Before The Fall by Noah Hawley

26245850On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members–including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot–the mystery surrounding the crash heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations–all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.

A chance meeting in a farmers market leads to Scott Burroughs being invited to fly to New York on the private jet of a woman he barely knows. Along with her family, and two of their friends, they take off on a foggy night…only for Scott to come to in the ocean 15 minutes later. Initially, he thinks he’s the lone survivor. Then he hears the cries of four year old JJ. The two are alone. It is cold, it is dark. Scott is injured. But he starts to swim.

The next morning, they are found – alive – on the beach, Scott having swum 15 miles. He is hailed a hero. At first. Then the questions start. The media aren’t convinced. Neither are the FBI. His story seems to good to be true. After being hailed, Scott starts to be hounded, hunted down as he tries to lay low and come to terms with what happens.

It’s uncomfortable reading, but very believable. I find it amazing that in this day and age, we find it so hard to believe people don’t have an ulterior motive or something to hide. But I think that that’s true. We are always waiting for the other shoe to drop…and the media, the 24 hour, instant access nature of it, plays a large part in this…as it does here.

In the meantime, Scott is trying to pick up the pieces. Suddenly things he thought were important aren’t and he isn’t sure of anything, including what happened. The accident is a blank for him. As investigators try to figure it out, searching for remains and the black box, you – as the reader – get to hear the stories of everyone else on the plane.

Chapters, which alternate with what is happening in the present to Scott and JJ, present snapshots of their lives, who they were (the good, bad, and ugly) and how they ended up on their plane. You see their hopes and dreams. And you slowly start to paint a picture of what happened.

It’s an interesting way to tell a story, and it meant this wasn’t a fast paced read. It was enthralling though and kept me engaged all the way through. I started to create scenarios in my head (none of which came to pass) and found myself really coming to like Scott and feel for JJ. The writing here is excellent, and the reflection of modern life and our obsession with social media and 24-hour news rang true. I really enjoyed this, from start to finish, and would definitely recommend it to any and everyone.

Enjoy!

Emma

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Source: Publisher
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: 6th April, 2017 (paperback – first published 31st May, 2016)
Pages: 391
Format: paperback
Genre: suspense, mystery
Find on: 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

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Tuesday intro: Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts

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. In really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

This week, after a few weeks of review copies, I’m back at the library with Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts, which I know nothing about but which caught my eye because of the title. Here’s what it’s about…

31129137The death of a local sex offender places the police officers at East Rise incident room under immense pressure – they must treat this case like any other murder, but they know what Albie Woodville did and can feel little sympathy. Except, as the investigation progresses, it becomes clear this isn’t just a one-off killing – someone is out for revenge …

Not much to go on is there?  Here’s how it starts…

Few things made Dean Stillbrook happy any more but the one part of the day he really enjoyed, relished, adored, was his early morning walk through the woods from his flat to work.

The hideous experience of the last six months was only now starting to blur into the past where it belonged.  He hadn’t for one moment believed that he would ever look forward to the rest of his life. One stupid mistake had cost him so much but he was learning to adapt and be glad for the small things in his day to day existence.

As he made his way deeper into the trees, he paused for a second to tilt his face up towards the sky, the May sunshine breaking through the branches and warming his face. He stood still, eyes shut, and listened to the birds, a slight breeze rustling the leaves, and then he heard the sound of movement behind him.

A bit of a longer intro to make up for the blurb. What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Emma

 

The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger

31443401Claudia Bishop’s perfect life fell apart when the aftermath of a brutal assault left her with a crumbling marriage, a newborn daughter, and a constant sense of anxiety about the world around her. Now, looking for a fresh start with a home restoration project and growing blog, Claudia takes on a crumbling old house—one that unbeknownst to her has an ugly history and may hide long buried secrets.

For Zoey Drake the defining moment of her childhood was the horrific home invasion murder of her parents. Years later, she has embraced the rage that fuels her. Training in the martial arts has made her strong and ready to face the demons from the past—and within.

