Untouchable by Sibel Hodge

Untouchable Sibel HodgeWhen Maya gets home from work on the night of her and her boyfriend Jamie’s second anniversary, she is almost bouncing off the walls, convinced that this is the night he’ll pop the question.  Why else would he tell her he had a surprise for her before he left for work that morning? So, why hasn’t he come home?

As the hours tick by, dinner sitting ruined in the oven, Maya becomes increasingly anxious until her worst fears come true with the knock on a door by a police officer.  Jamie is dead, taking his own life.

No matter how hard she tries and how often her friends and family tell her she has to accept Jamie’s suicide, Maya just can’t bring herself to believe he would kill himself.  He had too much to live for. They were happy.  

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.  

This is What Happened by Mick Herron

 

This is what happened mick herron

When twenty-something Maggie Barnes moved to London, it was for a fresh start, to get away from a bad relationship and make something of herself – just like her oh-so-perfect sister.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as she planned.  Instead, she found herself in a small, grotty, flat with a minimum-wage job and no friends (bar seven twitter followers she doesn’t even know).

It’s no wonder then, that she jumps at the chance of doing something just a bit different – working with the security services to spy on her employer.  She has, they say, the perfect cover – no one will look at her twice.

If it all sounds a bit far-fetched, it just might be.  It’s hard for me to say more, however, without spoilers – making it a hard review to write too.  What I can say is what’s in the blurb – after what is described as a life-or-death mission, Maggie goes missing…and no one seems to notice.

The problem with the blurb is it doesn’t really describe the book, and I have a feeling from some of the reviews on Goodreads, that people haven’t – therefore – gotten what they expected, especially his fans.  Which is a shame.  Because this is a highly enjoyable novel.  You don’t have to waste much brain power on it, I will admit, but that’s not always the type of book I want to read.

I’ve never read any books by Herron before and I think he has a good writing style and, in This is What Happened, he’s created three interesting and somewhat baffling characters, all of whom are just a little bit lost – which explains how what seems like a simple situation at the beginning, can get so messy so quickly. Apparently it’s based on a true situation and is an apology of sorts to the real Maggie.  I hope she has forgiven him.

Emma x

About the book…

Twenty-six-year-old Maggie Barnes is someone you would never look at twice. Living alone in a month-to-month sublet in the huge city of London, with no family but an estranged sister, no boyfriend or partner, and not much in the way of friends, Maggie is just the kind of person who could vanish from the face of the earth without anyone taking notice

Or just the kind of person MI5 needs to infiltrate the establishment and thwart an international plot that puts all of Britain at risk

Now one young woman has the chance to be a hero—if she can think quickly enough to stay alive.

Publisher: John Murray Press
Publication Date: 7th June, 2018
Genre: Crime fiction, suspense, thriller
Number of pages: 256
Rating: 4 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.

 BIRCHBOX UK

A Kill for the Poet by Simon Maltman

A Kill for a Poet

Brian Caskey is a bit of a mess.  A former cop, he drinks too much, smokes too much, has mental health problems, and has got himself involved in something he probably shouldn’t have gotten himself involved in.

He is also a writer of 1940’s crime fiction, with a main character who drinks too much, smokes too much and has got himself involved in something he probably shouldn’t have.

Both Brian and his detective live in Northern Ireland, a place where people seem to have a bit of an edge to them but also don’t take life too seriously unless they have to.  Neither seem to have had much luck in life, living alone and on the edge of the “real world”

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

Let me Lie

Let Me Lie is another book by Clare Mackintosh that is hard to describe because one wrong word and you let out a plot twist – and possibly spoil the book for anyone who hasn’t read it.

It starts with Anna, home with her eight year old daughter Ella and mourning the loss of her mother a year earlier and her father seven months before that.  Both committed suicide, jumping off the cliffs at Beachy Head.

Or, at least the police and coroner say they committed suicide; Anna isn’t so sure and, when a card telling her to think again turns up on her doorstep, she becomes convinced her parents were murdered. Now, to persuade the police.

Everything is Lies by Helen Callaghan

Everything liesWhen Sophia gets a late-night call from her mom asking her to come home, she does what she always does – puts it down to her mom’s usual erratic behaviour. Putting her mom off, she tells her she’s had too much to drink and will drive over the next day, which she duly does only to find her mom (Nina) dead and her dad seriously injured, with knife wounds to the stomach.

While her dad lies in a coma, unable to tell them what happened, the police rule Nina’s death a suicide – something Sophia can’t get her head around and can’t bring herself to believe.  Her mom may have been many things, but suicidal is not one of them.

Things become even more confusing – and interesting – when a letter arrives from a publisher, confirming they will be publishing Nina’s book and asking when they’ll be sent the final chapters.  Nina, Sophia discovers, has been writing her memoir and it’s much more interesting than anyone could have imagined.  The question Sophia needs to answer though is was it interesting enough to kill Nina for?

The Hoarder by Jess Kidd

the hoarderMaud Drennan is a forty-something carer.  Originally from Ireland, she now lives in London and finds herself taking care of Cathal Flood, a man it isn’t easy to like.  He frightened his last carer away, and the ones before that.  Somehow, though, Maud is holding on, slowly making her way through Cathal’s house and the years of dirt, grime and chaos he has accumulated.

Whether it’s her grit, or their shared Irish roots, Cathal begins to let her in – and so does his rambling, shambolic house.  Because, as well as being a carer, Maud is psychic and, pretty quickly, it becomes clear that the house – or it’s former residents are trying to tell her something.