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Published: 4 May 2017

Description:

How far would you go to save your reputation? The stunning new noir thriller from the author of the bestselling The Missing One and The Other Child. Perfect for fans of I Let You Go and Lie With Me.

Professor Olivia Sweetman has worked hard to achieve the life she loves, with a high-flying career as a TV presenter and historian, three children and a talented husband. But as she stands before a crowd at the launch of her new bestseller she can barely pretend to smile. Her life has spiralled into deceit and if the truth comes out, she will lose everything.

Only one person knows what Olivia has done. Vivian Tester is the socially awkward sixty-year-old housekeeper of a Sussex manor who found the Victorian diary on which Olivia’s book is based. She has now become Olivia’s unofficial research assistant. And Vivian has secrets of her own.

As events move between London, Sussex and the idyllic South of France, the relationship between these two women grows more entangled and complex. Then a bizarre act of violence changes everything.

The Night Visitor is a compelling exploration of ambition, morality and deception that asks the question: how far would you go to save your reputation?

My Thoughts & Review:

“The Night Visitor” is the first book by Lucy Atkins that I’ve read, and if I’m honest I really had no idea what to expect when I picked this up.  I’d seen a fair bit of praise for this book and was curious to see if it lived up to the hype.

Following two characters, Olivia Sweetman and Vivian Tester, the author expertly weaves an intricate plot that will leave readers stunned, the story makes for uncomfortable reading in places but it is also spectacularly clever.  The way in which this book has been written is magnificent, each word, each phrase, each nuance is used for maximum effect and is perfectly placed to ensure that readers are entranced under Atkins spell.
Olivia Sweetman is an interesting character who on the surface appears to have the quintessential perfect life.  She is a highly successful academic, a minor celebrity, has a happy marriage and three children.  But below the surface there is tension bubbling, from the very beginning it is clear there is something bothering her, and the relationships around her are not as stable as they might seem.
Vivian Tester, well there’s a character that I found incredibly difficult to work out.  A true hat tip to Atkins here, as this must have been a character that took time and work to get just right on paper.  Vivian Tester is cold, distant, blunt and for want of a better word, strange.  She likes routine, and does not like anyone upsetting it.  She clearly has a secret or two to hide, but what could be behind her sinister aura.
Both of these women make for unreliable narrators, but it’s up to the reader to decide which is the most unreliable……

At times there is a claustrophobic feel to reading this book, suspicion runs rife throughout the plot, there are secrets being kept that could potentially ruin the lives of many and there is an underlying menace that presents in many forms – the book perfectly titled when you consider the events in the tower in France and Vivian’s terrifying nightmares.  All of this combines to form an incredibly rich and atmospheric read, and one that is filled with intrigue.

The attention to detail in the writing absolutely blew me away, Lucy Atkins has clearly spent a lot of time researching her subject matter, intricate details given about dung beetles, the publishing world and academia add a real feeling of authenticity as well as providing fascinating in-depth reading.

A wonderfully gripping thriller, that haunts the reader long after they’ve turned the final pages.

My thanks to Alainna Hadjigeorgiou and Quercus Books for the opportunity to read this book and take part in the blog tour.

You can buy a copy of “The Night Visitor” via:

Amazon
Wordery
The Book Depository


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for reviews, guest posts and extracts!

 

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Hello and welcome to one of the two stops on the blog tour for “Watching You”, the third instalment of the Detective Kerri Blasco series by J.A. Schneider.  I am honoured to be sharing the tour spot with one of my favourite bloggers, the lovely Chelsea over at The Suspense Is Thrilling Me, don’t forget to head over to her blog & check out her reviews!

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Published: 25 April 2017

 

Description:

A serial killer texts his victims first. A detective vows revenge. He comes after her.

In the chill of an October night, Detective Kerri Blasco is called to a bizarre murder scene. Leda Winfield, a young volunteer for the homeless, has been shot. Her cell phone displays the frightening text, WATCHING YOU, and into her back, hideously pushed with a hat pin, is a note with the same awful message. Leda’s socialite family and friends insist that no one would have wanted to harm her, but Kerri isn’t convinced.

Until another random young woman is killed in the same way. Kerri and her team profile a monstrous killer who enjoys terrifying his victims before stalking and killing them. But how does he get their phone numbers?