Strangers to each other, and walking very different paths in the wake of trauma, these two women are on a collision course—because Zoey’s past nightmare and Claudia’s dreams for her future take place in the very same house. As Zoey seeks justice, and Claudia seeks peace, both will confront the monsters at the door that are the most frightening of all.

Red, the colour of anger and revenge, and the colour Zoey imagines inside herself as she prowls the streets of New York looking for people who need saving. It’s not all altruistic though, it’s her way of taking control of her life, something she doesn’t feel and hasn’t had since her parents were killed and she was left for dead 10 years previously. No one was ever arrested for the murders but Zoey knows who is guilty and, now, she feels strong enough to start making them pay.

On the outskirts of New York, Claudia is looking to start afresh, having left the city and moved into a run down farmhouse left to her by her father. Her plan is to rebuild and refinish the farm, creating a life away from the grind of the city for her and her daughter. Like Zoey, Claudia has a past touched by violence – her daughter, Raven, is possibly the result of rape. She has never wanted to know but it has coloured her and Raven’s lives.

As Zoey and Claudia’s stories unfold over alternating chapters it starts to become clear that violence isn’t the only thing that links them and that their lives are on a collision course, destined to intersect and putting them all in danger again. Just how this happens I won’t say (spoilers) but I will say Lisa Unger brings it all together very well, building the tension slowly and steadily until the final scenes.Read More »

Driven by James Sallis

14623750Seven years have passed since Driver ended his campaign against those who double-crossed him. He has left the old life, become Paul West and founded a successful business back in Phoenix. But walking down the street one day, he and his fiancee are attacked by two men and, while Driver dispatches both, his fiancee is killed. Sinking back into anonymity, aided by his friend Felix, an ex-gangbanger and Desert Storm vet, Driver realises that his past stalks him – and will not stop. He has to turn and face it

One of the many things I love about James Sallis is that he writes his characters as he finds them.  They are dysfunctional, not always likeable, definitely broken but also incredibly compelling.  So it is with Driver, who you meet as he watches his fiancé get gunned down in the street, seemingly for no reason.

In Driver’s world though, there is always a reason, and so there is here if he can just figure it out in between fighting for his life and constantly trying to stay one step ahead of a seemingly endless supply of hired guns determined to earn their money.   It involves talking to shady people, hitting shadier people and never giving up.  I like that about Driver – he doesn’t stop.

Like him, this book is relentless, never letting up for a second.  It’s dialogue heavy with not much in the way of descriptive scenes bar the odd flashback to his childhood or earlier life, before he tried to start again.  And it’s short (only 155 pages), meaning there isn’t much time to breath.

The language seems simple on first reading but then you realise that a picture is being painted, of men (mainly) who believe in action versus trying to talk things out.  It’s not a world I understand but it’s lived by a code and it’s best not to break it.  It’s a world where you don’t go to the police, you sort out your own problems. And it’s a world where people live with the idea of an eye for an eye.

It’s a world I was drawn into quickly and was quite sad to see the end of, especially as it was left open so you don’t know what is going to happen to Driver next and whether it will be good or bad.  Perhaps it’s good for me as I will get to meet him again…I just hope it’s not another seven years before I get the chance.  Loved this one and a recommended read!

Enjoy!

Emma

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Source: Library
Publisher: No Exit
Publication Date: 1st January, 2012
Pages: 155
Format: ebook
Genre: crime, mystery
Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US

The Murder Game by Julie Apple

29619695Ten years working as a prosecutor have left Meredith Delay jaded and unsure of what she wants out of life. She’s good at her job, but it haunts her. Her boyfriend wants her to commit, but she keeps him at arm’s length. Then Meredith is assigned to a high-profile prosecution involving the violent murder of a fallen hockey star. At first, it appears to be just another case to work. But when her old friend Julian is accused of the murder, it takes on a whole new dimension.

