I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Last Affair by Margot Hunt today! My thanks to Harlequin Trade Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of The Last Affair to read in exchange for my honest review.
THE LAST AFFAIR Author: Margot Hunt ISBN: 9780778309222 Publication Date: November 26, 2019 Publisher: MIRA BOOKS
Gwen Landon—poster woman for perfect wife, mother, and suburban bliss—is found brutally bludgeoned to death behind her Floridian McMansion.
Beautiful and beloved by her community, Gwen makes an unlikely victim. But just a scratch below the surface of her perfectly curated world reveals one far more sinister. When looking back over the six months leading up to her death, the question of, “who would do this?” quickly shifts to, “who wouldn’t?”
Commercially successful food blogger and mother of three, Nora Holliday never imagined she would have the nerve, let alone time, to get involved an affair. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she does whatever it takes to keep it all together. But when Nora runs into Gwen Landon’s husband at a hotel in Orlando, his easy kindness and warmth proves too tempting to resist. As their affair spirals dangerously out of control, it seems things can’t get more complicated—until Gwen turns up dead.
Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars
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About The Author
BIO: Margot Hunt is a critically acclaimed author of psychological suspense. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.
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!
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.
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.
I am delighted to join the blog tour for BloodList by AliCarter today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random ThingsTours for the invitation to join and the wonderful review copy received via MatadorBooks!
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?
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
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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!
I am delighted to join the blog tour for TheKiller You Know by S R Masters today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random ThingsTours for the invitation to join and the wonderful review copy received via NetGalley!
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 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
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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 brand new Ryder & Loveday novel from global bestseller Faith Martin!
As the city of Oxford prepares itself for the inaugural Miss Oxford Honey Beauty Pageant at The Old Swan Theatre, excitement is in the air.
Then, tragedy strikes the competition when one of the leading contestants is found dead.
Initially, the authorities assume her death was suicide. But after a malicious series of pranks and blackmail attempts are reported, WPC Loveday and Coroner Clement Ryder are called upon to solve the case.
In an atmosphere of fierce competition, the list of suspects is endless. Could what have started as harmless fun become a deadly race to win the prize?
With time running out, the duo need to spot the killer before tragedy strikes again…
A gripping murder mystery, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and M.C. Beaton.
‘If you haven’t yet read Miss Martin you have a treat in store’
I first discovered the author, Faith Martin a few months ago, when I read two of her books from the ‘Jenny Starling’ series, both of which I totally adored. I have not read any books from the series featuring Hillary Greene. “A Fatal Flaw” is the first book I’ve read from this series featuring WPC Trudy Loveday and Coroner Clement Ryder, though it is actually the third in the series and is published by HQ. So far, I have taken great delight in each book that Faith Martin has released. “A Fatal Flaw” has proven to be no exception.
I loved Faith Martin’s characterisation of WPC Trudy Loveday who was enthusiastic, feisty, considerate and, at times stubborn.
Also quite special was the author’s portrayal of Clement Ryder, who was the area coroner. Ryder was a man who has experienced his fair share of life – someone of a certain age who has lived a little.
The duo, Trudy, always eager to learn and Ryder, worked really well together and being a probationary WPC, Trudy was determined to draw on Ryder’s wealth of experience. For his part, Ryder knew the potential in Trudy and their great partnership complemented the story beautifully.
“A Fatal Flaw” is so wonderfully well-written and the writing style was really comfortable for me, helping to tempt me into the story. There was plenty going on which kept my attention throughout and I never once felt bored.
I found this mystery to be totally addictive once I had started to read it, so much so that I was hooked before I even had the chance to scroll to the second page! Faith Martin’s writing was so convincing that I could have been another in their team.
I thought “A Fatal Flaw” was a superb read and a real winner. I would recommend it to other mystery readers. I am looking forward to my next book by Faith Martin, whether that will be something new or a book I’ve never yet read from an existing series.
My thanks to #NetGalley, HQ Digital and the author for providing me with a complimentary advanced copy of #AFatalFlaw.
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 . . .
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.
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.
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 SawYou. My honest review is entirely voluntary.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
‘Utterly addictive. Compulsive, twisty, tense.’ CLAIRE DOUGLAS, author of Local Girl Missing
Just how far is a mother willing to go?
When a mysterious note arrives for seven months pregnant nurse Eliana Hughes, she begins to doubt every aspect of her life – from her mixed feelings about motherhood to her marriage to Martin, who has become distant in recent months.
As the person behind the note escalates their campaign to out Eli’s husband as a cheat, she finds herself unable to trust even her own instincts, and as pressure builds, she makes a mistake that jeopardises her entire future.
Elsewhere, someone is watching. Someone who desperately wants a baby to call their own and will go to any lengths to become a mother – and stay a mother…
“Apple Of My Eye” is a compulsive and digressive thriller that has been beautifully put together, with motherhood at its core.
This is my second time of reading a book by this author and I was not disappointed! I have previously read the outstanding ‘Her Name was Rose’ which was a five-star read for me, so there was a lot for Claire Allan to live up to.
“Apple of My Eye” brings to life an incredible family account of mistrust, jealousy and suspicion. It is a book about motherhood and all that it means to all of womankind. In this novel, the reader is categorically and unequivocally made aware of how it affects the lives and relationships of different women. It is also a divulgence of desperation, loneliness and all the different layers of love.
As always, I am having a run of strong, inspiring thrillers and this is on the list, along with my other favourites. The plot for this book is awesome and incredibly thrilling. I’m always looking for something in a book in this genre that makes it more notable than the rest. This could be amazingly drawn characters, a super plot, great originality or something entirely different that I couldn’t even imagine.
This book has many of the components that make a really good story: from the mood and undercurrents to the very clever writing and the experience of family secrets, jealousy and incredibly tense relationships.
For myself, the one thing that made this a memorable read was Claire Allan’s ability to send me off course in nearly every chapter. Narrated from three different perspectives – that of Eli, her mother Angela and the mysterious Louise – I found that it was the chapters told from Louise’s angle that added a real sense of apprehension to the plot. Claire Allan managed to create so much suspicion and mistrust through her story-telling and there was an overpowering sense of menace that emanated from the pages of this addictive read which is chock full of mystery. I found that I had no idea who or what I could trust. The emotional, distressed and pregnant wife or the mother who wanted to protect her daughter from an adulterous husband, or the revealing anonymous notes?
Another of my favourite aspects of this novel was the fluidity of the writing. The details and twists of the plot were brilliantly executed and every chapter left me with a compelling need to read on.
”Apple Of My Eye” is a supreme accomplishment, mixing women’s fiction with a chilling, sharp slice of thriller, culminating in an emotive and fulfilling ending. I absolutely adored every chapter of this pacey novel and I would certainly recommend it.
Thanks to NetGalley, Avon Books UK and the author, Claire Allan, for my free ARC of Apple of My Eye in exchange for an honest review.