Pink Ice Creams by Jo Woolaston | Blog Tour 

@JoWoolaston @rararesources #PinkIceCreams

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Pink Ice Creams by Jo Woolaston today! My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

Book Summary

Intent on fixing her broken marriage and the alcohol-fuelled catastrophe that is her life, Kay Harris arrives at her grim and grey holiday let, ready to lay to rest the tragedy that has governed her entire adulthood – the disappearance of her little brother, Adam.

But the road to recovery is pitted with the pot-holes of her own poor choices, and it isn’t long before Kay is forced to accept that maybe she doesn’t deserve the retribution she seeks. Will the intervention of strangers help her find the answers she needs to move on from her past, or will she always be stuck on the hard shoulder with no clear view ahead and a glove box full of empties?

Pink Ice Creams is a tale of loss, self-destruction, and clinging on to the scraps of the long-lost when everyone else has given up hope.

Purchase links:

Amazon.co.uk:

Paperback:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1984168231

Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RV49TKB

Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07RYX3YWP

Amazon.com:

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1984168231

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RV49TKB

Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/jowoolaston

I Thought…

I was so thrilled to be one of the first to read Pink Ice Creams, the début novel by Jo Woolaston. 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 the shabby sea-side town and the fun-fair as I grew up in a place with a very similar environment.

Pink Ice Creams had an enthralling plot and Jo Woolaston 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 ramshackle, jaded town eating chips, marshmallow toffee or an ice cream cornet with them, or drinking a pint of cider!

I didn’t really have a favourite character, but I grew rather fond of Kay as the story progressed. With the heavy burden she was carrying all of the time, it was difficult not to have a great deal of empathy for her, although some of the choices she made really frustrated me. I think this added to the story.

Pink Ice Creams was an intense, highly absorbing story full of angst, alcohol-induced catastrophies and unfortunate situations, 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.

I absolutely adored this book and I strongly recommend that you get yourself a copy of Pink Ice Creams right away!

I will be looking out for more by Jo Woolaston 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

Jo Woolaston lives in Leicestershire, England with her extreme noise-making husband and two lovely sons. She tries to avoid housework and getting a ‘proper job’ by just writing stuff instead – silly verse, screenplays, shopping lists…

This sometimes works in her favour (she did well in her MA in TV Scriptwriting, gaining a Best Student award in Media and Journalism – and has had a few plays produced – that kind of thing) but mostly it just results in chronic insomnia and desperate tears of frustration. Pink Ice Creams is her first novel, she hopes you liked it.

Social Media Links –

Website: https://www.jowoolaston.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nevermindthebloggers

Twitter: @JoWoolaston

Goodreads: 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19176972.Jo_Woolaston


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Until Next Time, 

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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, 

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, 

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!

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

Happy Reading!

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke | Review

About The Book

From Alafair Burke – New York Times bestselling author of the runaway hit, The Wife – comes another twisty tale of domestic noir. When a prominent Manhattan lawyer is murdered, two estranged sisters – one the dead man’s widow, the other his ex – must set aside mistrust and old resentments . . . but can they escape their past?

Though Hannah was the younger of the two Taylor sisters, she always seemed to be in charge. She was the honor roll student with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic. Nicole was always restless . . . and more than a little reckless – the opposite of her ambitious little sister. She floated from job to job and man to man, and stayed close to home in Cleveland.

For a while, it seemed like both sisters had found happiness. Hannah earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school and moved to New York City, where she landed a coveted publishing job. Nicole married promising young attorney Graham McIntosh, and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ian. The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers.

Now, more than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different – and Hannah is married to Graham. When he’s murdered by a masked intruder at the couple’s East Hampton beach house, Hannah reluctantly allows her teenaged stepson’s biological mother – her estranged sister, Nicole – back into her life. But when the police begin to treat Ian as a suspect in his father’s death, the two sisters are forced to unite . . . and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past.

My Thoughts

I have both seen and heard so many great reviews about the author, Alafair Burke, particularly with reference to ‘The Wife’.

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t picked up anything by her before – until recently! I was therefore ecstatic to receive a copy of THE BETTER SISTER. The premise of this was pretty exciting, too, as a keen mystery and thriller reader.

The suspense and intriguing story-line immediately grabbed my attention from the start, planting me firmly into the lives of the two sisters, Chloe and Nicky.

With perfect pacing and many twists and turns, I was totally absorbed all the way through, until the fulfilling and very strong conclusion. The author’s writing style was very appealing, brilliantly encapsulating the core of the scenes that I was visualising whilst reading. The characterisation was also pretty impressive, particularly with regard to the interaction of the different characters.