Meredith, Julian, Jonathan, and Lily were a tight-knit group in law school. But now, Jonathan’s defending Julian, and Lily’s loyalties aren’t clear. And when Julian invokes a rare—and risky—defence, Meredith is forced to confront their past.

Has something they played at as students finally been brought to death?

So, for those who aren’t already aware, Julie Apple is the pseudonym of Catherine McKenzie, who happens to be one of my favourite authors, and The Murder Game is a book written by one of her characters (the same Julie Apple) in the book Fractured.

In Fractured, The Murder Game is a huge hit.  It is about a group of law students who play at planning murder.  Then a fellow student is murdered. The question is just how much did the students know – did they manage to plan a perfect murder after all?  Although a work of fiction, there was a death at Julie’s college and so fans and critics alike want to know just how much of her book was real, just how involved she was in the murder of a fellow student.  And by the end of Fractured, you, the reader, are also wondering just where the truth lies.

At no point, though, do you get to read the book or find out a huge amount about it (Fractured is more about Julie fitting into a new neighbourhood and running from her past).  And you don’t here, at least not quite – because the murder victim isn’t a college student but a former hockey star, one convicted of molesting a child.  The killer, though, is one of a group of law students, a group of four who sat around planning just how they would kill someone and get away with it.

The students are Meredith, the central character and whose voice you hear throughout as she is also the story teller; Julian, the killer who owns up to the murder and finds himself on trial; Lily, his sometimes girlfriend who has an IQ of 164 and strives for perfection in all things; and Jonathan, Meredith’s on again / off again boyfriend and Julian’s defence attorney.  As characters, all four are fascinating to read about and get to know.

They are so well drawn that I felt I knew them….and disliked them, even Meredith who felt like the underdog, the odd one out and the one I should be rooting for (especially as she was looking to put her friend away for murder).  Whilst I did at first, slowly, through flashbacks to their college years, I started to realise maybe she wasn’t as innocent as she first appeared. She has a darker side, one that makes her more interesting but definitely less likeable.  Or maybe that darker side was more about her not being confident in herself, which meant she was easily led and I should feel more sympathy for her.  Throughout the book, right till the end, I went back and forth and am still not sure how I feel about her.

It’s one of the things I love about Catherine McKenzie – she creates complicated people that seem to leap out of the page.  And it wasn’t just Meredith, it was all four characters,  Each had so many quirks and character flaws, so many things that might make you love or hate them – that made you wonder if their behaviour was because they were young or spoilt or just too bright for their own good or if they were fundamentally flawed as human beings.  Again, I went back and forth throughout the book about how I felt.

For me, the flashback scenes were the best as I felt I was getting to know each of them more and I had the chance to put the pieces together, figure out if it was a game or just a coincidence that they had all ended up where they had, in a courtroom facing off against each other.  The whether Julian was guilty of not, which took place mainly in the courtroom, was almost secondary (though probably shouldn’t have been).  I wanted to know how they had gotten there and why.  Plus, if I’m honest, I am not the biggest fan of courtroom dramas and so these bits, which lots of questioning of witnesses and the stand aren’t something I normally enjoy reading.  Not enough action.

Thankfully I got the action in the college scenes and the chapters on Meredith’s life, which kept me more than satisfied.  And I learnt something about the Canadian legal system, and a little learning is never a bad thing.  I also got a great story with plenty of twists, turns and red herrings  – things that kept me guessing.  It wasn’t my favourite Catherine McKenzie book but it was still a really good one.  I liked this a lot – a recommended read!

Enjoy!

Emma x

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Source: Purchased
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Pages: 300
Format: ebook
Genre: crime fiction / mystery
Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US

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The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

28187230Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

I have waited quite a while to read The Woman in Cabin 10. Despite having loved Ruth Ware’s debut (In A Dark Dark Wood), I was anxious.  Anxious that this wouldn’t live up to the expectations I already had of her as an author able to craft a story that kept me on the edge of my seat from the opening paragraph to the final sentence.