Kerri soon finds that the killer is after her, too, and that the key to finding him may just be in the homeless shelter. When the body count rises, she vows to stop the madman – even if it means battling her own personal trauma, risking her job, her love relationship with her boss Alex Brand, and her life. 

My Thoughts & Review:

“Watching You” sees the much anticipated return of one of my top detectives, Kerri Blasco.  For fans of The Quiet Knitter you will know that I have followed this series since the publication of book one, “Fear Dreams” and have eagerly waited for updates from J.A. Schneider on the following books and thankfully she’s been frantically writing and weaving a tale that will wow her readers in the latest book of the series.

Kerri Blasco is a fantastic character who has developed well through the books so far, she’s tough and hard working, determined to catch the killers that prey on innocent victims and never thinks twice about putting herself in harms way to ensure the safety of those around her.  This plays well into the hands of the serial killer she’s hunting in this case, his next target is her.

The plotting of this feels very current, the advancements of modern technology and social media make it easier for people to find out information about others and Schneider uses this to her advantage, highlighting vulnerabilities of her characters as well as giving the reader a chilling idea of how realistic this storyline could actually be.
Combined with the riveting plot are short and snappy chapters which keep the pace brisk and intense, making this a book to become utterly immersed in.  Red herrings and plethora of possible culprits keep readers guessing throughout this thrilling novel.  I’m loathe to say too much about the plot, it’s a book you really need to read without any spoilers from me!  I will say that the alternation between the investigation and the point of view of the killer is brilliant and had me sitting on the edge of me seat, frantically reading on to find out what happened next!

Although this is book three of a wonderful series, this can be read as a stand alone book, but I would definitely recommend reading the books in order.

Now I just need to sit patiently and hope for more Kerri Blasco……..

You can buy a copy of “Watching You” via:

Amazon

About the Author:

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J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek. Once a Liberal Arts major (French Literature), she has become increasingly fascinated with medicine, forensic science, and human psychology. Decades of being married to a physician who loves explaining medical concepts and reliving his experiences means that there’ll be medical angles even in “regular” thrillers that she writes. She lives with her family in Connecticut, USA.

Connect with Joyce:
Website: http://jaschneiderauthor.net
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5832782.J_A_Schneider
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoyceSchneider1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joyce.schneider.142?fref=ts


Check out the other stops on the blog tour!

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Published: 6 January 2017

Copy provided by HarperImpulse & Netgalley

 

Description:

Alice: Beautiful, kind, manipulative, liar.

Claire: Intelligent, loyal, paranoid, jealous.

Claire thinks Alice is a manipulative liar who is trying to steal her life.
Alice thinks Claire is jealous of her long-lost return and place in their family.

One of them is telling the truth. The other is a maniac.
Two sisters. One truth.

My Thoughts & Review:

Sue Fortin is a new author for me, so I had the luxury of starting this book with no idea of her style of writing (or skill!).  “Sister Sister” immediately caught my attention with such a short and intriguing description, and I loved that this was psychological thriller was rife with secrets, betrayal and intrigue.

Twenty years ago sisters Claire and Alice were separated, their father took Alice to America on a holiday and never returned.  During that time, Claire and her mother never stopped looking for Alice.  Finally, Alice makes contact with their mother and the family can reunite, but the passing of so many years means things aren’t the dream scenario that Claire might have hoped for.
Claire believes that something isn’t right about Alice,  but everyone is just glad to have her home and so brushes off Claire’s comments as jealousy and insecurity.  Determined to find out what is going on, Claire decides to dig into Alice’s private life.

The way in which Sue Fortin builds tension with this storyline is brilliant, keeping the reader on their toes and second guessing everything.  There’s a feeling of paranoia that emanates from this book, Claire is labelled as paranoid and in turn the reader begins to feel the tendrils of this crawling towards them.  Why is Claire acting to erratically?  Is she a reliable narrator?  Is she telling the truth?  As soon as the reader starts asking themself those questions you know it’s the sort of book that tries to play tricks on you and makes you question everything, adding to the tension perfectly.

A fantastic psychological thriller that had be guessing right up to the finale, and most of my guesses were completely wrong!  This book went in directions I didn’t think of and I absolutely loved it!

