The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

It’s the day Izzy’s father will be released from jail. 

She has every reason to feel conflicted – he’s the man who gave her a childhood filled with happy memories. 

But he has also just served seventeen years for the murder of her mother.

Now, Izzy’s father sends her a letter. He wants to talk, to defend himself against each piece of evidence from his trial. 

But should she give him the benefit of the doubt? 

Or is her father guilty as charged, and luring her into a trap?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. This crime novel is slightly different to the other books I have read before because the murder investigation concerned is an old one. Time has been served for the murder of Izzy’s mother. The person who served the sentence was her father and he has just been released from prison, determined to have contact with Izzy.

Izzy has moved on with her life despite missing having any loving family connection. Somehow the connection with her husband’s ‘Instagram family’ doesn’t compensate for what she has missed out on. She loves her husband, hates her job and doesn’t know if she can trust her father.

Most of the novel is set in modern day but there are occasional flashbacks to Izzy’s teenage years, mainly concerning the few days before her mother was murdered. But you also get to see her dreams of going to ballet school and her relationship with her first boyfriend. You also see the way that her interpretation of her parents relationship and how it differs from her father’s. These accounts were increasingly fascinating, especially when Izzy finds documents that suggest she may not have been fully aware of what was happening.

I did work out who killed Alex before Izzy did but the way it was revealed left me hanging on to see if I was correct. The explanation was different to what I imagined but it did work. And how it was handled left me a little emotional. Izzy trying to find out who was responsible wasn’t what I liked most about this novel, it was the character and relationship changes that I was more interested in. It was this part I will be thinking about for the next few days.


No Further Question by Gillian McAllister – Blog Tour Review.

 

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About the Book

The police say she’s guilty.

She insists she’s innocent.

She’s your sister.

You loved her.

You trusted her.

But they say she killed your child.

Who do you believe?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. No Further Questions was a novel that was different to many others that I read. Not because of its subject matter or type of crime fiction but because I was convinced I knew who was responsible for Layla’s death. The problem was that this character, alongside many others had a perfect alibi. I won’t say who I thought it was, or if I was correct but I would love to know what other readers thought.
It is told by various points of view as you go through the court case. Many of the witnesses have their own voice, they are not just standing in the dock answering questions. You see their inner thoughts and their turmoil at not doing more on the night of Layla’s death and in the events that led to it. You also get to see what the judge was thinking. I liked this a lot, I’ve only ever read about a judge’s thought in lighter novels and I found it fascinating.
Obviously the death of a baby is traumatic and the court case caused more upset. Martha and Scott had differing opinions about whether Becky is responsible but still managed to be supportive to each other. I could see their attempts to rebuild their lives, each blaming themselves and I was willing them on to be successful.
The court case didn’t overpower the storyline, there was plenty of room for the personal storylines too. There was also not too much medical detail, I have found in the past that it can be confusing if you are not familiar with the terminology.
A brilliant novel that many will enjoy.

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Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

Joanna is an avoider. So far she has spent her adult life hiding bank statements and changing career aspirations weekly.
But then one night Joanna hears footsteps on the way home. Is she being followed? She is sure it’s him; the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave her alone. Hearing the steps speed up Joanna turns and pushes with all of her might, sending her pursuer tumbling down the steps and lying motionless on the floor.
Now Joanna has to do the thing she hates most – make a decision. Fight or flight? Truth or lie? Right or wrong?

My Review

I would like to thank the publisher for the copy received for review.

After an evening out goes disastrously wrong, Joanna has to make a decision quickly. Being honest with the police and her family or running away from scene. Whichever path she chooses there will be consequences.
‘Conceal’ is the version where Joanna decides to stay quiet. Because she didn’t act the situation is worse for her and the man she leaves on the footpath. She feels guilty, loses a lot of weight and pushes away everybody she is close to.
‘Reveal’ is where she does act and gets help for the young man but places herself in a situation where she could go to prison.

Which ever decision she took would have consequences on the rest of her life. Which would you do?

Both scenarios were fascinating but I found it easier to like and have sympathy for Joanna in ‘reveal’ . The reader is introduced to a character who has always felt that she has had to prove herself. Especially to her family, who seemed to take satisfaction in ridiculing her at family get togethers. She never stuck to anything, hung up on being a failed Oxford graduate. In ‘conceal’ you also saw a different side to her, the guilt and desperation taking over and her punishing the ones who loved her.

There were a few characters I liked in both versions. These were her husband Reuben, a strong character who loved her for who she was, her brother Wilf and her colleague Ed. All three were close to her and all could have helped if she let them.

It did take me a while to get used to the narrative. I have never read anything like it before. It is dual narrative with a difference, often the same scene played with the same characters, same time but a different outcome. You could easily enjoy both as two different novels. One of the more unusual novels that I have read this year.

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