Thankfully, my fears were unfounded (though I am refusing to kick myself for waiting so long to pick this book up, regret never getting me anywhere).  The Woman in Cabin 10 is a cracking read.  It opens strongly, with a break in at Lo’s flat that sounds more than a bit terrifying and means by the time she gets to the ship, she is tired, strung out and just a little (o.k. a lot) on edge.

Her behaviour is unpredictable, fuelled as it is by lack of sleep, too much alcohol and anxiety (something she is already on medication for).  It doesn’t make her the most likeable character, even if you understand her behaviours, and it definitely makes her an unreliable one.  It is no wonder people don’t believe her, or take her seriously, when she says someone has been murdered on the first night of the cruise or that that same murderer is now after her.

As a reader, I have to say I wasn’t too sure myself.  Had I been on board I may have taken the same tack as the head of security or other passengers and asked her how much was down to drink and drugs.  I doubt I would have scoured the ship or locked people in their cabins until land was reached.  Ware does a great job in Lo of building a character that you just don’t quite believe, even if you want to.  And then the question is why would the other passengers want to when she hasn’t done a lot to win them over.

At first, I found Lo quite irritating.  Then, I started to realise that was possibly the point.  She isn’t that likeable and she isn’t that believable.  Which means she is on her own.  She has to overcome her demons, her insecurities in order to prove that she is right and, in the end, survive.  So, it’s not just about saving the mystery woman in cabin 10.  It’s about saving herself too and moving on with a life that is, quite frankly, stuck and going nowhere because of her fears and insecurities.

With that lightbulb moment (I do occasionally have them) it felt like all was forgiven with Lo and I started to enjoy her character and root for her.  It’s a good thing too as she is not only the main character, it’s her voice you hear throughout – not liking it would have mean not liking the book.  Other passengers are slightly stereotypical – handsome photographer, wealthy man of industry, bitchy journalist, plus an ex-boyfriend (which I did find a bit odd given where they were) – and not as well rounded as I might have liked.

They are, really, a means to an end.  Characters that Lo can play off and which provide an ideal cast of potential suspects in a very Miss Marple kind of way – was it the beautiful model with the broken champagne flute in the spa or the Bear Grylls wanna be with the carving knife in the library?

Because of this guess who game I started playing, the stereotypes didn’t bother me. In fact, I enjoyed them and I enjoyed the book.  It was well written, with great pace and it was fun.  For all those reasons I liked it a lot – a recommended read!

Enjoy!

Emma

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Source: Library
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Publication Date: 30th June, 2016
Pages: 352
Format: ebook
Genre: crime fiction
Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Escape by C. L. Taylor

32790943When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.

The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

After reading more than one good review of C. L. Taylor’s books, I felt I needed to read at least one myself.  Seeing The Escape on Netgalley seemed the perfect opportunity, especially as it was a standalone and I am not sure I could leap into another series at the moment when I already have so many on the go.

The Escape starts as it means to go on, by throwing you right into the action and not letting up until it’s all over.  It opens with Jo walking to her car, running late for picking up her daughter.  She never leaves her office this late and she’s in a rush.  Just in these first few sentences you realise that Jo is tightly wound, no more so than when a stranger comes up behind her whilst she is trying to get into her car.  You see her internal struggle – does she know the woman? is she really a neighbour? should she offer her a lift? and now that’s been asked for, should she say yes?

All Jo’s instincts are telling her no, not to let the woman (Paula) into her car, not to agree to a lift, but she ignores them – thinking instead about how she will appear and questioning whether her concerns are genuine.  It turns out they are, genuine that is – Paula threatens her and her daughter.  The problem is no one else seems to take her seriously, not least her husband (Max) who won’t even contact the police.  He’s convinced it’s Jo’s imagination, running away with her because of mental health problems, and that there is a perfectly rational explanation.

