Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘psychological thriller’ Category

I am so excited to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for “99 Red Balloons” by Elisabeth Carpenter (stop singing the 1980s pop song by Nena!) and share an extract from this gripping thriller!

Description:

51k0ivjf-0l-_sy346_

 

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

This is a gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist that will take your breath away.

You can buy a copy of “99 Red Balloons” via:

Amazon
Wordery
Book Depository


Extract: Chapter 20 p.105-107

The bingo restarts, but I still can’t concentrate. Without saying, Jim has taken over my next card. I look at him from the corner of my eye. He never was a looker, bless him, but he looks better now he’s older. What’s it they say about growing into your face? It must be the case with Jim. I think about what’s happened over the last couple of days and I don’t know what I’d have done without him.

‘Come on then, let’s get your winnings,’ he says.

‘They can’t have played three games already.’

‘They have indeed. You’re away with the fairies. But I don’t blame you. You’ve enough on your plate.’

Jim’s up and ready in seconds. He kept his coat on the whole time we’ve been here. He must have cold bones these days. He stands waiting, patiently. I know I’m being slow, but there’s something about that woman that unnerves me. I’m in no rush to get to her.

He almost drags me there; my feet are so heavy. She watches us while we walk and stands when we reach the table.

‘It’s nice to see you, Maggie.’

She holds out her hand. I’ve never seen her before in my life. Her hair is too dark for her age; she must dye it – there’s not a grey in sight. She’s wearing a velvet blouse in maroon that reminds me of my great-grandmother’s curtains.

‘Do you two know each other?’ asks Jim.

‘I’ve never met you before,’ I say to her.

‘Sorry about that, love,’ Jim says to the stranger. ‘Not one for niceties, isn’t Mags.’

‘That’s okay. Sorry,’ she says. ‘I could’ve sworn we’d met before.’

She sits back down. I look at the table and what I thought were playing cards have strange pictures on them, rimmed with gold.

‘I’ll just get your prize ready.’

She counts out five ten-pound notes and puts them in an envelope. Before she seals it, she puts in what looks like a business card. She looks up. ‘Just in case you need to contact me.’

I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous. Why would I need to contact her?

Jim rubs his hands, again. ‘I’m just off to the gents while we wait for the taxi. Won’t be a min.’

I want to follow him, but that would be a little undignified.

‘I’ll wait in reception,’ I say, trying not to look at her.

I only get a few feet away when I feel a hand grab my elbow.

‘Wait, Maggie.’

I turn slowly, knowing it’s her. ‘How do you know my name?’

She glances at the floor, before looking me straight in the eye.

‘I’m sorry,’ she says. ‘My name’s Dee. I remember you from years ago. When your poor granddaughter went missing.’

‘Right.’

I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before, but strangers haven’t approached me for years. I knew they meant well, but it was mortifying, heartbreaking. It was why we hardly went out.

‘I’d better be going,’ I say.

‘Maggie, please wait a minute.’

‘Hang on. Why do you keep calling me Maggie? I was always Margaret in the newspapers.’

She comes closer to me; I step back.

‘I know you probably think I’m insane – I get that a lot. But . . .’ She takes a few breaths and taps her chest. ‘Zoe’s still alive.’

 


I don’t know about you, but that’s got be seriously intrigued and desperate to know what happens next!

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour:

99 RB banner

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

41ubgq1v2vl-_sy346_

Published: 10 August 2017

 

Description:

How do you solve a murder when you can only remember yesterday?

There are two types of people in the world. Those who can only remember yesterday, and those who can also recall the day before.

You have just one lifeline to the past: your diary. Each night, you write down the things that matter. Each morning, your diary tells you where you were, who you loved and what you did.

Today, the police are at your door. They say that the body of your husband’s mistress has been found in the River Cam. They think your husband killed her two days ago.

Can you trust the police? Can you trust your husband? Can you trust yourself?

My Thoughts & Review:

The concept of this book is very intriguing and one that I was desperate to find out more about after reading such a fascinating blurb.  I did wonder whether I might struggle to get my head round the mono/duo concept, but found I accepted it unquestionably which meant I could get caught up in this deliciously clever thriller.

The idea that people can either remember the day before yesterday, or just yesterday is strangely interesting but at the same time could be fraught with danger.  Depending on how the characters record their thoughts and the events of the day in their diary means their memories may becomes skewed.  Some characters noting that because they perhaps did not keep a full detailed account of one day meant they had grey areas and could not be entirely certain about why something may have happened.  Which in turn made for some wonderful unreliable narration for readers to revel in.

