo and the intensity of Sadie, THIS IS HOW I LIED by Heather Gudenkauf (Park Row Books; May 12, 2020; $17.99) is a timely and gripping thriller about careless violence we can inflict on those we love, and the lengths we will go to make it right, even 25 years later.

Tough as nails and seven months pregnant, Detective Maggie Kennedy-O’Keefe of Grotto PD, is dreading going on desk duty before having the baby her and her husband so badly want. But when new evidence is found in the 25-year-old cold case of her best friend’s murder that requires the work of a desk jockey, Maggie jumps at the opportunity to be the one who finally puts Eve Knox’s case to rest.

Maggie has her work cut out for her. Everyone close to Eve is a suspect. There’s Nola, Eve’s little sister who’s always been a little… off; Nick, Eve’s ex-boyfriend with a vicious temper; a Schwinn riding drifter who blew in and out of Grotto; even Maggie’s husband Sean, who may have known more about Eve’s last day than he’s letting on. As Maggie continues to investigate, the case comes closer and closer to home, forcing her to confront her own demons before she can find justice for Eve. 

I Thought…

 Having read another of Heather Gudenkauf‘s novels, Before She Was Found, I was thrilled to be able to read this one, too. Even if I hadn’t, the premise of this was novel was pretty exciting to me, as a keen crime fiction reader.

Twenty-five years ago, Eve Knox, aged 16, was murdered and her body found in the caves near her home in small-town Grotto, Iowa by her best friend, Maggie, and Eve’s sister, Nola. The case was never solved and now, further evidence has come to light. Maggie is now married, has worked hard at her job and has become Grotto PD detective Maggie Kennedy-O’Keefe. Heavily pregnant and soon to give birth, she is decides to take up the cold case…

Right from the start, I was completely absorbed by the suspense and the intriguing story-line. Heather Gudenkauf effortlessly brings to life many interesting characters in this pacy and gripping crime thriller, as well as delving into the motives and thoughts of each of them. Deadly menace and dangerous secrets are uncovered and the author is in complete control as she brilliantly manoeuvres this tale, blurring the boundaries between right and wrong, crime and justice. Heather Gudenkauf’s skilled writing made this appear effortless, keeping the story flowing so that I was never bored. With many twists and turns, I was totally engaged all the way through, until the fulfilling and very strong conclusion.

Overall, Heather Gudenkauf‘s special way with the narrative made this compelling tale quite distinct, resulting in This Is How I Lied being a very worthwhile read. If you’re a fan of the genre, you should really read this book! I will certainly be looking out for more of this talented author’s work in the future.

A special thank you to Park Row Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

Meet the Author:

Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many books, including The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden. Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages. She lives in Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running.

Social Links: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Goodreads

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble / HarlequinBooks-A-MillionAmazonPowell’s   

Until Next Time, 

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The Third to Die by Allison Brennan | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the holiday blog tour for The Third to Die by Allison Brennan today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of The Third to Die to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating

Published: February 4th 2020 by Mira Books
ISBN: 9780778309444
Genres: fiction, thriller, suspense                                 
Rating: 5 stars

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Book Summary

New York Times bestselling author and gifted storyteller Allison Brennan’s new standalone thriller features a troubled female police detective and an ambitious FBI special agent who wind up at the center of a ticking-clock investigation into a diabolical serial killer.

Brennan’s novel will launch a book-a-year series featuring a fabulous cast of recurring characters. It’s the story of a troubled female police detective and an ambitious FBI special agent who wind up at the center of a ticking-clock investigation into a diabolical serial killer; and the bond they forge in this crucible sets the stage for the future books in the series.

Detective Kara Quinn is visiting her hometown of Liberty Lake, Washington, after being placed on administrative leave by the LAPD, when she comes upon the mutilated body of a young nurse during an early morning jog. The manner of death is clearly ritualistic; she calls it in. Meanwhile back in DC, special agent in charge Mattias Costa is meticulously staffing his newly-minted Mobile Response Team. One of his first recruits is the brilliant FBI forensic psychologist Catherine Jones. When word reaches Matt that the Washington state murder appears to be the work of the Triple Killer–it will be the first case for the MRT. Jones has done the only profile on this serial killer, but she is reluctant to join the unit, still shaken by the death of her sister a year ago under circumstances for which she holds herself responsible. But only she holds the key to understanding the killer’s obsessive pattern–three murder victims, three deep slashes a piece, each three days apart, each series beginning on a March 3rd–3/3, then a three-year hiatus before he strikes again.

