Little Liar by Lisa Ballantyne

Little Liar Lisa BallantyneNick Dean loves his family.  He has gorgeous wife and two beautiful young children.  Life couldn’t be better – until it couldn’t get any worse.  An acting coach who specialises in working with teenagers, one of his students has accused him of abuse.  And everyone believes her, even – eventually – his wife.  Nick swears he’s innocent but it seems that, despite there being no evidence, he is considered guilty until proved innocent.

Angela, Nick’s accuser, loves her family too, they just don’t make her happy.  Her parents are divorced and she is struggling to cope with the break up.  She’s eating too much and unhappy with how she looks.  Kids at school pick on her and she reacts by striking out.  The police look at her and see a vulnerable child very much at risk of being abused.  She is believed immediately, as she should be, but then – after her first statement – refused to say more.

The Guilty Dead by P J Tracy (Monkeewrench #9)

The Guilty Dead P J TracyA year after the death of his son, wealthy businessman Gregory Norwood is found dead in his study from what looks like a self-inflicted gunshot.

Despite all signs pointing to suicide, however, when Detectives Gino and Magozzi arrive at the scene, they aren’t so sure.  Everything is a little too perfect.  Plus, there’s the small fact of the blood they’ve found on the patio, blood which definitely doesn’t belong to Norwood.

So starts the latest wonderfully twist-y and turn-y outing for some of my favourite policemen and the Monkeewrench team, a group of hackers always skirting just on the right side of legal.

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

when the lights go outWhen Jessie wakes up to find her mom has died she isn’t surprised (they have spent the last few days in a hospital room and her mom has cancer), she is – however – devastated that she didn’t get to spend her mom’s last few moments with her.

She isn’t sure she can sleep again, and she doesn’t.  Instead, she spends the next ten days becoming increasingly frantic as she tries to unpick her mom’s last words to her and understand why, when she tries to go through her mom’s paperwork, she can’t find any evidence she has ever existing.

The more tired she becomes, the more difficult it is for her to work out what is real and what isn’t, meaning it’s the same for you as a reader.  It’s all very confusing, and not – I’m afraid – always in a good way, as least not for me.

I am sad to say that this is the first Mary Kubica book I haven’t absolutely loved. First up, there is story which is told through Jessie’s eyes and those of her mom. I really enjoyed her mom’s chapters, which I found intriguing and held great promise. Jessie’s frantic nature grated on me a fair bit and I struggled to make sense of it. Then, about halfway through, I figured it out and hoped that I wasn’t right because it made the ending seem like such a cop out.

I really wanted more, a tale with the type of twist I have come to expect from Kubica and characters I found compelling. And I did get that, I guess, just only half the time. It’s a shame and I have a feeling I might be in the majority here but this book just wasn’t for me. Sorry!

About the book…

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 23rd August, 2018

Genre: psychological thriller

Rating: 3 out of 5

Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.

Perfect Silence by Helen Fields

A69ACB72-FE0F-463B-B2DF-DFFBBF740CAAOn a dark night on a lonely road to the West of Edinburgh, a young woman crawls along the road, clinging to life and the hope she’ll be saved by a passing stranger. A chilling scene to open a chilling book, one that made me squirm more than once as I read about a series of young women brutually murdered while two of my favourite detectives, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner, struggled to make sense of it all and find the killer.

At the same time, homeless people across the city are being attacked. Their faces are being cut by an unknown assailant, taking advantage of their isolation  and addiction to Spice, a legal high that is pretty nasty. It’s a case that falls to Ava’s team too when links are drawn between the victims and makes for a lovely, complicated, plot.

I love this series, and have since picking up the first book, Perfect Remains, at my local library based purely on the cover (yes, I’m shallow, I know!). I just wish I could say more about the book but I can’t because to do so would mean to give away the twists and turns that make Fields’ books so good. You never quite no where you are going and where you are going to end up.

What I do know, is that – along the way – I’ll be treated to a gripping plot and well drawn characters that draw me into the book completely. And the characters just get better and more well rounded with each book. I love Luc and Ava’s relationship and could happily read about them for hours. If I got bored, there are plenty of other secondary characters to keep me interested, all just as real as the main characters, as well as the city of Edinburgh itself, which has thankfully never seemed quite as deadly when I’ve visited.

