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Archive for the ‘Harlequin (UK) Limited’ Category

The Disappearance

Author: Annabel Kantaria
Published: 21 April 2016
Reviewed: 4 August 2016
4 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Harlequin (UK) Limited, MIRA UK in return for an honest review


Description:

Audrey Templeton wants to spend her 70th birthday with her children on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise. Neither John or Lexi are overjoyed by a week with their widowed, increasingly forgetful mother, but reluctantly agree.


Celebrating at the ship’s famous White Night party, Audrey reveals that although their domineering father left them nothing, when she dies John and Lexi will inherit a life-changing sum. With both children facing financial difficulties, the news is a huge relief.


Then Audrey disappears. The search moves from the ship to the Mediterranean Sea beyond, but there is no trace – she has simply vanished.


As John and Lexi investigate, clues to their mother’s past emerge – a past in India, of scandal and tragedy – hidden until now. Soon they start to wonder if they ever really knew Audrey, and whether they can trust one another… 

My Thoughts & Review: 

The very opening pages of this book immediately grab the reader’s attention, the captain of a cruise ship is calling off the search for a missing passenger who is suspected to have gone overboard.  The passenger in question is Audrey Templeton, celebrating her 70th birthday with her grown up children on a cruise of the Greek Islands.

The author then takes us back to the 1970s where we encounter a much younger Audrey aboard a boat destined for India where her friend Janet lives.  The death of both of her parents in quick succession sees her needing a change in her life, and this seems the obvious one to make.  Her new life in India begins when she meets a dark and mysterious stranger in a coffee bar, there is an attraction there and the pair are married within 6 months, she also becomes mother to her new husband’s twins John and Lexi.  Unfortunately for Audrey, it’s not the Disney fairytale she would have hoped for, a horrific incident brings about their return to London.

Annabel Kantaria continues to weave back and forth between the 1970s and 2013 to tell the tale of Audrey’s life, right up to the point that John wants to put his 69 year old mother into a form of sheltered accommodation.  Without saying anything more through worry of giving too much away,  I will add that Audrey disappears just after telling the twins that they will inherit a fortune……

The plot was easy to follow, the way the story moved back and forth through Audrey‘s life was well written and gave the reader a greater insight into this character and her relationships.  Kantaria has a very enjoyable style of writing, it makes for an easy and enjoyable read, she builds suspense well and ensures that the reader is gripped and interested throughout.  Vivid descriptions of the settings really brought the story to life, as did the wonderful cast of characters.  Audrey in particular is a wonderful character, one that you begin to feel a connection to in her younger years, living in India with a controlling husband and his children that she struggles to connect with.    

Family secrets are always interesting to read about and this is definitely a book that has this in spades!  A compelling and thrilling read.

You can buy a copy of The Disappearance here.   

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All Is Not Forgotten

Author: Wendy Walker
Published: 14 July 2016
Reviewed: 16 June 2016

Many thanks to Harlequin (UK) Limited / Mira Books UK for a copy of this in return for an honest review

5 out of 5 Stars


Description:

In the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut everything seems picture perfect.

Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, prefers to pretend this horrific event did not touch her perfect country club world.

As they seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town – or perhaps lives among them – drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.
My Thoughts & Review:

Initially when I saw this book discussed on social medial with very little details, but billed as a #mysterythriller and quite possibly the thriller of 2016 I knew I had to find out more.  All Is Not Forgotten is definitely a book worth the interest, hype and reviews – it’s a fantastic read!

The story is narrated primarily by Jenny’s psychologist, but also features narrative from other main characters to give a great grounding of what is happening for each character and how they are coping with the recent events.  The actual concept of the book is both intriguing and worrying – erasing memories from a traumatic event to better cope and move on with life.  How would one cope in that situation?  How would you deal with the emotional aftermath when you cannot associate it with the actual physical assault?  

From the very outset Walker hooks the reader in, you want to find out who the attacker was, you want to find out why they engaged in such an atrocity, but most of all you want to find out if Jenny and her family finally find closure.  

All Is Not Forgotten takes you on an emotional roller coaster, fraught with tension, emotionally taught and with painstaking detail of sensitive events such as the attack this can be at times an uncomfortable read.  I was aware at times that I was reading it feeling shock and horror but at the same time determination to get to the end to find out if Jenny managed to get through this. 

This was definitely a book that had my full attention, reading it in one sitting.  It surpassed my expectations and so far has lived up to being one of the best thrillers I’ve read of 2016 (so far….I am fully aware this is only June!).  It’s complex, cleverly written and thoroughly absorbing.  Characters are well developed and interesting,  the plot is rich in detail and it makes a great read!

You can buy a copy of All Is Not Forgotten here.


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