This time they have a chance to stop him before he claims another victim strikes, but only if they can figure out who he is and where is is hiding.

I Thought…

Golly, what an impressive read this little gem turned out to be!

The Third to Die is the first book in a new series by Allison Brennan centring on the FBI’s Mobile Response Team. This newly formed part of the FBI consists of highly specialised agents who are top in their field, be it forensics, crime scene specialists or investigators. They are operational primarily in rural areas and this is their first case.

A serial killer has resurfaced whose preferred method of attack is to kill on March 3rd, 6th or 9th, every three years. Enter FBI special agent Mathias (Matt) Costa who has been advised that a body of a young nurse has been found in Liberty Lake and the murder fits the profile of the compulsive so-called ‘Triple Killer’.

Detective Kara Quinn, on enforced leave from the LAPD and out jogging in her hometown, made the gruesome discovery and offers her help in solving the case, which Matt readily accepts.

This story is zhooshed up by the addition of Kara who is a curious character, and fiercely independent with a strong sense of justice. The chemistry between her Matt is electric and they also share mutual respect for one another. The reader is privy to glimpses of ambitious Matt’s past involving his reluctant profiler, Catherine Jones. Not all is explained, but it involves a prior case that led to the death of Catherine’s sister. Matt himself is shrewd and makes a marvellous leader.

The mystery element in The Third to Die is magnificent and totally engaging, although not particularly offbeat. The tight time-frame keeps the plot rolling, with no opportunity to become mired in tediousness. The procedural aspects are solid with the exasperation of the team, hampered by bureaucracy, coming through winningly.

The Third to Die is wonderfully written in a style I relish and I’m in my reading element when a percipient perpetrator emerges to challenge a talented, super-smart team. This is a great start to what is sure to be a stellar series.

I enjoyed The Third to Die so much that I’m reading the books from Brennan’s other series’ and cannot wait for her next in this one.

Thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin - MIRA and the author, Allison Brennan for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of three dozen thrillers and numerous short stories. She was nominated for Best Paperback Original Thriller by International Thriller Writers, has had multiple nominations and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a five-time RITA finalist for Best Romantic Suspense. Allison believes life is too short to be bored, so she had five kids. Allison and her family live in Arizona. Visit her at allisonbrennan.com

Social Links: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Goodreads

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Books-A-Million //Amazon //  IndieBound // Applebooks // Google Play

Until Next Time, 

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The Telephone Call by Michael Pakenham | Book Review Tour | Giveaway 

@rararesources @BookGuild @michaelpakenham

I am delighted to join the review tour for The Telephone Call by Michael Pakenham today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

This post is part of a review book tour organised by Rachels Random Resources, a 360 page thriller available now. 

Michael Pakenham will be giving away 5 x Paperback copies of The Telephone Call (UK Only) to randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post and enter the giveaway for a chance to win 5 x Paperback copies of The Telephone Call (UK Only). Thanks for stopping by and lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

See below to sign up for the GIVEAWAY.

About the Book

When Rosemary Sherwood overhears a disturbing conversation between her husband, Harry Sherwood and an unknown caller, she has no idea that her life’s about to change forever. Fleeing to France for fear of her own safety, Harry threatens to kill their son if she ever dares to breathe a word of anything she overheard.

Torn between hiding out in France and re-connecting with her estranged son, Rosemary returns to England twelve years later believing that she and her son are now out of danger…

A web of deceit and lies has been woven over the years to cover up the antics of Harry and his friends, who are no strangers to violence and murder and who will stop at nothing to ensure they aren’t exposed.Private Detective Daniel Appleman takes on the case, but can he track down these men before they wreak havoc on the Sherwood family?

My Thoughts…

Combine a good sprinkling of mystery, heinous crimes, long-held secrets, despicable acts, and lies and you end up with The Telephone Call by Michael Pakenham.

Not having read the first book in this series (Fatal Obsession) I had no real expectations beyond the description outline. I am pleased to say that I found it completely intriguing and compelling!

There was an extremely large number of characters to get to grips with and the story was split into two parts and told from many perspectives and different time-scales. Part one was mostly told through the eyes of Harry Sherwood, and his friends Jason Duckett and William Harrison, with contributions from Rosemary Sherwood (Harry’s wife) and their son Tom. In part two, apart from Ex-DCI Daniel Appleman himself, and Harry and his friends, the reader was provided with narrative from Daniel’s wife Rachael, as well as Mo Salter, ‘rescued’ by Harry Sherwood when she was a very young woman; Mo’s daughter, Carol; members of Hampshire Police; Rosemary’s sister, May; The Magnificent Four and a whole host of others. They all had a place and a role to play and were important to the story. With its short, snappy chapters and great deal of effort, I managed to keep up with the wicked pace and evil goings-on!   