From this first, slightly scary but potentially harmless meeting, things spiral  quickly and the threats to Jo become more real and more dangerous.  Someone has invaded her life and is determined, it seems, to make it a living hell.  As a reader, you know she’s not loosing her mind, you can read the thoughts of the person who is after her in short chapters interspersed through the book. Still, though, Max won’t believe her – no matter what she says – which is incredibly frustrating but possibly understandable as you start to understand Jo’s history and the reasons she isn’t being believed.

I say possibly because if I was Jo I would have gone on the run a lot sooner than she did and I wouldn’t have tried to reason with Max (though there wouldn’t have been much of a story then I guess).  With the running, the book ratchets up another notch because now is Jo not just trying to escape Paula, she is hiding from the police, and trying and failing to come up with credible lies for the people she comes in contact with.  Whilst you hope for the best, that she can keep her head down till it all blows over, you know that isn’t going to be the case and I felt tense waiting for it all to come crashing down.  And come crashing down it did in a great, big, page turning finale.

If you can’t tell, I really liked this book.  It was such a fast paced, edge of seat read.  Jo was a great character, nice and unpredictable which kept the story moving along, and there were a few twists in the tale I really didn’t see coming and changed how I was feeling about more than one character.  There were, as always in these books, a few times when I had to suspend belief slightly to allow for a plot twist but that was more than o.k. for this book, which I highly recommend.  Liked it a lot!

Enjoy!

Emma

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Source: Net Galley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 23rd March, 2017
Pages: 433
Format: ebook
Genre: crime fiction
Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US

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

 

The Stranger by Saskia Sarginson

Wimagee all have our secrets. Eleanor Rathmell has kept one her whole life. But when her husband dies and a stranger arrives at her door, her safe life in the idyllic English village she’s chosen as her home begins to topple.

Everyone is suspicious of this stranger, except for Eleanor. But her trust in him will put her life in danger, because nothing is as it seems; not her dead husband, the man who claims to love her, or the inscrutable outsider to whom she’s opened her home and her heart.

I was really looking forward to reading The Stranger – not just because I had enjoyed the other book I had read by Sarginson (Without You) but because the opening, which I used for last week’s Tuesday intro, completely drew me in.  I found it beautifully, though simply written and it painted a picture in my head that I still haven’t quite shaken.

The prologue (from which the intro was taken) has a young girl, a new mother, giving away her baby for adoption.  It is heart breaking.  It also suggests darker things might follow; “After all the hate, there you were.”  And, given the type of books I normally read, I have to admit I envisioned an angry and bitter son appearing years later with an axe to grind, figuratively and literally.

This wasn’t the case though and, whilst what I got was still a thriller, it was a much more nuanced and thoughtful piece of writing than I had maybe being expecting.  The prologue, rather than hinting of what was to come was rather an explanation of some of the behaviours of the central character, Ellie.  These are further explained by flashbacks to her teenage years, which show how she has become the woman she has.

Most of the story, though, takes place in the present and in Kent, a region on the front line of the migrant crisis that played out on our screens the last few years.  Migrants, their role in our lives (picking the food we eat, offering cheap labour) and our attitudes towards them (anger, distrust, general wariness as well as compassion) are front and centre in this book.  Sarginson manages to highlight these issues without being preachy and turns their plight and our response to it into a gripping read, one that kept me turning pages.

She does this by making it about human beings and about love.  Yes, this is a novel full of suspense but it is also a story with love at it’s heart (not a soppy love story but one about caring for and about people).  The question is, who does Ellie love and who is lying to her, because there are two men vying for her heart and each believes the other is the bad guy, the one she can’t trust.  It’s up to Ellie to figure it out, slowly unpicking the web of lies she has found herself at the centre of and which could end up threatening her life.

Possibly the only downside to the book is the who became clear a bit too early for me as I like to be kept guessing  BUT to make up for this there were other twists in the tale I didn’t see coming at all and which kept me reading.  And, I have to remember this wasn’t a standard domestic thriller of girl meets boy, boy turns out to be a psychopath.  It was deeper than that and better for it.  I liked it a lot and would definitely recommend it.

Enjoy!

