In Her Bones by Kate Moretti – Blog Tour Review.

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About The Book

New York Times​ ​bestselling author Kate Moretti​’​s​ (The Vanishing Year)​ latest ​novel follows the daughter of a convicted serial killer who finds herself at the centre of a murder investigation.
Fifteen years ago, Lilith Wade was arrested for the brutal murder of six women. After a death row conviction and media frenzy, her thirty-year-old daughter Edie is a recovering alcoholic with a deadend city job, just trying to survive out of the spotlight.
Edie also has a disturbing secret: a growing obsession with the families of Lilith’s victims. She’s desperate to discover how they’ve managed—or failed—to move on, and whether they’ve fared better than her. She’s been careful to keep her distance, until the day one of them is found murdered and she quickly becomes the prime suspect. Edie remembers nothing of the night of the death, and must get to the truth before the police—or the real killer—find her.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I’ve enjoyed both of Kate Moretti’s earlier books so was looking forward to reading her new one. I have never read a book where the main character is the daughter of a convicted serial killer and found it fascinating.
Edie is an amazing character who due to the actions of her mother is obsessed with knowing how her victims families are coping. Only a few of these feature, a couple of them know each other through an online support group and she has met them both. Edie is also member of this group but nobody knows who she is. Or so she thinks.
Her life is a mess, recovering alcoholic, a loner whose friends deserted her when her mother was arrested. All she has is her brother Dylan, her friend Tim and a cop connected with the case, Brandt. But she isn’t self-pitying, she is just determined to make her life the best that she can. Despite her unhealthy obsession with the families.
All of the characters are strong, if not always likeable. The damage caused by Lilith to the victims families, especially her own is compelling and fascinating. The ‘excerpts’ from a book about the case reveal the mental health issues suffered by Lilith and how they affected Edie and Dylan as they were growing up, and also how their father struggled to cope. These parts of the novel were my favourite parts, where they show people’s memories of what happened before the killings started.
Edie was very engaging, often amusing and made the best of her life. Once she started to trust people I loved her.

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The Dark Place by Stephanie Rogers – Blog Tour Review.

The Dark Place

About The Book

When you look at those you love, what do you see?

When Issy, young mother and beloved daughter, seemingly kills herself her family is devastated.

Believing she would never leave son Noah willingly, Jon and Mel determine to discover what really happened to Issy. As they and the rest of the family struggle to come to terms with tragedy, Jon and Mel start to realise Issy’s secrets come from a very dark place…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Dark Place is one of the more original novels that I have read recently. It concerns the suicide of Issy, young Mum of Noah and daughter of Jon and Mel. She only appears in person in the first chapter where you read about her decision to end her life. You don’t find out the reasons why.
The rest of the novel is about Jon and Mel and their attempts to come to terms with the death of their only daughter and also their struggle to look after Noah full-time. Even though Mel has been his principal carer since he was born it is a lot harder for them now. You see both of their thoughts and their grieving process. Each chapter concerns one of them, apart from a couple that focus on other characters.
Each of them cope differently and not always considering what the other may be feeling. I have to admit, I did prefer Mel. At times Jon appeared more selfish and inconsiderate, even though he did try to protect Mel initially.
As the novel progressed the characters attitudes changed, again I still preferred Mel but my feelings towards Jon softened and I started to see his grieving process with different eyes. Whilst Mel found it easier to forgive and took the opportunity to create a life for herself, he was still trying to find out why Issy chose to die. And who he could blame. What is evident from both of them was the guilt feelings. That maybe they could have found out what was troubling her when she was still alive.
Obviously it is a very sad novel but I didn’t feel that the sadness took over the storyline. There was also room for forgiveness, acceptance of lives having to change and hope for the future.

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Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen – Blog Tour Review.