Although the plot is one that that has been tried and tested before, Alafair Burke’s special way with the narrative made this complex and compelling tale quite distinct.

Overall, THE BETTER SISTER is a very worthwhile read with a side of courtroom drama and lots of family dynamics to unearth. If you’re a fan of the domestic thrillers, you should really read this book!

Thanks to Edelweiss, HarperCollins and the author, Alafair Burke for my free ARC of The Better Sister. My honest review is entirely voluntary.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz | Review

About The Book

 
Available in hardback, paperback, e-book and audio worldwide.
 
Ten writers are selected for a summer-long writing retreat with the most celebrated and reclusive author in the world. Their host is the legendary Roderick Wells. Handsome, enigmatic, and fiendishly talented, Wells promises to teach his pupils about writing, about magic, about the untapped potential that each of them possesses. Most of all, he plans to teach them about the darkness in their hearts. The writers think they are signing up for a chance at riches and literary prestige. But they are really entering the twisted imagination of a deranged genius, a lethal contest pitting them against one another in a struggle for their sanity and their lives. They have entered into Roderick Wells’ most brilliant and horrible creation. The Dark Game.
 
FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018, the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
End
 
A Note From the Publisher

Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, which explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows "the best horror novel of 2012." The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, "reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub's Ghost Story

Since then Jonathan's work has been lauded by writers like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Bryan Smith, and Ronald Kelly. Novels like The Nightmare Girl, Wolf Land, Savage Species, and Dust Devils prompted Thunderstorm Books to sign Jonathan to an eleven-book deal and to give him his own imprint, Jonathan Janz's Shadow Side

His novel Children of the Dark received a starred review in Booklist and was chosen by their board as one of the Top Ten Horror Books of the Year (August 2015-September 2016). Children of the Dark will soon be translated into German and has been championed by the Library Journal, the School Library Journal, and Cemetery Dance. In early 2017, his novel Exorcist Falls was released to critical acclaim. 

Jonathan's primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author's wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true. You can learn more about Janz at www.jonathanjanz.com.
 
Janz' backlist of eight titles is re-published this year by FLAME TREE PRESS.
 

My Thoughts

Twisty & Dark Horror

“The Dark Game” was a departure from my usual genres of choice and I found this offering from the author, Jonathan Janz, a difficult book to put down once I’d started reading it.

The premise of a group of authors unwittingly being entered into a twisted game against each other and simultaneously being confronted by their own past demons held a real appeal for me. Brilliantly drawn by Janz, the reader is given several engaging story-lines, creating ten very unique and winsome characters each with their individual voice and personality. I thought the writing was exceptional and I managed to keep up with all of the different characters.

A creepy mansion in the middle of the woods was a perfect setting for this scary horror, complete with eerie basements and spooky corridors.

Every one of the writers’ histories was nightmares all of their own, centring, as they did, around personal traumas or unpleasant events.

The claustrophobic atmosphere and the wicked horror really complemented this alarming and frightening tale. I admired that Jonathan Janz very cleverly kept a great awareness for continuity in his story. The elements of terror and underlying layers of fear were very well executed, culminating in what I thought was an extremely fulfilling ending.

I would highly recommend “ The Dark Game” to readers of the genre or to anyone who fancies a bit of a change. Jonathan Janz is high on my list of newly discovered authors for this year.

Thank you to NetGalley, Flame Tree Press and Jonathan Janz,  for my ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

Hardcover: 352 Pages

Publisher: Flame Tree Press

ISBN-10: 178758187X

ISBN-13: 9781787581876

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Four Stars

Happy Reading!

The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor | Review

Book Synopsis

What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear? 

Zaffre’s biggest breakout thriller of 2019.

One in 100 of us is what the police call a ‘potentially dangerous person’ – someone likely to commit a violent crime. These people hide in plain sight, they can be teachers, doctors, holding positions of trust, of power.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living tracking the 1 in 100. Each week she broadcasts a radio show that examines brutal offences, asking if more could have been done to identify and prevent their perpetrators.

But when she agrees to investigate a missing person case involving a young mother, she is drawn into a web of danger that will ultimately lead to the upper echelons of power, and threaten the safety of her own family. 

Set over a long, dark winter in London and perfect for fans of HE SAID/SHE SAID and Belinda Bauer, THE DANGEROUS KIND is at once a gripping thriller and a stunning portrayal of the monsters that live among us.