I loved the sections of the book that featured happily married private detective Daniel, and his ex-copper wife, Rachael. The couple have a son, Arty (age 5), daughter Charlotte (4) and a brown terrier named Avo(cado). The loved-up newly-weds live in a house in the Itchen Valley, bought for them by his father-in-law. These sections provided a welcome diversion from the malice and horror of the main story. Although Daniel didn’t get along with all of his ex-colleagues from his time with the Hampshire Police Force, I appreciated that he kept in touch with his some of his former workmates, namely newly promoted DCI Paul Flower, his previous partner-in-crime and long-time friend, and that there was still a strong sense of camaraderie between them.  

Cleverly crafted, the air of foreboding deepened with every chapter and I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I loved the unfolding of the long-held secrets and lies in this gritty, gruesome detective thriller. The Telephone Call incorporated some hard-hitting subjects of physical and emotional abuse, extreme violence, revenge, and prostitution to name only a few.  

The plot is self-contained, making The Telephone Call an ideal standalone read. The ending was surprising and fulfilling. Private Detective Daniel Appleman was a thoroughly likeable character and I’m curious to see what Michael Pakenham has in store for him, next. I have no hesitation in recommending The Telephone Call to fans of the genre, although it is not a book for the faint-hearted.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel, at my request, from Rachel’s Random Resources and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Michael Pakenham is part of a well-known Irish literary family. Generations of his family lived at Langford Lodge on Loch Neagh outside Belfast. His father was killed in the Second World War and the estate was sold. His mother then took Michael and his sister to Tucson Arizona until the end of the war. On returning to England, his mother bought a farm in Hampshire and Michael has lived in the county ever since. Having served in the Grenadier Guards – the fourth generation to do so – Michael returned to take over his mother’s farming enterprises until he sold his farming interests in 1990 and started his writing career. This will be his eighth book and the second in the Daniel Appleman series. He lives outside Winchester with his wife. He has three children and a string of grandchildren.

Author Links: WebsiteGoodreads |

Book Links: Amazon US * Amazon UK * Book Guild * Waterstones * Foyles * Goodreads *

Giveaway!

Giveaway to Win 5 x Paperback copies of The Telephone Call (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the  box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

Click below to enter and good luck!

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

Featured

You Kill Me by Holly LeRoy | Book Review Tour | Giveaway 

I am delighted to join the review tour for You Kill Me by Holly Leroy today! My thanks to Marianne & Judy at Goddess Fish Promotions for my stop and the review copy!

This post is part of a virtual review book tour organised by Goddess Fish Promotions, a 250 page mystery/thriller available now. 

Holly Leroy will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card! Come back every day to interact with Holly and to increase your chances of winning. Thanks for stopping by and lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

See below to sign up for the GIVEAWAY.

About the Book

LIEUTENANT EVE SHARPE should have seen the avalanche of trouble headed her way but events had dulled her edge and crumbled her foundation of toughness. With the press and politicians all coming for her, Eve begins to question whether she is really a cold blooded murderer or simply losing her mind. Was it an officer involved shooting gone wrong? An honest mistake? Or, something much, much worse?

There’s one thing for sure, it has turned the Chicago Police Department upside down, and Lieutenant Eve Sharpe’s life along with it.

Excerpt

It only took a couple of minutes to get to the scene. The Chicago Grand Hotel sat half a block from the Mag Mile near the museum. Built in the 1890’s it was restored in 2001, covered in glitzy looking polished brass and white marble. Even though it usually gleamed in the daytime, the sleet sweeping in off the lake made it looked gray and blocky, more like a Soviet prison. In front, a garish, fully involved crime scene revealed itself in stark contrast.   Flashing blue lights, yellow tape, a couple of cruisers. Uniforms directing traffic. Battery operated lights blasted through the snow swirls, lighting up the scene like a movie set.

I headed over to the body while Walt went to talk to the first on the scene. The ME, a photographer, and a tech crouched over the dead girl while a couple of other uniforms erected a blue plastic tent in an effort to shelter the body from gawkers. I touched the ME on the shoulder and Harold Slezak glanced up at me. “One of yours?” he said and turned the girl’s face to the light.