Emma

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Source: Net Galley
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: 23rd March, 2017
Pages: 384
Format: ebook
Genre: crime fiction
Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US

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

Tuesday Intro: The Stranger by Saskia Sarginson

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. In really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

This week, I’m reading The Stranger by Saskia Sarginson, which I got a review copy of last week and needs reviewing by next week (it’s due out 23rd March if memory serves).  I have only read one other book by Sarginson, Without You but I really enjoyed it so am looking forward to this one.  Here’s what it’s about…

Wimagee all have our secrets. Eleanor Rathmell has kept one her whole life. But when her husband dies and a stranger arrives at her door, her safe life in the idyllic English village she’s chosen as her home begins to topple.

Everyone is suspicious of this stranger, except for Eleanor. But her trust in him will put her life in danger, because nothing is as it seems; not her dead husband, the man who claims to love her, or the inscrutable outsider to whom she’s opened her home and her heart.

And here’s how it starts…

Prologue

You were born just before Christmas. After all that hate, there you were. Being you. Staking your claim.  I thought I’d see him inside you. But there was no trace of his features in your small face. You were a stranger to me, a terrifying wonder. We cried all the time. You howling in earnest, and me seeping water silently without really knowing why. It was while you slept that I dared to marvel at you: your spiky lashes wet with tears, the way your toes curled in the palm of my hand, and the smell of your flaky scalp under the surprise of your thick, dark hair.  As I pressed my lips to your neck, I felt the tug of my womb contracting, a pain that connected us, a reminder that you were still a part of me.

What do you think – I have to say I like it but do you, and would you keep reading?

Emma

Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US

The Breakdown by B. A. Paris

29091461If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

Driving along country roads at night is never fun, especially in the pouring rain, and – for a woman alone – it can be especially scary, the idea of being stranded, alone, in the dark. For Cass all these fears start to come to the fore when she pulls over to help a stranded vehicle but can’t then get herself to get out of the car to see if the woman she sees sitting in the driver’s seat needs help. The fact that the woman doesn’t call out to her or get out of her car to talk to her convinces Cass she’s ok and so, instead of doing more, she heads home….only to wake up the next morning to the news that the woman is dead.

The news is bad enough, flooding Cass with guilt as she realises she may have been able to save the woman, but it’s made worse when she finds out that it’s someone she knew. This sends her spiralling, unable to sleep and a unable to concentrate. As the days and weeks go on, Cass struggles to get her mind back on track and starts to become more forgetful still, something which could be down to the murder, the mysterious calls she’s been receiving since then (with nobody speaking when she picks up), or it could be something worse – a sign of the early on-set dementia that killed her mother.

Her husband tells her it’s stress, her best friend tells her she’s been silly but Cass isn’t so sure. Something is wrong, a killer coiled be after her. The only problem is no one will believe her. That included me as a reader, at least at times. Her behaviour was so erratic; her friends, husband, doctors, are convinced she is stressed, anxious, cracking up and it does seem to be the case. B. A. Paris does a great job leaving you guessing almost all the way to the end as to who is right, then they reveal the truth and turn the story on its head.

It’s a formula followed by a lot of authors in this genre – the fragile woman who seems to be loosing her mind, the family and friends who want to support her but don’t believe her, the strange occurrences and odd happenings, before it all becomes clear at the end. I don’t mind formulas at all though as long as they are done well, and that was definitely the case here.  B. A. Paris created an interesting character in Cass, one I couldn’t help but like and root for. She was well written, as was the book, with short chapters to keep you turning pages – which I did – and a strong plot.

When it got to the twist I had an inking but wasn’t 100% sure what was going to happen or how it would turn out. I thought B. A. Paris’ answer was clever and I was left completely satisfied. I hadn’t felt quite that way with their first book, though I had enjoyed it but this felt much more accomplished and much more confident. I am really glad I got the chance to read it – liked it a lot.

Enjoy!

Emma

liked-it-a-lot

Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 9th February, 2017
Pages: 352
Format: ebook (Kindle)
Genre: crime fiction

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