Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Everything changed the night Flora Powell disappeared.

Heather and Jess were best friends – until the night Heather’s sister vanished.

Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.

But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.

And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she’s avoided for so long:

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received, Then She Vanishes is the first book I have read by Claire Douglas. After reading it I am happy that there are a few I can read.

The prologue concerns the murder of a mother and son but then most of it concerns Jess and Margot, Heather’s mother. Jess is a journalist but was also a teenage friend of Heather and her sister Flora. She is being pressured into getting a story by her boss but also determined not to let her job damage her relationship with Margot.

I was surprised by how much I liked Jess, I usually dislike journalists in fiction but she was honest in the mistakes she had made in the past and was determined to handle the situation the right way. She has a steady working relationship with her colleagues, especially Jack and it is him she confides in about her past, before her partner Rory. He only really has a role in the latter stages of the novel. They have a great relationship but she has commitment problems, these are revealed in the flashbacks to 1994 when Flora disappeared. Margot was another character who I liked instantly. Never knowing what happened to Flora, wanting to help Heather, and despite her misgivings allowing Jess back into her life.

I enjoyed the flashbacks, the teenage girls are believable with emotions, first love, hurt and jealousy all shown. I also enjoyed listening again to Martha’s Harbour by All About Eve which was a favourite song of Flora’s.

There are plenty of twists but they are slow to come, taking you by surprise when you are least expecting them. Some of it I did work out earlier but I don’t think it was meant to be a huge surprise. Some are chilling, more so because you know that they concern events that have happened. And the final chapter had me lost for words. Brilliant characters, fantastic storyline.

Nothing To Hide by James Oswald – Review.

About The Book

Suspended from duty after her last case ended in the high-profile arrest of one of Britain’s wealthiest men, DC Constance Fairchild is trying to stay away from the limelight. Fate has other ideas . . .

Coming home to her London flat, Constance stumbles across a young man, bloodied, mutilated and barely alive. She calls it in and is quickly thrown into the middle of a nationwide investigation . . . It seems that the victim is just the latest in a string of similar ritualistic attacks. 

No matter that she is off-duty, no matter that there are those in the Met who would gladly see the back of her, Con can’t shake her innate determination to bring the monsters responsible for this brutality to justice.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received via Pigeonhole. Nothing To Hide is a follow up novel that I couldn’t wait to read after loving No Time To Cry. It could be read as a standalone novel but I do recommend you read them in order.

Con has been suspended from her job following the events of book one and is treated with disdain by both her colleagues and the press. Neither of who can accept that she is Lady Constance, even though she has no interest in the title, has little time for her parents and doesn’t get any financial benefit from having the title. I did feel their treatment was a little unfair, considering she was only doing her job.

But she does her best to ignore them and finds allies in Karen Eve, Bain and Diane Shepherd. They do their best to include her in the investigation that concerns the young man she found and others that have died from their injuries.

It takes place in London and Edinburgh and I was very happy to see some crossover characters from the author’s other series. One of them I recognised instantly, the other two I had to check my facts.

Often worrying but there is also humour, the type that I love. Con doesn’t take any prisoners, she refuses to show respect if she doesn’t feel its deserved and she definitely doesn’t suffer fools. Her friendship with Karen Eve is one I want to see develop and I also want to see her family become more settled after the events that happen here. I also want to see how she handles an officer who I expect she will have to work with closely.

I know that there are many who like the Inspector Mclean series, I have only read two from that. Whilst I enjoy it, this is my favourite. Con is a character that I love to read about.

The Scribe by A. A. Chaudhuri – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Making it as a lawyer has always been a cutthroat business.

A killer is targeting former students of The Bloomsbury Academy of Law. The victims – all female – are gruesomely butchered according to a pattern corresponding with the legal syllabus. Even more disconcerting are riddles sent by the killer to investigating officer, Chief Inspector Jake Carver, offering clues as to who is next and where they will die.