Advance Praise

‘Searingly relevant’ Gillian McAllister

‘An absolute triumph’ Holly Seddon

‘Originality oozing off every page’ Eva Dolan

‘Clever, unpredictable and beautifully done’ Liz Loves Books

‘Absolutely brilliant . . . a sophisticated, smart engaging thriller’ Jo Spain

‘Dark, disturbing, devilishly plotted’ Chris Whitaker

‘Urgent, relevant and completely unputdownable’ Martyn Waites

‘Dark and unpredictable’ Jenny Quintana

‘Brilliantly compelling’  T. M. Logan

‘A powerful, timely and unnerving thriller’ David Jackson 

Pages: Approx. 448

Publishers: Bonnier Zaffre

Date Published: 11th April 2019

Buy your copy now from:

Amazon | Waterstones

My Review

If I had to describe The Dangerous Kind in three words they would be harrowing, disturbing and frightening in more or less equal measures. It’s pretty much what I would expect from a thriller set in today’s modern society. But wow, what stunning, well-thought-out masterpiece!

After having read The Dangerous Kind, I feel that I am completely indebted to Deborah O’Connor! This book has all the components that make a really fantastic story: from the mood and undercurrents to the very clever writing and the experience of love and friendship, not forgetting the feelings of hope, the fear, the utter desperation and failure.

The title of the book is derived from a police classification of a ‘Potentially Dangerous Person’ (PDP) who is someone that has not been convicted of an offence but whose behaviour indicates that they are likely to commit one.

Set during the winter-time and spanning a period of ten-plus years, the book is told from different time periods and aspects, the first one being Jessamine Gooch, as well as Rowena and also Jitesh. Deborah O’Connor has drawn a great character in Jessamine, a former journalist now working at the BBC and hosting a long-running true crime radio series, ‘Potentially Dangerous People’. In addition, she volunteers at a helpline for victims of domestic violence and is the mother of her teenage daughter, all the while trying to cope with the various difficulties she has going on in her life.

Equally noteworthy is Deborah O’Connor’s portrayal of Rowena. Her heart-breaking story is told as sensitively as possible but her vulnerability and the level of her abuse she suffered, though implicit, is nevertheless exceptionally sorrowful to read and plays a central role to the unfolding drama.

Jitesh’s character has also been brilliantly drawn by the author, Deborah. A student who has been given an unconditional offer to join Cambridge University, he has decided to take a year out and work as an IT intern. However, even as a young adult, he has already suffered many of life’s difficulties, although he possesses a moral strength that left me no choice but to feel an enormous amount of empathy with him.

There were instances where this was a very difficult read for me and it was a little like being on a roller-coaster, with someone shouting “Do you want to go faster?” However, it was extremely worthwhile even though many of the subjects touched upon are so abhorrent. 

Deborah O’Connor was very brave to write about such a disturbing and unsettling subject matter like child prostitution. She impressively managed to do so with great sensitivity, thus making the story a little more palatable than it could have been. The story-line was masterfully crafted and showed originality. The separate stories were so superbly interconnected, making the novel fantastically compelling, all culminating in a thrilling and fulfilling ending.  

I cannot recommend this book enough and I feel so inspired enough by Deborah O’Connor’s writing ability to order another of her novels – ‘My Husband’s Son.’ 

Thanks to NetGalley, Bonnier Zaffire Publishing and the author, Deborah O’Connor, for my free ARC of The Dangerous Kind in exchange for an honest review.

My thanks also to Pigeonhole as I participated in their group read which was in stave format and was able to share my thoughts and comments with other readers.

#NetGalley #TheDangerousKind

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

The Perfect Betrayal: The addictive thriller you won’t want to miss in 2019

The Perfect Betrayal: The addictive thriller you won’t want to miss in 2019 by Lauren North

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book has all of the qualities of the perfect psychological thriller. Deftly layered with emotion and suspense it starts off fairly slowly but the tension builds into a dramatic sequence of events.

The story is told predominantly from the point of view of the main character, Tess, along with snippets from her grief counsellor and brother-in-law. Tess’ conversations that she had with her late husband were heart-breaking. It was an incredibly emotionally charged book, well written and beautifully plotted and so cleverly constructed to help conceal major reveals in the natural progression of the story.

“The Perfect Betrayal” is my favourite type of psychological thriller – where the voices and thoughts of the characters and the reader’s own imagination complement the story. From the beginning, it is an absorbing and riveting novel as well as being massively addictive. The main protagonist, Tess, did not know who to trust and nor did I.

Highly recommended, this is a sad and harrowing story of grief, love and loss, with a fulfilling but shocking finish. Lauren North’s writing is just exquisite and I will be looking out for her next offering.

[Thank you to #NetGalley, Random House UK/ Transworld Publishers, and Lauren North for my free ARC of #ThePerfectBetrayal in exchange for an honest review.]



View all my reviews