There are characters are difficult to understand, granted when you are only seeing them through the eyes of another character the view is somewhat one sided.  I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of Mark, and as the plot progressed I found I was liking him less and less.  I wanted to try and understand Claire, but because it seemed that she wasn’t sure what memories she could trust or rely on what she had been told it left me feeling some sympathy towards her and wanting to find out what was being hidden and why  .  The very idea that none of the characters could really be relied upon or trusted to tell the truth makes this all the more thrilling to read.  The timescale element to the investigation turns this into a frantic page turner – the detectives trying to solve the case whilst the suspects can still remember the details without having to rely on their diary entries.

A very original plot, with superb writing and one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year, I cannot recommend it highly enough!

My thanks to the good folks at Wildfire Books for the opportunity to read this book.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

cover98524-medium

Published: 26 January 2017

Description:

She stole her husband. Now she wants to take her life.

After the horrors of the past, Louisa Williams is desperate to make a clean start. Her husband Sam is dead. Her children, too, are gone, victims of the car accident in which he died.

Sam said that she would never get away from him. That he would hound her to death if she tried to leave. Louisa never thought that he would want to harm their children though.

But then she never thought that he would betray her with a woman like Sophie. And now Sophie is determined to take all that Louisa has left. She wants to destroy her reputation and to take what she thinks is owed her – the life she would have had if Sam had lived.

Her husband’s lover wants to take her life. The only question is will Louisa let her?

My Thoughts & Review:

Her Husband’s Lover is a psychological thriller that deserves to be read with your full attention – turn off your mobile, unhook the landline, send everyone out of the house for the day and get comfy because this is a book that once started will draw you in and keep you reading all day.

Without regurgitating the plot, I will say that Crouch sets up the intensely twisting tale with a wonderful opening gambit – a woman frantically fleeing a pursuer, she is desperate, she is scared and is running for the freedom of herself and her children.  An opening like that instantly grabs the attention of the reader and draws then in.
Louisa does escape, but the subsequent crash is devastating for her, it claims the life of her children and the husband she had been fleeing.  And her injuries were so severe that she was comatose and then had to undergo intensive physio and psychotherapies as part of her recovery.  However her recovery is hampered somewhat by the vendetta of Sophie, the girlfriend of her late husband.  Sophie refuses to believe any of the “lies” that Louisa tells at the inquest about Sam, and the ruling that his death was not her fault is the catalyst for a dark and twisted quest for vengeance against Louisa.

Julia Crouch writes with a wonderful ability to get under the skin of her readers, her characters are superb creations that evoke great emotion from the captive audience.  She writes scenes that cause a reader to squirm uncomfortably but all the while they are powerless to put the book down, driven on by the urge to know what happens next.
Cleverly weaving narration by Louisa and Sophie that encompasses the past and the present, Crouch builds tension and suspense effortlessly.  This slow build allows for an incredibly powerful climactic ending that will stay with the reader after finishing.

You can pre-order a copy of My Husband’s Lover here.

Read Full Post »

41alswzs2el-_sx323_bo1204203200_

Published: 15 June 2017

Description:

A chilling, exquisitely written and evocative thriller set in the Lake District, centring on the obsessive relationship that develops between two writers…

Bo Luxton has it all – a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name.

Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend.

When they meet at a writers’ retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops… Or does it?

Breathlessly pacey, taut and terrifying, Exquisite is a startlingly original and unbalancing psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

My Thoughts & Review:

Never before has a book been so perfectly titled, the writing, the plotting, the characterisation, the setting are all utterly exquisite.  There is a raw intensity in this book that is so thought provoking and continuously challenges the reader.  I absolutely loved this book and devoured it in a day, it’s always a good sign with me when I cannot bear to put a book down.

The plot is so clever and so sinister.  All the time I was reading it I was mindful of the passages from the Women’s Prison in Yorkshire, wondering which of the characters had ended up there, guessing and second guessing after reading the chapters that followed.
I loved the way that the reader is left wondering which of the lead characters is the unreliable narrator, and by giving the reader Bo’s point of view initially,  Stovell has very cleverly set the groundwork for her masterful plan.   The flaws of both characters are laid bare for the reader to judge as they chose.  The juxtaposition of how fate plays out for both of these characters is almost poetic – both are from broken backgrounds, neither has a good relationship with their mother and indeed suffered directly and indirectly by their hands, and the psychology of it is well played out through the development of Bo and Alice.

The way that this leaves a reader feeling so disturbed whilst reading is key, it almost drives the reader on to find out if they are right, to see whether their suspicions are right, and the way in which it builds to the penultimate section, so intense and riveting, if readers can guess what is going to happen next I’d be amazed!  I didn’t see what was coming at all, and I’ve read many thrillers (too many in some cases!) but this caught me well and truly off guard and I absolutely loved it!

