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Archive for the ‘suspense’ Category

Good Girl Bad Girl


4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Kate at Authoright in return for an honest review as part of the blog tour


Description:

A stalker. A pact. And a deadly secret.
How far must Kal go to face the truth and find her missing mother?
A new, dangerous, psychological suspense thriller.
Kal is twenty-eight years old and she’s no fool, though sometimes she might pretend to be, because hiding her strengths is a great way to extract information.
An expert in psychology and skilled in reading other people and their behaviours, she first learnt her craft from her deceased father. He was a man with dark secrets.
When her journalist mother goes missing, Kal investigates. A shadow’s been stalking her family for three generations. Kal will uncover a child trafficking network and to find her mother, she must face her deepest suspicions and a dread she’s been avoiding all her life…
My Thoughts & Review:
As a freelance journalist working in dangerous and hostile environments, it takes a lot to raise the suspicions of Kal Medi.  So when her mother Alesha phones her whilst on assignment on the other side of the globe to drop everything to assist her with a project, Kal suspects nothing untoward, and assures  Alesha she will come back.  
The next call Kal receives is from Alesha’s best friend, in a panic because Alesha has disappeared.  Knowing that something is not right, Kal heads home to investigate.  Seeing nothing out of place in her mother’s home, Kal’s attention is piqued by a threatening note left in plain sight, why did her mother leave this lying?  And more importantly, what could this signify?   The notes are a common occurrence for her family, both her grandmother and mother have been recipients of these but always destroyed them whilst brushing off Kal’s curiosities.    
Kal turns detective, determined to find out what has happened to Alesha, but with no idea where to start she visits her grandmother Nannie to break the news and to find out what she knows about the letters.  
Travelling to India leads Kal to the most earth shattering discoveries.  When she realises the depths of the corruption and perversion involved, she knows she must do all she can to stop those involved.
Experienced in martial arts, expert in psychology and a skilled people watcher, Kal Medi is an interesting character.  The crafting of this character has been so cleverly done – a strong and independent woman because of her childhood.  Her unorthodox “training” with her father gave her the tools to succeed in life but also made her deeply mistrusting of people to the point she is alone.  
The supporting characters balance out Kal’s personality well, her best friend Marty and new friend LeeMing add a calm and balance to her arguments for action, more than once their collective sense prevailing to keep Kal safe.  Nannie is a wonderful character, her good days are a delight to read, the advice she gives to Kal reminds me of my own grandmother, insightful and just the right amount of verbal kick up the rear end.  

Girdharry demonstrates superb writing in this book, her attention to detail is second to none.  The reader can feel the intensity of the situations Kal finds herself in, envision the sights of India and the children, and experience the frustration Kal feels searching for Alesha.
  
Due to the disturbing nature of some aspects of this book, I would urge caution to some readers, especially younger ones.  This can be an uncomfortable read, reference to child trafficking and abuse are not subjects that everyone is comfortable reading about.  
That said, this is gripping read, fraught with tension, intrigue and danger.  Very cleverly written, the pace was slow to begin with but once it picked up, there was no holding back, “just one more chapter before bed” wasn’t even uttered….I read this in one sitting, it had me hooked.
You can buy a copy of Good Girl Bad Girl here.  
 
About The Author:

Born and educated in the UK, Ann Girdharry is a trained psychotherapist and has worked as a manager in the not-for- profit sector for many years for agencies working with: carers, vulnerable older people and those with dementia, survivors of abuse, and victims of racism and racial attacks. 
Today she lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children. As well as her passion for writing, Ann enjoys gardening and is a member of her local rollerblading club. 
Ann has previously published a series of short stories called Tales of the Unexpected (2015-2016). 
Her début novel, and the first in the Kal Medi series, Good Girl Bad Girl by Ann Girdharry (published by CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing 23rd August 2016 RRP £8.99 paperback, £3.99 ebook) is available to purchase from online retailers including amazon.co.uk and to order from all good bookstores.
For more information about Ann Girdharry, go to www.girdharry.com or follow her on Twitter at @GirdharryAnn

 

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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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Breakdown

Author: Jonathan Kellerman
Published: 2 February 2016
Reviewed: 12 April 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy supplied by Headline in return for an honest review

4 out of 5 Stars

 



Description: 

You can buy a copy of Breakdown here. 

