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.

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

marriage pact

The Marriage Pact was not a book that first appealed to me if I’m honest.  In theory it should have been right up my street, a psychological thriller where a young, newly married couple, find themselves in trouble with a group of mysterious, powerful, strangers.  But it also sounded a little silly and I wasn’t sure if I would like it.  Then I read a batch of good reviews and decided to give it a go.

Was it worth it?  Yes, on balance, definitely.  BUT you do need to be able to suspend belief because the story is all a bit silly and far-fetched.  It doesn’t start out that way but – by the end – the situations Jake and Alice find themselves in get increasingly unbelievable.  Perhaps, if they had been in some dystopian future they wouldn’t have been but, for something set in the here and now, I couldn’t quite see it myself.

Saying that though, there was a lot to recommend this book.  Michelle Richmond sets a great scene and managed to draw me in enough at the beginning that I found myself turning pages till the very end, staying up late into the night to finish the book, despite my not quite falling for the plot.  The central characters, Jake and Alice were a big part of that – they were complex and complicated and, as everything was told from Jake’s point of view, I could never be quite sure who Alice was and what she was thinking; this mean the final twist at the end did have me guessing as to which was she would fall.  It didn’t go as I expected but there is nothing wrong with that.  A story that can leave me saying I didn’t see something coming is always a good thing in my book.

So, a mixed bag, but not a bad one at all.  Would I recommend the book? Yes, I would but with the proviso to leave any need for a plot without holes or leaps of logic at the door.  Still, an enjoyable, fast paced, and fun read.

Emma x

About the book…

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact, and most of its rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples–and then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life, and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Penguin UK – Michael Joseph
Number of Pages: 415
Publication Date: 14th December, 2017 (paperback)
Rating: 3.75 / 5

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Beneath The Skin by Caroline England

imageBeneath the Skin is one of those books that had made it on to my TBR but which, when I came across a copy at the library, I couldn’t for the life of me remember why (please tell me I’m not the only one with that problem).  Beyond the title, it rang no bells.

Still, I knew it was on the list of books I wanted to read and I knew I had heard good things at some point so I picked it up and settled down to read.

At first, and partly based on the blurb, I thought I was settling into to read a psychological thriller, one of those books where – thanks to secrets being kept – a young woman finds herself in danger.

Killman Creek by Rachel Caine

Killman CreekIn the second book of the Stillhouse Lake series, we are a few months on from the end of the last book, with Gwen and her kids (Lanny and Connor) on the run from her ex-husband Melvin, a serial killer who is pure evil.  He has escaped from prison and seems to have one objective, to get Gwen.

Tired of hiding, Gwen makes a decision.  Along with her friend Sam (whose sister, Melvin murdered) she is going to go on the offensive.  Leaving her kids with friends, she heads out, determined to find Melvin and end things once and for all.

Finding him, though, proves more difficult than they might have thought, with the trail leading them across country and into some dangerous situations with men you wouldn’t want to cross on a good day.  It means a tense story, one with twists, turns and “I didn’t see that coming” moments.  I loved this bit of the book.

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots by Sarah-Beth Watkins

Margaret TudorMargaret Tudor was the oldest sister of Henry VIII and the wife of James IV of Scotland.  For someone who is more than a bit fascinated by the Tudors, I realised on seeing this book up for review, I knew nothing about her – something I immediately felt the need to rectify.

What I found was a woman who seemed to be passionate, determined, and unable to not make the wrong choices (so when her husband died, his will said that she would be regent for their baby son as long as she didn’t remarry – which is what she went and did pretty much straight away, spending the next decade then fighting for her right to rule and to see her son).