The descriptions of settings in this are perfection, having been to the Lakes many times I felt that the writing really conjured some amazing imagery in my head, the way in which Grasmere was described made me feel that I was transported to the village and was craving Grasmere gingerbread.
I have no doubt that this book will feature heavily in the top books of 2017  with many readers, and it absolutely deserves to!  A truly magnificent debut from a promising author, and quite possibly one of the finest thrillers I’ve read this year!
You can buy a copy of “Exquisite” via:
Follow the blog tour:
Exquisite blog tour poster (1)
orenda-header

Read Full Post »

TheRevelationRoom1

Published: 25 May 2017

Description:

Ben Whittle’s father, a private investigator, has been taken captive by a cult whilst investigating the case of a missing girl. When Ben receives a desperate call from his father asking for help he is drawn into a dark underground world.

As Ben retraces the last known steps of the missing girl he discovers his only option left is to join the cult and rescue his father from the inside.

The leader of the cult, Edward Ebb, is a psychopathic egocentric who uses his position to control his small group of followers in The Sons and Daughters of Salvation. When he initiates Ben into the group it soon becomes apparent how sick and twisted Ebb is.

Ben must find his father and the missing girl, but the odds are stacked against him and time is running out.

Can Ben rescue his father and the girl and escape with his life?
And what is the gruesome secret concealed in the Revelation Room?

The Revelation Room is the first in a new series of psychological mystery thrillers.

My Thoughts & Review:

“The Revelation Room” is the first book in the Ben Whittle series penned by Mark Tilbury and has recently been relaunched by the brilliant Bloodhound Books.  For those already familiar with Tilbury’s work this series will not disappoint, this is a gripping and highly enjoyable psychological thriller.

Ben Whittle’s father Geoff is a private investigator, and has been kidnapped by a dangerous cult called the Sons and Daughters of Salvation.  His only hope of survival is shy and unassuming Ben.  With the help of his friend Maddie, Ben hatches a plan to rescue his father,  but in order for the plan to work he and Maddie will have to infiltrate the cult.
The cult in question is under the control of Edward Ebb, a seriously evil character.  He is a psychopath  that uses his position to brainwash his followers and control them to do his bidding, the rules of the cult are simple, conform to the ways of the Sons and Daughters of Salvation or cease to exist.

Characterisation in this is superb, Ben is a great character that many readers will have a liking towards, his lack of confidence is endearing and seeing him confronting his fears makes for great character development.  His crush on Maddie helps drive him on, she is the embodiment of the confidence and bravery he doesn’t have.  Edward Ebb, is quite possibly one of the best evil characters I’ve read for a while, so disturbing and he left me with a sense of dread whenever he appeared (in a good way!).
Coupled with the foreboding darkness is some wonderful humour, I don’t quite know how Tilbury does it, but he masterfully offsets the grim and evil air in this book with some impressive dark humour that just tops this book off perfectly.

The pacing of “The Revelation Room” is akin to a whirlpool.  Once it’s grabbed hold of you there is no letting go, it’s a gripping read that I devoured quickly, I was so keen to find out what would happen next that I could not put it down.
Now on to book two of the series “The Eyes of The Accused”……

You can buy a copy of “The Revelation Room” via:

Amazon
Wordery
The Book Depository

My thanks to Mark Tilbury and Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to read this and take part in the blog tour.

Follow the blog tour – today over on Crime Book Junkie Noelle is hosting a chapter extract that I am sure will hook your interest!  Why not pop over and check it out!

Blog Tour(7)

Read Full Post »

51okudb0m5l-_sx322_bo1204203200_

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!

 

Night Visitor Blog Tour Poster

Read Full Post »

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!

Cover image

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:

unnamed1

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!

tour poster2

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

LIVE AND DEADLY

(Mostly) Fiction reviews with a crime slant

Clues and Reviews

A Blog For Book Lovers by A Book Lover!

the orang-utan librarian

welcome to the virtual library

TheCraftyLass

TheCraftyLass Goes Postal : sharing my love of all things bookish, crafty, geeky, cooking & snail mail

Cheryl M-M's Book Blog

What can I say? I just love books. Indie/self/trad published...I don't give two monkeys. My reviews are always my subjective and honest opinion. Nothing more and nothing less.

IFINDOUBTREAD

Don't Get Left On The Shelf

mybookishblogspot

Just books, more books and some other stuff too

booksaremycwtches

Reading takes me to other worlds. Other times and other places.

Sarah's Vignettes

Ramblings about books and life

bookboodle

Books & Bakes

Bits about Books - Caroline Vincent

| BOOK REVIEWS | BLOGGING | BLOG TOURS | SOCIAL MEDIA ADVICE & SERVICES |

Chat About Books

Book reviews, author interviews, blog tours..... since October 2015

What Cathy Read Next...

For book lovers everywhere

The Bibliophile Chronicles

Book reviews and more!

Mostly In Pyjamas

Life, mostly