I See You by Clare Mackintosh

I see youZoe Walker is an “everyone”, as in the same as everyone else.  She gets up, goes to a job that isn’t particularly fulfilling but pays the bills, takes care of her kids (now teens / young adults) and tries to find time to cook tea after long days commuting back and forth on the tube to work.

It’s whilst she’s commuting that she picks up a copy of the Gazette and, flicking to the classifieds, sees a photo of herself with nothing more than a phone number and a web address.  To say it unnerves her is an understatement.

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

lying gameEven though, in the grand scheme of things, The Lying Game hasn’t been out that long (six months?), it is one of those books that I felt like I had waited way too long to read when I picked it up.  I really enjoyed Ware’s other books and I really wanted to read this one, which, from the blurb and the opening pages, promised to be another winner.

It’s early morning when Isabel gets a text from a childhood friend saying “I need you”.  She knows straight away she will go, taking her young daughter with her, as will the other friends who have received the text, because they and the sender share a secret that might just be coming back to haunt them all. 

White Bodies by Jane Robins

white bodiesWhen Callie gets invited to her sister Tilda’s flat to watch a movie, it turns out it’s also to meet Tilda’s new boyfriend – Felix.  He is handsome, charming, successful, and a little bit odd.

For Felix, control, order and structure are everything it seems – so much so he redecorates Tilda’s apartment so that it is all white walls and clean lines.

Suddenly, Callie’s chaotic, brightly coloured and oh so much alive sister, seems to be disappearing.  And Callie is worried, especially when she sees bruises on Tilda’s arms and can’t get her sister to talk to her.

Convinced Felix is bad for Tilda, Callie starts digging, into his past and his personality and alienating the couple as a result.  Thankfully, Callie has her online friends to help her though.  That is if they are friends and if none of what she is seeing doesn’t have a perfectly reasonable explanation.

Stacking Shelves: 18th November, 2017

STSsmallOnce again, I’m joining in with Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality for Stacking Shelves, where you share the real and virtual books you have added to your shelves in the last week.

Over the last fee weeks, I have been working really hard to catch up on my reviews of ARCs, which I have finally done.  I have nothing overdue (yay!).  Which meant I felt perfectly justified in requested more books from Netgalley this week… 

The Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin

imageThe Birthday Girl is one of those books that is hard to review because, once you get past the initial idea, there are too many secrets and too many twists and turns – making the risk of spoilers just too great.

So, what can I tell you about it? It starts with an invite, three friends (Carys, Zoe, and Andrea) being invited by a fourth (Joanne) to go away from the weekend to celebrate Joanne’s 40th birthday; as it’s Carys’ too, they can celebrate that as well.

What could sound better? Well, for Carys, pretty much anything as she and Joanne aren’t on the best of terms – though it isn’t clear why at first – and neither, it turns out are Joanne and Andrea. In fact, Zoe, is the only one who seems to be getting along with everyone and excited for the weekend. 

Lie to Me by J. T. Ellison

Lie to MeWhen Ethan Montclair wakes up one morning to find a note from his wife Sutton saying that she is leaving and for him not to look for her, he swings from disbelief to anger to fear – for her (she has been suffering from depression) and for him (what will people think?).

He calls round her friends then a lawyer before finally calling the police, who immediately start to question Ethan’s version of his supposedly perfect life – especially when Sutton’s friends suggest that things were not quite as good as they might have seemed.

As the questions start to mount up the lies start to unravelling.  The friends were right and Ethan slowly begins to reveal the truth – or at least his version of it.  And that is what makes this book so good.  Nothing is as it seems – no one is who them seem.  For a woman (me) who likes an unreliable narrator, this book is a perfect fit.

Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall

29603168

Don’t. Trust. Anyone.

It was supposed to be a fresh start.

A chance to forget the past and embrace the future.

But can you ever really start again?

Or does the past follow you wherever you go…

When Steph and her husband Mark move to their new house it’s also for a new start.  Pregnant with their second child they are trying to rebuild their marriage after a number of rocky years.  Steph had post-natal depression after the birth of her son, Henry, and Mark responded by having an affair.  Now he promises it is over and things will change.  Only Steph isn’t so sure, especially when Mark up and leaves her for months to work abroad.

Once he is gone, she is left alone with her increasingly negative thoughts and with only her two neighbours, Lila (who reminds her of her best friend living in New York) and Laurence (who she is more than a bit attracted to).  Both seem perfect, friendly, and want to be helpful.  And both seem to be around just when she needs them.

And she needs them a lot because not long after Mark leaves, bouquets of dead flowers start to arrive on her front step, leaving Steph in no doubt her past has caught up with her. The problem is no one else seems to believe her, especially as her behaviour becomes more erratic and she becomes more paranoid.  And that’s because it’s happened before, after Henry was born.

The problem for me was that no one believed her.  Not one person tried to help till the very last pages and when they did she turned them away. And when they didn’t believe her, she didn’t do anything about it but write in her diary.  She didn’t go to the police with her evidence.  Didn’t try to investigate.  Didn’t wonder why her neighbours were there just when she needed them.  And didn’t try to get away.  Half way through this book I wanted to shake Steph and tell her to wake up and see what was happening because to me, as a reader, it was obvious.  By the end I had given up.

I really wanted to like this book.  I’d read some great reviews.  They nearly all included comments about a surprise ending and, I suppose, for this style of book, it was different.  It did leave things open and left you wondering what would happen next.  I can actually see it making a great TV show with a cliff hanger to lead you into season two.  For me, though, it just didn’t do it for me.  I do think it was well written and the characters well drawn but I couldn’t suspend disbelief in the story long enough to really enjoy it.  A shame really but, in the end, whilst I liked this book I can’t say I loved it – sorry!

Emma