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The Bitter Season

Author: Tami Hoag
Published: 10 March 2016
Reviewed: 18 March 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy supplied by Orion Publishing Group in return for an honest review

4 out of 5 Stars

 



Description: 


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Mrs. John Doe

Author: Tom Savage
Published: 06 October 2015
Reviewed: 18 February 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy supplied by Random House Publishing in return for an honest review

5 out of 5 Stars

 



Description: 

Nora Baron’s life is perfect. She lives on Long Island Sound, teaches acting at a local university, and has a loving family. Then one phone call changes everything. She’s informed that her husband, Jeff, has died in a car crash while on a business trip in England. Nora flies to London to identify the body, which the police have listed as a “John Doe.” When she leaves the morgue, a man tries to steal her purse containing Jeff’s personal effects. Clearly, all is not as it seems.
At her hotel, Nora receives a cryptic message that leaves her with more questions than answers. She follows the message’s instructions to France, where a fatal encounter transforms her into a fugitive. Wanted for murder, on the run in a shadowy landscape of lies, secrets, and sudden violence, Mrs. “John Doe” must play the role of a lifetime to stay one step ahead of a ruthless enemy with deadly plans for her—and for the world.

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Dead Secret

 

Author: Ava McCarthy
Published: 14 January 2016
Reviewed: 21 January 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by HarperCollins UK in return for an honest review.

  4 out of 5 stars  

 

In Part 1 of this book Jodie has lost everything that ever mattered to her, her daughter, her will to go on, and her love for her husband.  Now she plans to break free from it all, she’s loaded a gun and plans to shoot her husband Ethan and then herself.
To the casual observer, Ethan is a suave, sophisticated lawyer, but to those that know him like Jodie, he‘s a clever tyrant, a cruel manipulator and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.  So when Jodie asks for a divorce and tells him she wants to leave, Ethan tortures Jodie with the ultimate punishment, he takes her daughter away from her by murder. 

Part 2 opens with Jodie in prison, her murder/suicide plan failed, she‘s still alive, but Ethan is dead, and her daughter is still dead.  Struggling to cope without her daughter, Jodie makes plans to end her sufferance, but fate has other plans, suicide watch and caring cellmates thwart her plans all too often.  Then along comes Novak,a reporter, he hounds her for an interview and finally she gives in.  The information that he has for her shakes her to her very core, did she really know so little about her husband?!

As always, I don’t want to say much more about the plot and risk ruining anything for readers, but suffice to say, this book will have you turning pages so fast you’ll think it was an exercise in speed reading!   

Jodie begins as quite a “wishy washy” character, understandable when you consider the trauma she has gone through, the abuse she has suffered at the hands of her husband, and the fact that her life before him was all about searching for where she came from.  She turns into a strong willed, feisty heroine determined to right the wrongs of her situation, a character you feel compelled to cheer on, and hope there’s a happy ending for.  

There are themes in this book that some readers might find a little distressing to read, historic abuse of children is a key theme in the plot of this book and it is handled well.  Each character that encountered it tells their story from their own pained experiences, but doing so in a way that makes you understand why they became who they are.  

This is a well written thriller, the pace was slow at times but when it picked up it really just took off, the physical descriptions of characters and settings were excellent, it was very easy to imagine the haunted look to Jodie from Part 2 onwards in the book, the blizzard settings and the opulent hotel detailed in the book.    
Plenty of twists and turns ensure you will struggle to put this book down, some are predictable, but I’m happy to say that the ending is not something you want to guess ahead, it’s almost impossible to have guessed that’s where McCarthy would take it, but they way it’s written is fantastic, I didn’t see it coming and I’m certain most people wouldn’t.  

I’d be more than happy to recommend this book to fans of thriller, mystery, suspense genres, but would remind them that if they are likely to be disturbed by the abuse element then this book might not be for them.  


I would like to thank HarperCollins UK for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 14th January 2016, a copy can be purchased here Dead Secret (UK Kindle Version)

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The Darkest Secret

 

Author: Alex Marwood
Published: 07 January 2016
Reviewed: 26 December 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Little, Brown Book Group UK in return for an honest review.

  5 out of 5 stars  

 

Apologies for the general email, but I desperately need your help.
My goddaughter, Coco Jackson, disappeared from her family’s holiday home in Bournemouth on the night of Sunday/Monday August 29/30th, the bank holiday weekend just gone. Coco is three years old.