If you haven’t read this series, I can highly recommend it. If you have, hopefully you’ll enjoy this latest outing as much as I have.

Emma x

Publisher: Avon

Publication Date: 23 August, 2018

Number of Pages: 432

Genre: Crime, Police Procedural

Rating: 5 out of 5

Find on: Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US

Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas

Do Not Disturb Claire Douglas.jpgKirsty and Adrian need a break. He’s been suffering from severe depression and their whole family have been suffering as a result, walking on eggshells and watching him like a hawk.

Leaving London and starting a B&B might not be everyone’s idea of a break, but it’s theirs – a long held dream they can’t resist when a house comes on the market in a small Welsh town. So, with the help of Kirsty’s mother, they move in and welcome their first guests.

Any hope of a successful first few weeks are shattered however when Kirsty’s cousin and niece arrive, fleeing an abusive husband, and then her cousin (Selena) ends up dead. There’s no spoiler here as it happens in the first few pages. What happens next though is one of those stories it’s hard to describe without giving anything away.

11 Missed Calls by Elisabeth Carpenter

11 Missed Calls Elizabeth Carpenter1986.  On a cliff top in Tenerife, a young mother stands wondering if she should jump.  Everything is a mess and she doesn’t know how to fix things.  Then there’s a noise behind her and she turns, “it’s you,” she says.

Thirty years later, the young mother’s daughter – Anna – still hasn’t got over the fact she was abandoned as a baby.  Despite her father remarrying (her mother’s best friend, adding a nice complication to the story) and being a mother herself, life just feels hard.

The Death Knock by Elodie Harper

The Death Knock.pngThe idea of being trapped in a confined space terrifies me.  It’s one of my worst fears.  And it’s one of the things I like to read about least.  Which made me wonder when I read the opening to The Death Knock just what I was letting myself in for.

Ava is a young woman, alone, scared and confused.  She has no idea how she got into the wooden box she now fines herself trapped in and, when her captor finally lets her out, how she will escape the small room he keeps her locked in, especially when he tells her about the other women who have already been in her shoes.  

Murder in Slow Motion by Rebecca Muddiman

Murder in Slow Motion Rebecca MuddimanWhen Andrew’s girlfriend, Katy, hears a violent argument between her neighbours, she can’t sleep. The next day, she goes round to check on them…and disappears.  Andrew is frantic and the police, led by DS Freeman, are more than a bit confused.  There is blood but no body and Andrew’s story just doesn’t stack up.

Then there’s the added problem that the neighbours have gone missing too – and one of them is a member of Freeman’s own team – Dawn Lawton, a great twist that made me sit up and take notice.

Along with her boss, DI Gardner, Freeman needs to find Lawton, find Katy and find out the truth about just what happened.

Her Watchful Eye by Julie Corbin

her watchful eye julie corbinI don’t like CCTV cameras at the best of times – they always make me feel more versus less wary when I’m out.  Having read Her Watchful Eye, I’m now even more convinced I would get rid of them all if I had a chance.  Mainly because Ruby – one of the main characters in Julie Corbin’s new book – uses them to spy on her a young woman rather when she should be using them to prevent crime.

I get why she does it and I sort of don’t blame her.  But at the same time it’s pretty creepy.  It’s how Hannah (the young woman being spied on) feels when she finds out, though her reaction is not quite what you might expect. 

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

 

The Death of Mrs Westaway Ruth Ware

When Harriet, or Hal as she’s known, receives a letter from a solicitor to let her know that her grandmother has died and left her an inheritance she doesn’t know what to think – mainly because her mother’s parents, the only grandparents she knew, died years before, leaving her and her mother with nothing.

On any other day, Hal would have called the solicitor and told him he was mistaken.  But this isn’t any other day.  It’s the day the loan shark she borrowed money from to pay the bills breaks into her flat and threatens her.  It’s the day she feels broken and beaten down by life. So, it becomes the day she decides to pretend to be someone else.