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.  Read More »

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.Read More »

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.Read More »

Tuesday intro: Perfect Death by Helen Fields

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon.

tuesdayI’m also joining in with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker, where you share teasers from your current read. I read a lot of these posts over the course of an average Tuesday so thought it would be fun to join in here too

This week, I’m reading a book that’s not out till the end of January but, given I am a huge fan of the series (this is number three), I couldn’t wait to read it – Perfect Death by Helen Fields.Read More »

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.
Read More »

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… Read More »

The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst

The Foster ChildWhen Imogen and Dan decide to move back to her childhood home after the death of her mother, it is with the idea of starting a new life after a difficult year, one where Imogen found herself unemployed and suffering from a breakdown.

Unable to find work in London and maintain their lifestyle, a chance to move to a home already paid for seems like a good idea, as does taking a job at a local child protection agency (Imogen is a child psychologist).  If only Imogen could stop feeling full of dread.Read More »

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. Read More »

The Other Woman by Laura Wilson

the other womanSophie seems to have the perfect life.  A gorgeous house in Norfolk, where she and her family de-camped a few years earlier to escape the hustle and bustle of London, children who are excelling at school or about to head off to Oxbridge (after their year spent travelling, of course), a successful business, and a husband who loves her.

Or at least perfection is what she wants everyone who receives her annual round robin letter to think  She artfully airbrushes out anything that doesn’t quite fit with the world she has created.  It is pretty clear from pretty early on that, for Sophie, appearances matter – as do things.  She likes to shop and she likes to show off what she has.

And, in the grand scheme of things, especially if you compared her life to those of others, there probably isn’t much she can moan about.  Nobody is perfect, and neither are their lives, but hers is pretty close.  At least it is until one of her round robin letters is returned, defaced with words that send her spiralling – Leo (her husband), they say, is having an affair and is about to leave her.  Read More »