When identical twin Coco goes missing during a family celebration, there is a media frenzy. Her parents are rich and influential, as are the friends they were with at their holiday home by the sea.

But what really happened to Coco?

Over two intense weekends – the first when Coco goes missing and the second twelve years later at the funeral of her father – the darkest of secrets will gradually be revealed…

   

2004 – Claire and Sean Jackson head off to Bournemouth for Sean’s 50th birthday, they plan to throw a lavish party with a select group of Sean’s friends to celebrate, but Sean’s friends have no intention of wasting their weekend looking after their own children, there is drinking to be done and fun to be had, and the nanny leaving is an inconvenience they can well do without.  But thank goodness for teenage Simone, her offers to watch the children at night are greatly appreciated and it means the adults can have their fun.    

Twelve years later – The death of Sean Jackson reawakens the interest in Coco’s disappearance, and for his remaining daughters it brings new questions, especially from Ruby, Coco’s twin sister.  When Mila (Camilla) agrees to take her to the funeral, she doesn’t realise that Ruby will have so many questions about what happened that weekend, who was there, what happened to her twin sister, what was their dad really like being some of the more tricky to answer.  
As the two sisters bond over the realisations they have more in common than they first imagined, the narrative weaves back to the weekend where it all went wrong for the Jackson family.  
Interestingly though, the story from the time of Coco’s disappearance is told by more than one character, there is narrative by Claire, Sean, Simone and Maria – who all play a huge part in the events leading up to the disappearance as well as the aftermath.  It gives a more rounded idea of what everyone was thinking around that time and how their views of events differed. 

There are so many things I could say about the plot of this book, there are so many twists to the story but it would give away too much for other readers and this is one book you really don’t want spoiled.  

The characters are well thought out, they are engaging and interesting, physical descriptions are detailed to a great level, even going so far as to describe how a teenage girl can be somehow horse like ‘clopping’ into a room.  The despair that Claire felt at the disappearance of her daughter was gripping to read, creating a shrine to her lost child and her OCD tendencies really emphasised her need to control the things she could to ensure the safety of her remaining child.  But also the dislike I felt towards Simone, she was a strange character and not the most likeable, for me this was a demonstration of Marwood’s skill as a writer, enough detail was given to make a decision about this character, but there were just too many little niggles about Simone for me to like her – she was “odd”.  

The ending of the book was definitely a shocker.  I had unknowingly guessed at a version of the ending but to then read it brought a moment of “oh my goodness, how could they?!”
Despite the ending leaving me momentarily lost for words it was superbly written and done in such a way that it did leave my mind reeling slightly.  When the conclusion of a book stays with you for a day or two afterwards you know it’s a good book and this is definitely right up there with the greats.

I was a little surprised that there didn’t seem to be much made of Sean’s death and funeral, his death was far from usual, but I suppose it did further emphasise the enigmatic nature of the character.  He was a habitual adulterer, despite having a wife that adored him (his fourth wife), he still entertained lovers and dabbled in illicit substances, and definitely not acting as a man in his 60s.  I had wondered if there were suspicious or sinister circumstances involved in his death, nothing was specifically mentioned but once you reach the final twist to the plot you might see why I thought this way.  


This is a cleverly written piece of fiction, Marwood builds suspense fantastically throughout, the claustrophobic nature of the story means you really don’t want to put it down, you need to find out what happened to Coco, you need to know who holds the darkest secret and see the desperate lengths they will go to to keep it hidden.   I really enjoyed this book, and will definitely be looking for more books from Alex Marwood in the future. 

I would have no hesitation to recommend this to fans of Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense and Crime genres.  

I would like to thank Little, Brown Book Group UK for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 7th January 2016, a copy can be purchased here The Darkest Secret (UK Kindle Version).

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Stasi Child

Author : David Young
Published: 01 October 2015
Reviewed: 27 September 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Bonnier Publishing in return for an honest review via NetGalley.

 

  5 out of 5 stars



East Berlin, 1975

When Oberleutnant Karin Müller is called to investigate a teenage girl’s body at the foot of the Wall, she imagines she’s seen it all before. But when she arrives she realises this is a death like no other: it seems the girl was trying to escape – but from the West.

Müller is a member of the People’s Police, but in East Germany her power only stretches so far. The Stasi want her to discover the identity of the girl, but assure her the case is otherwise closed – and strongly discourage her asking questions.