I knelt and felt my stomach lurch as I looked down. A deep, bloody skull depression on her forehead, her arms were twisted around the wrong way and zip-tied at the wrist. Yellow bile stained her pink sweatshirt.

“Yes. It’s Debi Miller.”

Her blue eyes open, flecks of snow had begun to stick to her face. She was already starting to freeze.

My Thoughts…

This mystery-thriller by Holly LeRoy is not short on surprises, as well as having more than its fair share of suspense and tension!

 In You Kill Me, my first foray into the depths of Holly Leroy’s explosive writing, the author uses an effective style of storytelling to unveil the narrative. Told mostly from Lt. Eve Sharpe’s viewpoint and with whirlwind speed, anecdotes about the leading characters are revealed.

The narrative delves into the psyche of Eve, who the reader learns, is edgy and tough and has worked hard to establish herself in her current role as a respected lieutenant in the Chicago Police Department.

I found Eve to be caring, street-wise and resourceful. I loved the banter between her and her partner-in-crime, Detective Walt Ferguson who both clearly had a great deal of time for each other, which provided some much-needed light relief from the guts and gore of the story. It was obvious that Holly Leroy knows a lot about police procedures and investigations and the compelling writing and continuous excitement ensured that I was riveted to the story for the entirety of the book. The pacing was relentless, and the tension soon escalated to nail-biting, suspenseful levels. This was an absolute cracker of a mystery-thriller that held no disappointments. The author’s characterisation was superb with an eclectic blend of fascinating, though in many cases despicable characters, and the cocktail of wit, sarcasm and repartee blended with the thrilling and absorbing plot, really made this a special read for me.

All in all, You Kill Me is an action-packed page-turner with a superb plot leading up to an exciting, exhilarating finale. Very highly recommended! 

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Goddess Fish Promotions at my request and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

HOLLY LEROY has been an actor, amateur boxer, NASCAR journalist, expert witness, Santa County Substance Abuse Commissioner, and patrolled with the Drug Enforcement Unit of the San Jose Police Department.

He lives in the Sierra Nevada mountains with his wife, four cats and two dogs.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads | Blog

Book links:

Giveaway!

Holly Leroy will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Click below to enter and good luck!

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

December 31: Enchanting Reviews
December 31: Shelleen’s Musings
January 7: Dog-Eared Days of Summer
January 7: Hurn Publications
January 14: Our Town Book Reviews
January 14: Brianne’s Book Reviews
January 21: Face Painting for World Peace
January 21: Lost in a Book After a Day of Social Work
January 21: Fabulous and Brunette

Until Next Time, 

Featured

Good Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the holiday blog tour for Good Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of Good Girls Lie to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating

Published: December 30th 2019 by Mira Books
ISBN: 9780778330776                                                                                     
Genres: psychological, thriller, mystery, suspense                                 
Rating: 5 stars

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.

J.T. Ellison’s pulse-pounding new novel examines the tenuous bonds of friendship, the power of lies and the desperate lengths people will go to to protect their secrets.

I Thought…

This psychological thriller by J. T. Ellison is not short on surprises, as well as having more than its fair share of suspense and tension!

 In Good Girls Lie, my second foray into the depths of J. T. Ellison’s explosive writing, the author uses an effective style of storytelling to unveil the narrative. Told from multiple viewpoints and with a whirlwind speed, pivotal anecdotes about the leading characters are revealed.

 The narrative delves into the psyche of Ash Carr, who the reader learns, is a tortured young woman having witnessed the death of both of her parents and is now on a scholarship at the elite Goode Academy where each girl is almost certainly guaranteed a place. Set in Marchburg, Virginia, secret societies exist enabling the girls to bond, though what lies beneath the surface is a nightmare of bullying as the hierarchy of students is clear from the outset. Dean Ford Julianne Westhaven turns a blind eye as she believes she is keeping old traditions alive.

 Ghost stories of murders, eerie passageways, locked hallways, and a deadly staircase all have their place, giving the school a really creepy vibe.

 Good Girls Lie will delight if you like your thrillers menacing and fast-paced. This was a fabulous, dramatic and twisty story, and I can’t wait to see what J. T. Ellison does next!

Thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin - MIRA and the author, J. T. Ellison for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

JT Ellison Author Photo credit Krista Lee Photography - vertical

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 novels, and the EMMY-award winning co-host of A WORD ON WORDS, Nashville’s premier literary show. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 26 countries. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens. Connect with J. T. on her Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram

Purchase at Barnes & Noble  //  Kobo  //  Books-A-Million // Amazon  //  Indiebound

Until Next Time,