You can buy a copy of “Sister Sister” via Amazon here or via Wordery here.

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Published: 26 January 2017

 

Description:

A serial killer to chill your bones

A psychopath more frightening than Hannibal Lecter.

He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he’s just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family’s macabre museum.

Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt.

Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs.

What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey’s father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions.

Set in London’s Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge.

It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it’s also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost.

My Thoughts & Review:

I have to admit that I stumbled upon “Rattle” quite by accident on social media one day, lots of fellow book bloggers were chattering about an amazing psychological thriller that needed to be read and savoured – what more encouragement did I need to get reading?

Fiona Cummins is a new author to me, and so in this respect I had little idea what to expect when I picked up a copy of “Rattle”, but happily I was hooked from the opening pages.  The plot is intriguing and cleverly woven through the novel, there is a prevailing darkness that leeches from the pages of this book, making this an incredibly addictive and gripping read.

Because I hate giving spoilers I will avoid saying too much about the plot, but I will mention the Bone Collector.  The Bone Collector is a serial killer like no other I’ve had the ‘pleasure’ of encountering (perhaps not the best word to use but I will certainly give you an idea of the malevolence of this character).  He’s the sort of character you should only read about in daylight hours, sinister doesn’t begin to describe this psychopath.  Utterly terrifying and lacking in empathy as any decent psychopathic serial killer is, the reader is then given a glimpse into the mind of the Bone Collector through his thoughts – oh how I appreciate a well written killer.
All of the characters are interesting in their own respects and the way in which they are written makes the reader feel empathy towards their fates.

As far as thrillers go, this is definitely one that raises the bar.  Fiona Cummins has written an incredibly sinister debut that moves swiftly and enthrals the reader.  She introduces an unnerving antagonist that creeps out most readers, and creates a cast of characters that readers become so invested in that they are driven to keep reading despite the evil emanating from the Bone Collector.
The writing itself it atmospheric and the vivid descriptions make this book stand out for me.

You can buy a copy of Rattle via Amazon here or Wordery here

 

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

 

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Published: 24 November 2016

Copy provided by Authoright Marketing & Publicity 

 

Description:

A gripping mystery of jealousy, murder and lies.

An invitation to her estranged, wealthy father’s surprise 75th birthday party in New York sees Amelia and her husband, Jack, set off across the pond to meet a whole new world of family politics.

Amelia, now a successful businesswoman, feels guilty about never liking her father’s women, so does her upmost to give his new socialite partner, Evelyn, the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could just all get along? But there’s something very dark, determined and dangerous about her…

When Amelia’s father, Roger, becomes ill, Jack grows suspicious that there is more to it. Amelia understands why, but no one else will believe them. They travel back to America to piece together the puzzle, but when Roger goes missing, the couple are driven to their wits’ end. It takes a DEA officer and a secret assassin to bring them answers, but the ruthless truth is something no one expected…

My Thoughts & Review:

“Gilding the Lily” was a book I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of from the lovely Rachel at Authoright earlier this year when I helped out on the blog tour, but sadly, at the time I was so snowed under with my TBR (To Be Read) pile that this one slipped down the list and ended up being pushed into the next month for reading.  Thankfully, though I did find the time to read this one and I am so glad!

I tend to try and avoid reading too many reviews of a book before I read it, but I have to admit that after reading Janel’s (Keeper of Pages) review I just knew I had to read this book sooner rather than later.

This is one of those books that will catch you unawares, being a debut novel most readers will have no preconceived notions going into this book, no idea what to really expect and no way to imagine that the opening pages of this book will instantly grab their attention and set the cogs of their brain in motion.
When a thriller is a good as this, you don’t mind the slow pace of the novel, indeed it adds to the masterfully created suspense in a way and keeps the reader mesmerised.  Narrated through multiple viewpoint, the reader is privy to the intimate thinkings of the main characters which along with the twists and turns of the plot makes for great reading.

Justine John has the great skill of being able to create characters who are both likeable and utterly unlikeable, which thoroughly adds to the enjoyment of reading this novel.

A very impressive debut, and I cannot wait to see what Justine writes next!