The evidence doesn’t add up, and Müller soon realises the crime scene has been staged. But this is not a regime that tolerates a curious mind, and Müller doesn’t realise that the trail she’s following will lead her dangerously close to home .

Karin Müller wakes up to a mistake, not realising that this will set the tone for the next few weeks of her life.  A body has been discovered, and the Stasi want her involvement with the investigation, why she does not know, but there’s something about this case that drives her to need the answers to some important questions.  Who was this teenage girl?  Why was she escaping from the West?  What could the Stasi need from her on the case?  And why is her personal life falling to pieces?
Müller and her deputy Tilsner are on a tight leash, the Stasi operative has set strict parameters for their involvement with the case, find out who the identity of the body, nothing else.  But Müller is not so easily deterred, after the post mortem, she is more determined to find out who the murderer is, unaware of how dangerous it could be for her and Tilsner.  

The political minefield that the characters must wade through is intense, who can they trust; Can she trust her superiors?  Can Müller even trust her deputy? 

As the plot, and sub plot twist and turn you feel yourself drawn in, desperately trying to guess ahead what might happen, and how it all links together.  Desperately trying not to say any more about the plot, it would give too much away and ruin it for other readers, but I will say that this is a gripping read, don’t read it at bedtime, or you may fall into the same trap as me..”just one more chapter then I’ll go to sleep….oh hold on, this is getting interesting, just another chapter….”

The use of German language in this novel is good, it adds an authenticity to the text, as well as had me enjoying using my long forgotten German to translate words before reading on.   
The descriptions of the settings are superb, a lot of attention to detail has been made, this is a cleverly complicated novel, but not one that’s difficult to follow.  
For a debut novel this is an incredibly high standard for Young to follow, and I really do hope that the next Karin Müller is out soon!  

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, and Historical genres, especially books set during the time of the Berlin Wall,  

I would like to thank Bonnier Publishing for the copy of this novel in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book will be published on 1st October 2015 .  A copy can be purchased here Stasi Child (Kindle UK Version)
 

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Hanover House

Author : Brenda Novak
Published: 01 September 2015
Reviewed: 02 September 2015

What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Brenda Novak in return for an honest review via NetGalley.

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

Welcome to Hanover House….

Psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot has dedicated her life to solving the mysteries of the antisocial mind. Why do psychopaths act as they do? How do they come to be? Why don’t they feel any remorse for the suffering they cause? And are there better ways of spotting and stopping them? 

After having been kidnapped, tortured and left for dead when she was just a teenager—by her high school boyfriend—she’s determined to understand how someone she trusted so much could turn on her. So she’s established a revolutionary new medical health center in the remote town of Hilltop, Alaska, where she studies the worst of the worst. 

But not everyone in Hilltop is excited to have Hanover House and its many serial killers in the area. Alaskan State Trooper, Sergeant Amarok, is one of them. And yet he can’t help feeling bad about what Evelyn has been through. He’s even attracted to her. Which is partly why he worries.

He knows what could happen if one little thing goes wrong…

It’s important to note that this is a prequel to Brenda Novak’s suspense series based around Dr. Evelyn Talbot, a renowned psychiatrist in the field of psychopathology and her “baby”, Hanover House.  
Hanover House is a facility built to house some of the most depraved and interesting murderers in America, where Dr. Evelyn Talbot plans to study their speech and body language to understand them better.   

Dr. Evelyn Talbot, herself a survivor of a brutal attack, carries with her both the physical and mental scars of her troubled past.  This makes it hard for her to have a “normal” life in many aspects, making the encounters with the charming Alaskan State Trooper Sergeant Amarock difficult for them both but frustrating for the reader.  It’s not going to be all psychopaths and snowmen for Evelyn in Alaska, someone from her past is desperate to catch up and share a furture with her, albeit a short one.  I am conscious about adding too much detail, I don’t want to ruin the suspense or enjoyment for other readers, but suffice to say this is definitely a page turner!

Perhaps because this is a prequel to what sounds like an interesting series, there is a hurried feel to the story and the relationships between the characters.  The need to set the scene and introduce the reader to the main characters and plot makes this novella “jam packed” with information and the pace is constant, thankfully it was a electronic copy I had, otherwise I’d have had paper cuts turning the pages to fast!

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Mystery and Thriller (and there’s touches of Romance) genres.

I would like to thank Brenda Novak for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 1st September 2015.  A copy can be purchased here Hanover House (UK Kindle Version)
 

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