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Archive for the ‘Killer Reads’ Category

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Published: 25 November 2016
Reviewed: 1 February 2017

4 out of 5 stars

Copy provided by Killer Reads

 

Description:

You can’t escape the past…

Juliet and Chrissy were best friends until one fateful summer forced them apart. Now, nearly twenty years later, Juliet wants to be back in Chrissy’s life.

But Chrissy doesn’t want Juliet anywhere near her, or her teenage daughter Eloise. After all, Juliet is the only person who knows what happened that night – and her return threatens to destroy the life that Chrissy has so carefully built.

Because when the past is reawakened, it can prove difficult to bury. And soon all three of them will realize how dangerous it can get once the truth is out there…

My Thoughts & Review:

This was one of those books that instantly appealed to me when I read the description, something about it screamed twisted, dark and intense – just the sort of book I love to devour.

Narrated from different points of view, the story is told from both the past and the present and the reader learns that Chrissy is reminiscing about her friend from university who has made contact with Eloise, Chrissy’s daughter.  Eloise cannot understand her mother’s reluctance to speak to her old friend Juliet, but in order to explain Chrissy must recount what happened all those years ago when they were in France.
This first part of the book was incredibly detailed, Taylor brings her characters to life fleshing them out with wonderful backstories, carefully drawing a picture of the background that led to the friendship between Chrissy and Juliet before it all fell apart.
Whilst it is a bit of a slow burner, the reader is rewarded with some wonderfully intense moments, and when you reach the second part of the book set in Italy the pace picks up dramatically as lies are uncovered and the truth is finally told.

I really liked in this was the way in which June Taylor kept me guessing which voice to trust.  An unreliable narrator makes a book more interesting and thrilling, but here with so many twists, turns and red herrings it was exhilarating.

June Taylor is a new author to me, and I admit I had no preconceived notions going into this book but I will certainly be keeping an eye out for more books by this author.

Overall, a very well written thriller with a well constructed plot and rich characters.

 

Many thanks to Killer Reads / HarperCollins UK & Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

 

About the Author:

June Taylor is a UK writer who was runner-up in the 2011 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction competition with her Young Adult book Lovely me, Lovely You. But she mainly writes Adult psychological thrillers, and Losing Juliet is her debut novel. She was a TV promos writer/producer for many years before becoming a full-time writer. June also writes plays as well as fiction. She is very active in the Yorkshire writing scene, on the Board of Script Yorkshire and part of Leeds Big Bookend.

Follow her on Twitter: @joonLT
Visit her website at: www.junetaylor.co.uk

 

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The Woman Next Door

Author: Cass Green
Published: 22 July 2016
Reviewed: 13 August 2016

4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by HarperCollins, UK / Killer Reads in return for an honest review



Description:

Two suburban women. Two dark secrets. The almost perfect murder. 

Everybody needs good neighbours…

Melissa and Hester have lived next door to each other for years. When Melissa’s daughter was younger, Hester was almost like a grandmother to her. But recently they haven’t been so close.

Hester has plans to change all that. It’s obvious to her that despite Melissa’s outwardly glamorous and successful life, she needs Hester’s help.

But taking help from Hester might not be such a good idea for a woman with as many secrets as Melissa… 

My Thoughts & Review:

Another début from a promising author, The Woman Next Door is a slow burning psychological thriller that quietly unsettles the reader.  

The story is narrated from the points of view of Hester, a lonely older woman and Melissa, who outwardly appears the complete opposite of Hester.  
Hester has no children and having lost her job in a nursery she became indispensable to Melissa by looking after her daughter Tilly until she reached teenage years. 
Melissa is married to a handsome and famous man, but his recent affair has pushed her towards a depression, this coupled with the fact that her daughter is growing up causes her great unease.

The characters in this were interesting, all completely normal people that you could encounter in everyday life which helps to make this so unsettling.   
Hester is a well constructed character, so bitter and judgemental, and Green uses her well throughout the novel as an unreliable narrator – her tainted views and negative perceptions adding to the tension and atmosphere.  Cleverly, she evokes sympathy for this character through details of the abuse she suffered at the hand of her late husband, a complete juxtaposition.  Melissa is a hard character to like, she is obsessive about her appearance, and very bitter towards her husband but she’s haunted by something.  However, Green has ensured that the reader is kept on their toes as all is not as it seems.

This novel is packed with deception and secrets, and the pacing of the book allows the intensity to build slowly ensuring the reader remains captive.  Good descriptions allow the reader to envision characters and situation easily. 

Overall a good début from a promising author, I am keen to see what Cass Green writes next.

You can buy a copy of The Woman Next Door here.

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Watching Edie

Author: Camilla Way
Published: 28 July 2016
Reviewed: 24 June 2016
Copy supplied by Killer Reads at HarperCollins in return for an honest review

4.5 out of 5 stars

Description:

BEFORE
Edie is the friend that Heather has always craved. But one night, it goes terrifyingly wrong. And what started as an innocent friendship ends in two lives being destroyed.

AFTER
Sixteen years later, Edie is still rebuilding her life. But Heather isn’t ready to let her forget so easily. It’s no coincidence that she shows up when Edie needs her most.

NOW
Edie or Heather?
Heather or Edie?

Someone has to pay for what happened, but who will it be?

My Thoughts & Review:

When you read a book in one sitting and cannot bear to put it down you know it’s a good one.  This was a surprise book for me, I had no idea it would come tumbling through the letterbox but I definitely cannot thank the guys at Killer Reads enough for sending a copy through to me.
“The most unsettling psychological thriller you’ll read this year” is quite a high  standard to set but I feel that they are just in doing so.  Not only does this book have a gripping plot, the characters are twisted and flawed, nothing pans out as you’d think it might and there are parts of the book you are literally staring at what you’ve just read in utter disbelief/shock/confusion.  For a book to inspire so many feelings in a reader is brilliance on the part of the author, Camilla Way really has written a blinder of a book here!
   
The alternating narration by 30 something Edie and a teenage Heather adds depth to this story like nothing else.  Seeing the past events that lead to the parting of the ways of the teenage girls through Heather’s eyes adds a youthful naivety to it all, and this I believe is so vital to understanding her much later on.
Edie’s continual allusion to a tragic event gives a little more detail with each mention.  This “something” that occurred changed her life forever, she left her home, her family and tried to make a new life for herself in London and put the past behind her.  When Heather finds her in London, Edie is shocked, she’s anxious but never envisions they will reform a friendship and just how much she will come to rely on Heather.  

Without giving anything away about the past, or the future, I will say that Camilla Way has written a very clever and twisted story.  She evokes emotion from the reader by catapulting them into a maelstrom.  Even the sub plot is fraught with intensity, but I have to add that I really enjoyed reading Edie’s interactions with Monica and her family, it added a little light relief at times.  Monica’s character gave a lovely reminder that not all characters in this book were obsessed, liars or out to betray one another.  

Complex and multi layered, this is a gripping, and all consuming read.  Almost like falling down the rabbit hole with Alice into the dark depths.     
I cannot wait to see what Camilla Way writes next, I really loved her style of writing in this book.  The way she revealed more about the two protagonists had me reeling at times, I found my judgements were rocked by what I learned each time and at one point I was speechless.   

I cannot recommend this book enough, it was brilliant.  Everything a psychological thriller should be and then some!   

You can pre order a copy of Watching Edie here.   

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