Up-and-coming lawyer Madeline Kramer, a former classmate of a number of the slain, soon finds her life turned upside down by the savagery. And when she decides to help Carver track down the killer, she places herself in mortal danger. Can Maddy and Carver unscramble the complex riddles and save the lives of those destined to die?

A. A. Chaudhuri’s Ripper-like mystery, The Scribe, throws down a challenge even hardened crime thriller fans will be unable to resist. 

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Scribe is the first in a new series of books that features a police officer and a lawyer. They start to work together when women that Maddy knows are found dead with differing messages carved onto their bodies.

It was a fascinating and gripping novel to read. I certainly read a lot of crime fiction but I can’t remember reading one where you get to know the victim just before their death. I found it created empathy and gave me a connection with them. Rather than just seeing them after their death. The flashbacks are also interesting, they don’t always work but they do so here. They gave a brief insight into the victims and their tutor. As they progress you do see the more unlikeable side to a few of them.

Carver and Maddy are strong characters and I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop. You see glimpses of their family lives but it doesn’t overpower the main storyline. I liked both of them and the other officer, Drake a lot. James and  Elizabeth Stirling I absolutely detested, and I always admire an author who makes me feel that way about a character. They were amongst many that I suspected of being the killer. 

This is a series I will definitely follow in the future. I want to know what happens next for both of them.

The Reunion by Guillaume Musso – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Welcome to a school reunion you won’t forget

On a freezing night, as her high school campus is engulfed by a snowstorm, 19-year-old Vinca Rockwell runs away with Alexis, her philosophy teacher.

No one will ever see them again.

Formerly inseparable, Thomas, Maxime and Fanny – Vinca’s best friends – have not spoken in twenty-five years. But when they receive an invitation to their school reunion, they know they must go back one final time.

Because there is a body buried in that school… 

…and they’re the ones who put it there. 

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Reunion starts with something that many will hate, the school reunion. Thomas has more reasons than many to hate the idea. He is estranged from his parents who worked at the same school and still live in the area. But more of a problem for him are threatening letters that claim to know what happened to him. These could damage his career as a novelist and take away his freedom. 

Much of the novel takes place in modern day and is told from Thomas’s point of view but you also learn what happened from his friends and family. You also hear all of their views about what happened at the time that had an effect on all of them.

It’s a tale of unrequited love, misunderstandings, a failure to talk to each other and a fear of being found out. It did take me a while to get into it but once I did I couldn’t put it down. 

Call Me A Liar by Colette McBeth – Blog Tour Review

About The Book

A new standalone psychological thriller from Colette McBeth, whose dark, twisty and hugely compelling novels are beloved of writers like Paula Hawkins, Clare Mackintosh and Marian Keyes.

You could say it started with vanity. We believed we were special. But the truth is we were simply vulnerable. 

Months after landing their dream job, five brilliant young minds are sent on a remote retreat. 

But when one of them disappears, they’re forced to question why they were brought there in the first place.

And for the first time in their lives, they realise too much knowledge can be deadly . . .

One of them is lying.
One of them is guilty.
No one is safe.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Call Me A Liar is a wonderfully twisted novel that really kept me on my toes. Libby, is in relationship with Joe and they have both just graduated from university. She is thrilled, when Joe helps her get a position with a new firm alongside him and three others. One of these is Tess, who Libby has a fractured relationship with straight away. As the pressure increases at work, and Libby struggles with Tess more it isn’t long before things start to fall apart.

And it is here where the twists start. With multiple narrators, particularly in part two, my thoughts changed constantly. I had no idea who, if any, could be trusted. There were times that I wasn’t sure who I liked, had any sympathy for or whether they all deserved everything that was coming to them.

Some of the technology went over my head but I didn’t care. All I needed to know was who was behind everything and would I be at any stage correct in my analysis of the characters. There were some I liked, some I hated as soon as they appeared but I can’t say who. This is a novel where everybody will have a different opinion about each of the characters and I have no doubt that there will be others like me. Who liked, loathed, seethed, and cheered at the finale. Brilliantly done.