One Bad Thing by M. K. Hill #bookreview

She thought she’d got away with it. She was wrong.

Hannah Godley is an agony aunt on a London radio show Queen of Hearts. She’s warm and empathetic; a good listener. Her catchphrase is: Be kind, always. But when a stranger phones in to tell a tragic story about her brother who killed himself after he was the victim of a terrible prank by two people, Hannah goes cold. Because she remembers Diane’s brother well. In fact, all these years later, he still haunts her dreams. All because of that one bad thing she did when she was young…

Is Diane just a sad, lonely woman looking for a friend, or does she know what Hannah did, and is looking for revenge? Because as Diane insinuates herself into her life and family, Hannah is going to discover that you can never truly escape that One Bad Thing you did – sooner or later, you’re going to have to pay the price…

My thoughts on One Bad Thing…

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Her Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll #BookReview

It’s their daughter’s graduation and Rachel and Ed Hartley are expecting it to be one of their family’s happiest days. But when she stumbles and falls on stage during the ceremony, a beautiful moment turns to chaos: Gemma has been shot, and just like that, she’s fighting for her life.

PI Matthew Hill is one of the first on the scene. A cryptic message Gemma received earlier in the day suggests someone close to her was about to be exposed. But who? As Matthew starts to investigate, he finds more and more layers obscuring the truth. He even begins to suspect the Hartleys are hiding something big—from him and from each other.

While Gemma lies in hospital in a coma, her would-be killer is still out there. Can Matthew unravel the family’s secrets before the attacker strikes again?

My thoughts on Her Perfect Family…

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Circle of Doubt by Tracy Buchanan #bookreview

She thought she was the perfect mother—until the new neighbours moved in.

Emma and Dele’s dreams came true nine years ago when they adopted their daughter, Isla. It felt like fate, like they were meant to find each other, and now they’re living the life they always wanted. But then one day a new family moves into Forest Grove—and Emma can’t shake the chilling feeling that the wife looks just like Isla’s birth mother.

Emma tells herself that this sophisticated stranger can’t possibly be the troubled woman she remembers from the adoption. But as they get to know each other and it becomes clear that Tatjana has a special interest in Isla, her suspicions grow.

When small things start to go wrong and her parenting abilities are brought into question, Emma feels undermined, turning to her sister Harriet for support. But things only spiral further when secrets from her past suddenly resurface.

With rumours swirling, Emma begins to doubt herself. Could Tatjana be Isla’s birth mother? And, with everything that’s happening, is Emma the right person to be raising her daughter at all?

My thoughts on Circle of Doubt…

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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.Read More »

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.

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.Read More »

Cleaning Up The TBR #5

Back in November last year, I did my first “Cleaning Up the TBR” post, something I first saw over on Fictionophile, who had seen it on Lost in a Story, and thought it was a really good idea. I know I’m not the only one who thought the same as I was seeing it everywhere so I am glad to jump on the bandwagon. Hopefully no one will mind 🙂

The idea is you take your Goodreads TBR list, sort by ascending date added, and look at the oldest five to ten items on your list. If you haven’t read them by now, are you likely to? Why or why not? If you want to keep them, make the case. This is my fifth visit to the list so far, with the last one in May. Here’s what’s next on the list…Read More »

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.  Read More »

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

cross her heart sarah pinboroughWhen Lisa finds a children’s stuffed toy outside her house, she knows something is wrong.  Very wrong.  Only one person could have left it, and they aren’t supposed to know where she is.  Panic rises – and builds even more when things that mean nothing to anyone but her keep happening.

It’s no wonder she is paranoid.  And no wonder she is driving her daughter – 16 year old Ava – crazy with her constant need to know where she is and what she is doing.  It’s also no wonder that Ava rebels, doing almost the opposite of what her mum asks her to do.

With this type of set-up, you know things aren’t going to go well for either Lisa or Ava.  The question is how is it all going to go pear-shaped and why.  Does it have something to do with Lisa’s secrets, or the ones her best friend Marilyn is hiding? Whose past is about to rear its ugly head?Read More »

The Fear by C. L . Taylor

The Fear

When Lou’s father dies, and after a bad break-up with her boyfriend, she decides to up sticks, leaving London and returning to her childhood home, one she hasn’t been back to for 18 years.

Given what happened when she was last there, it’s possibly not the smartest idea, but she feels she needs to to confront her demons and start living her life again.

The what happened is she ran away with her teacher, a much older man.  Or at least that’s the cliff notes version.  As The Fear unfolds, so does Lou’s story, which is much more frightening than it first appears and explains a lot about why she is who she is.Read More »