You can buy a copy of “Gilding the Lily” via Amazon here or Wordery here

My thanks to Rachel Gilbey and Authoright for my copy of “Gilding the Lily” to read and review.

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Published: 9 February 2017
Reviewed: 4 February 2017

4 out of 5 stars

Copy provided by HQ & Netgalley

 

Description:

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

My Thoughts & Review:

After the success of “Behind Closed Doors”, B A Paris is back with another gripping thriller with opening scenes that will grab the reader and hold their attention from the outset.
In “The Breakdown” the reader is introduced to Cass, who takes a shortcut one night in a torrential downpour along a rural road and makes a decision that will have far reaching consequences for her.  Upon realising the car she saw in the woods the previous night had a woman who would be found murdered, she struggles with guilt, remorse, paranoia and suspicion.
What the author then does is cleverly draw the reader further in, detailing the downward spiral that Cass becomes entangled in, charting her grip on reality loosening to the point of desperation.  The way in which this is written is very powerful, evoking empathy from the reader but also sympathy towards Cass, the vivid descriptions of the emotions felt by Cass were powerful.

This is a very well plotted book, the tension builds to the point that readers will struggle to tear themselves away from what is happening, possibly reading into the small hours of the morning (yes I read past 2am with this one).  The characters in this are very well formed, and the reader cannot help but feel a connection with them.
There’s something sinister that lurks between the pages of this book, plenty of suspense and intrigue.

You can buy a copy of “The Breakdown” here.

 

About the Author:

B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, her debut novel. She was brought up in England and moved to France where she spent some years working in Finance before re-training as a teacher and setting up a language school with her husband. They still live in France and have five daughters. Her second novel, The Breakdown is out February 9th, 2017.

Follow B A on Twitter @BAParisAuthor

 

My thanks to HQ and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this title.

 

 

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Paperback Published: 26 January 2017
Reviewed 31 January 2017

5 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Bonnier Zaffre as part of blog tour

 

Description:

When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work. With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment. Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deep to stop the killing. And this time—it’s personal.

My Thoughts & Review:

“Evil Games” is definitely a book that has nothing to fear from the the curse of ‘second book syndrome’ – Angela Marsons absolutely marks her place amongst the greats of the police procedural/mystery/thriller genre with this one.

For those unfamiliar with the Kim Stone series, I would definitely recommend heading back to book 1, Silent Scream, to dive in to the whirlpool that is Kim Stone.  The plot is such that this can be read as a stand alone, enough information is given about previous cases so that you will have grasp of what has passed but why deprive yourself of this series?!

I’m not going to breakdown the plot here, but I will say that readers may feel some discomfort with some subjects in this book as they are of a sensitive nature – however Angela Marsons shows the utmost respect to her readers and subjects by handling these sensitively and ensures that any mention of abuse remains pivotal to the plot without becoming gratuitous.

As a character, Kim Stone is utterly complex and one a reader feels driven to find out more about.  She has a past that is kept well hidden, and slowly it’s being revealed, almost like peeling an onion.  Despite shedding a few layers, Marsons keeps her readers hooked by hinting there is more to her creation that she’s revealed.  The professional relationship between Stone and Bryant makes for great reading, they work well together and he seems to have figured out how to work alongside Stone to get the best from her.

Angela Marsons has to have one of the most wickedly twisted imaginations out there, creating such intricately evil characters, disturbingly haunting plots and characters that you either are cheering on or want to physically scream at.  It’s little wonder her books have sold in their millions and I can see why.  Each of the Kim Stone series is a book that is difficult to put down, you promise yourself ‘just one more chapter’ and before you know it, it’s the wee small hours of the morning and you’re still reading.  The pace of this book is frantic, and there are several points in the plot that catch you off guard.

The next book in the series is “Lost Girls”, the paperback is due out June 2017.

You can buy a copy of “Evil Games” in the UK here.

My thanks to Emily at Bonnier Zaffre for the opportunity to read this and be part of the blog tour.

About the Author:

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Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 8 books. The second, third and fourth books in the Kim Stone series, EVIL GAMES, LOST GIRLS and PLAY DEAD are also now available.

For more information about Angela Marsons and her books go to her website http://angelamarsons-books.com or follow her on Twitter @WriteAngie

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