 

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About The Book

Sex, lies and ill-fitting swimwear … Sun Protection Factor 100

Jan Nyman, the ace detective of the covert operations unit of the National Central Police, is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate a mysterious death. Nyman arrives in the town dominated by a bizarre holiday village – the ‘hottest beach in Finland’. The suspect: Olivia Koski, who has only recently returned to her old hometown. The mission: find out what happened, by any means necessary.
With a nod to Fargo, and dark noir, Palm Beach, Finland is both a page-turning thriller and a black comedy about lust for money, fleeing dreams and people struggling at turning points in their lives – chasing their fantasies regardless of reason.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Having read and enjoyed earlier novels by Antti Tuomainen I knew I would be in for a treat with Palm Beach Finland.
Likened to Fargo, and my thoughts are a day after finishing it, that like that film and similar the reader would appreciate and notice a lot more by reading more than once. I’m sure there are things that I missed on a first read. All because of the fascinating and multi layered characters.
I have my favourites. Chico and Robin, the two hapless criminals whose bizarre mishaps get this novel off to a great start. Lifelong friends, they both have their dreams of a different life. And Muurla, Jan’s boss who constantly reveals too much information about his private life. Nearly every scene that these three appeared in made me laugh. I never knew that an electric whisk or a tide could be so funny.
The author makes the resort of Palm Beach, rival to St Tropez believable. More rundown and a lot quieter and colder but Leivo, the unscrupulous owner is convinced he can make it a success. As long as Olivia can be convinced to sell.
Alongside the humour, unintentional violence and mayhem is the blossoming friendship between Jan and Olivia. Far from straightforward but very sweet. Just wonderful.

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Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid – Blog Tour Review.

 

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About The Book

Sixteen years ago, at an elite boarding school secluded in the English countryside, best friends Nancy, Georgia and Lila did something unspeakable.

Their secret forged an unbreakable bond between them, a bond of silence. But now, in their thirties, one of them wants to talk.

One word and everything could be ruined: their lives, their careers, their relationships. It’s up to Georgia to call a crisis dinner. – she knows there’s nothing that can’t be resolved by three courses in her immaculate kitchen.

But the evening does not go as planned.

Three women walk in to the dinner, but only two will leave.

Murder isn’t so difficult the second time around…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Perfect Liars was a brilliant twisty novel that had me hooked. It starts with a funeral of an unnamed person. You don’t find out who they are until the end. The rest of the novel is dual time frame with 3 different narrators. I don’t think there will be many readers who like all of them.
I will describe my feelings about each of the three but will keep their identity private, to reveal too much will spoil the read. One of them I quite liked, I understood her a lot more than the others and definitely had more sympathy for her. Another, I preferred as an adult. Still not keen but she showed a softer side. The final one, I disliked her both as a teenager and an adult. A horrible person who didn’t have a good side to her.
I couldn’t work out which of the three would die or what happened at the school. Even though I did have an idea who it would involve. I hope that there aren’t schools like this. I really hope that there aren’t people like this but I suspect I could be wrong on both accounts.

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The Dream Wife by Louisa de Lange – Blog Tour Review.

 

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About The Book

Annie is the dream wife.
Mother to two-year-old Johnny and wife to David, she is everything her husband expects her to be – supportive, respectful and mild – but what he expects isn’t who she truly is.
But Annie is a prisoner in her home.
Her finances, her routine, her social life are all controlled by him. It’s the love for her boy that she lives for, and at night she dreams of a world where she is free.
So Annie decides to fight back.

And you won’t believe how she is going to do it . . .

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Dream Wife is a difficult book to review. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because it took a turn that was totally unexpected and left me lost for words. And it’s difficult to review it without spoilers.
There is no doubt that Annie is suffering at the hands of her husband David who doesn’t allow her any freedom, give her any respect and is abusive mentally and physically. His mother is little better, her husband who died before the reader is introduced to the family is the only one who has any decency. Her relationship with her son was completely different and she stood up to both of them every time they tried to change the way she was with him.
As the novel progressed so did the abuse and at times I was cringing as I read. At the same time the dreams started and with that part of the novel I got increasingly confused.
Strangely, because the parts of the novel that involved dreams were unusual I preferred the parts that I felt were reality. I understood that her dreams were where she went to cope but then I struggled to separate them from reality. I think I got it right but everybody will probably read it differently.
There is no doubt that it is very clever and I would definitely read it again to see of I have the same thoughts.