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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Double Fudge and Danger | Erin Huss | Review

Double Fudge & Danger (Cambria Clyne Mysteries Book 3)

Double Fudge & Danger by Erin Huss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Double Fudge & Danger” is book three in the series of the Cambria Clyne Mysteries of which I look forward to reading more. It is a delicious mixture of mystery, romance, family, and friends and a fun, fast and interesting read. I haven’t read the other books in this series yet, however, I don’t think that this spoilt my enjoyment of this novel. That said, there is nothing more exciting than picking up a book that is the first in a new series.

Since taking the job of an on-site apartment manager, single-mum Cambria Clyne’s life has been one wild ride.

When the manager of the apartment building next door, Violet Pumpkin, goes missing, Cambria steps in to help run the property development and can’t resist helping with the police investigation. However, the more Cambria digs, the more she discovers Violet had been anything but honest in her dealings and more suspects than Cambria could imagine start to surface – the stressed property owners, a dodgy pizza delivery guy, the drunken rooftop walker, the mysterious Clint Eastwood look-alike lurking around, or one of the angry residents who received rental increases the day before Violet vanished. Then there’s still the business of doing her own job, parenting a lively three-year-old and choosing between the two men in her life. Cambria has a lot to deal with – not that that’s ever stopped her before! 

Who is telling lies? Can anyone be trusted? Will Cambria find Violet before it’s too late, or will she be the next apartment manager to go missing? 

Erin Huss’ delightful writing style is well-paced and complemented by clever, witty opening phrases introducing each chapter. She has created an eclectic and quirky group of residents in this apartment complex some of whom were annoying but helped to make the story as good as it was. However, it was great that they all pulled together and relied on each other as good friends do. Cambria’s two handsome love interests add some romantic and spicy entanglement. Written in the first-person narrative and sharing Cambria’s innermost thoughts, Erin Huss includes some wonderful witty banter and vivid descriptions. Although being disorganised and a bit of a worrier, the extremely likeable Cambria demonstrates admirable inner strength and her desire for eating copious amounts of double fudge or any other flavour of ice-cream was astounding, as were her attempts at mothering her feisty and outspoken daughter.

The book had a natural, steady pace and I was kept guessing right until the surprising reveal. Delightful and entertaining, “Double Fudge & Danger” is a quick, light, highly recommended read for all cozy mystery fans.

{Thank you to Hidden Gems for the free copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

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Sweet Tea and Secrets (A Tea and Read Mystery #2)

Sweet Tea and Secrets by Joy Avon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who wouldn’t be inclined to read “Sweet Tea and Secrets” with its alluring and eye-catching cover and attractive premise of drinking hot, sweet tea and setting about solving a decades-0ld disappearance? This is Joy Avon’s very enjoyable second novel in the ‘A Tea and a Read’ mystery series. The first book was ‘In Peppermint Peril.’

I haven’t read the first book in this series yet, however, I don’t think that this spoilt my enjoyment of this novel. That said, it is so exciting, picking up a book which is the first in a new series!

Callie Aspen has left her tour guide job and she now helps out at ‘Book Tea,’ her great-aunt’s vintage tearoom, where each treat has a bookish clue. Though she’s excited to start her new life, Callie is worried that she may regret having burned her bridges. Wanting to solve a celebrity’s disappearance that happened many years ago, she finds immediate distraction in the preparations for a spectacular Fourth of July tea party, which will recreate key moments from the town’s rich history.

Intrigued to learn that 1980’s TV star Monica Walker was last seen in Heart’s Harbor before she vanished – allegedly to elope – Callie probes the local townsfolk for information. She’s stunned when several of them share contradictory stories about the last day before Monica’s disappearance. Did she intend to leave her hit TV series? Was she being stalked by her ex? And why is the newspaper editor who investigated the story at the time so anxious about the cold case heating up?

When one of the locals turns up dead, Callie aims to apprehend the killer. Deputy Falk doesn’t want her meddling, and the locals suddenly know more about the past than they’d been at liberty to admit. But will Callie be able to crack the case?

Set in Heart’s Harbor, Maine, Callie and Daisy the Boston Terrier are slowly settling into her new life, working with her Great-Aunt Iphy in ‘Book Tea.’ I found that I had a good connection with Callie as she had a tendency towards self-doubt and was a little unsure of herself. As someone who has read several cozies, Callie’s Great -Aunt Iphy has become another on the list of my favourite cozy characters. Joy Avon has really worked her magic in creating a character who is wonderfully astute and wise and I couldn’t help but grow very fond of her as the story progressed.

It was clear that there was some chemistry between Callie and Ace but it was a little frustrating that it lingered under the surface throughout the story and they both seemed to have their problems communicating with one another on a personal level.

I liked that the opening chapters drew me into the story and captured my attention immediately. There was never a dull moment with such a lot going on. The mystery itself was well thought out with plenty of twists and turns as I puzzled over the clues to discover the perpetrator. I thought that Joy Avon’s combination of the cold case threads inter-crossing with those of the present day murder was very well done. The book had a natural, steady pace and I was kept guessing until the surprising reveal.

Delightful and entertaining “Sweet Tea and Secrets” is a highly recommended, delectable read for all cozy mystery fans.

{Thank you to #NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the free copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

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The Nowhere Child

The Nowhere Child by Christian White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The Nowhere Child” is a debut psychological thriller by Christian White and it was so special! Several things cast their spell – my favourite genre; a very smart cover design; winner of the Victorian Premier Literary Award; and great ratings from the offset. It could only be a winner!

The book opens with an introduction to the main protagonist Kimberly (Kim) Leamy who is a photography teacher in Melbourne, Australia. Twenty-six years earlier, Sammy Went, a two-year-old girl vanished from her home in Manson, Kentucky. James Finn, an American accountant who contacts Kim is convinced she was that child, kidnapped just after her birthday. She cannot believe the woman who raised her crossed international lines to steal a toddler.

Jack and Molly Went’s daughter Sammy disappeared from their Kentucky home in 1990. Already estranged, the couple drifted further apart as time passed. Jack did his best to raise and protect his other daughter and son while Molly found solace in her faith. The Church of the Light Within, a Pentecostal fundamentalist group who handle poisonous snakes as part of their worship, provided that faith.

Now, with proof that she and Sammy are in fact the same person, Kim travels to America to reunite with a family she never knew she had and to solve the mystery of her abduction that will take her deep into the dark heart of religious fanaticism.

For me, Christian White’s writing is captivating and extremely well structured. Although the theme of a child being stolen is not particularly original, the clever telling of this story made it a joy to read. The chapters alternate between the past and the present, maintaining the reader’s attention. The chapters narrated in the past explore the impact of Sammy’s disappearance on her family and the community in which they live. The other chapters follow Kim’s pathway of discovery to the truth about her past.

The most gripping parts of “The Nowhere Child” were the chapters about the past, as the author unearthed long-buried secrets of Kim’s grieving family. It seemed that nearly every character from her past had something they wanted to be kept hidden. Revelations were made that included identity, betrayal, secrets, loss and a sinister cult. A tense story of menace and suspense, the story held my interest from start to finish and the way in which Christian White brought everything to a conclusion was just fabulous.

I loved “The Nowhere Child” and I would recommend it to anyone who likes this genre. It has left me eager to read more from this author in the future.

Thank you to #NetGalley, and HarperCollins UK for a free ARC of #NowhereChild in exchange for a voluntary, honest review.

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