Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

TICK…

In the city of Stoke, a teenage girl is murdered in the middle of the day, her lifeless body abandoned in a field behind her school.

TOCK…

Two days later, a young mother is abducted. She’s discovered strangled and dumped in a local park.

TIME’S UP…

DS Grace Allendale and her team are brought in to investigate, but with a bold killer, no leads and nothing to connect the victims, the case seems hopeless. It’s only when a third woman is targeted that a sinister pattern emerges. A dangerous mind is behind these attacks, and Grace realises that the clock is ticking…

Can they catch the killer before another young woman dies?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I enjoyed reading Hush Hush, the first book in the Grace Allendale series a few months ago so was looking forward to reading this follow up. I do recommend that you read the books in order.

The book starts a few years ago when a woman is attacked in Manchester while out running. It then jumps to modern day in Stoke when a young girl is also attacked whilst on a school cross country run. Grace and her team are perplexed by the attack but the situation becomes more critical when other women are attacked within a matter of days.

One of the reasons I like this series is because of Grace. She has had a hard life, losing her husband to illness and an awkward relationship with her family. But she is determined to move on, with a new relationship and keeping her distance from the family. Typically, certain members of her family don’t have the same desire to stay at arms length. And it’s always nice to see Allie again, even if only briefly.

The case is a chilling one, the level of insanity and control becomes more apparent the further you read. I didn’t have a clue who could be responsible or how the victims were picked. The teenagers were convincing, the language used, the fears, grief and guilt over a close friend’s death and also the unfriendly attitude towards Grace from the daughter of somebody close. 

I hope that there will be more books in this series, it is definitely one I am interested in following.


Perfect Crime by Helen Fields – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Your darkest moment is your most vulnerable…

Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge until a suicide prevention counsellor stops him. A week later, Stephen is dead. Found at the bottom of a cliff, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are drafted in to investigate whether he jumped or whether he was pushed…

As they dig deeper, more would-be suicides roll in: a woman found dead in a bath; a man violently electrocuted. But these are carefully curated deaths – nothing like the impulsive suicide attempts they’ve been made out to be.

Little do Callanach and Turner know how close their perpetrator is as, across Edinburgh, a violent and psychopathic killer gains more confidence with every life he takes…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I really enjoyed getting to meet Ava, Luc and the rest of the team last year. I still haven’t had the chance to read the earlier books so this was only the second book in the series that I have read. There were a couple of things that I felt I would have understood more if I had read the earlier books but they didn’t impact on my enjoyment of the novel.

What I like about this series is it’s originality. I read a lot of crime fiction but I have never read anything like the cases in this book. There are two investigations, one was a lot more complex and creepy than the other. Unfortunately part of it was completely believable, showing some of the more sickening sides to modern day life. It was this investigation that appealed to me most. The other, didn’t really have much of an impact on me until further on in the novel. I did have my suspicions, but thankfully they were wrong. 

The relationship between Ava and Luc is a strange one. I want them to be together but at times it’s not a healthy relationship. I suspect that many readers have more sympathy and liking for him, but I prefer Ava. Probably because I am a late reader, if I read the earlier novels my feelings may change. Luc is just a little too needy.

I’m pleased that will be another novel, I didn’t read the extract (not good with waiting patiently) but it’s one to look forward to. 

My Sister’s Lies by S. D. Robertson – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

For a decade, Hannah’s life has been pretty close to perfect – she has a great job, she’s married to Mark, and her child-free existence means she’s free as a bird. The only sadness in her life is a fall-out with her sister Diane, who hasn’t spoken to her in over ten years. But now Diane is on her doorstep – and this time, she’s got her teenage daughter Mia in tow.

When Diane asks if Mia can stay with Hannah and Mark for a few days, Hannah is glad of the chance to get to know her niece. But as the days turn into weeks and Diane doesn’t return, Hannah begins to worry. Why hasn’t her sister been in touch?

Diane is carrying a devastating secret that will destroy Hannah’s carefully constructed life. But how much is she willing to reveal – and when will she pick her moment?

An emotional story that delves into the true meaning of family, sisterhood and secrets. Perfect for fans of Kerry Fisher and Adele Parks.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Hannah and Mark have a happy but childless marriage when Diane, Hannah’s estranged sister turns up on the doorstep asking them to look after Mia, their niece, for a short time. She doesn’t explain why, only that she has something to take care of. But Diane isn’t being entirely honest and you know that her actions are going to have a devastating affect on the family.

The author does a convincing job of creating three voices, I could appreciate Hannah’s attempts to make Mia more comfortable and not let her annoyance with Diane dominate, Mark’s guilt over the past, and Mia’s confusion over her mother leaving her with relatives she couldn’t remember.

The story takes place in Manchester, I always enjoy reading a novel about somewhere I know so could appreciate the references to the Central Library, the museums and the parks. I enjoyed seeing Hannah start on her second novel, whilst enjoying the build up to the publication of her first.

But most of all I enjoyed reading about how the relationship between Hannah and Diane turned sour and how Hannah, despite everything,  managed to make life more bearable for Mia. 



A Version Of The Truth by B. P. Walter – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

We all see what we want to see…

2019: Julianne is preparing a family dinner when her son comes to her and says he’s found something on his iPad. Something so terrible, it will turn Julianne’s world into a nightmare and make her question everything about her marriage and what type of man her husband is or is pretending to be.

1990: Holly is a fresher student at Oxford University. Out of her depth and nervous about her surroundings, she falls into an uneasy friendship with a group of older students from the upper echelons of society and begins to develop feelings for one in particular. He’s confident, quiet, attractive and seems to like her too. But as the year progresses, her friends’ behaviour grows steadily more disconcerting and Holly begins to realise she might just be a disposable pawn in a very sinister game.

A devastating secret has simmered beneath the surface for over twenty-five years. Now it’s time to discover the truth. But what if you’re afraid of what you might find?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. A Version Of The Truth wasn’t really what I expected it to be. I did expect secrets to be revealed and for lives to fall apart. What I didn’t expect was for the storyline to be mainly about how one of the characters dealt with what she found out. I also didn’t expect to detest so many of the characters, most of them are repulsive. There were only two I liked throughout, but they appeared less than everybody else. Two did grow on me as I read more and I realised how they had been duped. The others were cruel, controlling, elitist and they had many other faults that I struggle to reveal without spoilers.

Narrated by both Julianne and Holly my feelings changed a few times about whose account I preferred to read. Julianne appealed most at first, her account was more about how she handled realising that she had never really known her husband. When I found out what really happened to Holly and saw more of her strength I found I preferred her. I wanted her to be strong, happy and away from the university and her unfeeling mother.

I did find the ending a little abrupt, but overall its a good debut.

Cuckoo by Sophie Draper – Blog Tour Review.

 

51p-SqU8iiL

About The Book

There’s a stranger in your house…

When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.

But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.

As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?

My Review

Cuckoo was a novel that had me feeling increasingly uneasy as I read it. At the beginning when Caro arrives at her childhood home I thought she was just a little paranoid, exhausted and unsettled after spending so long away.
She is an illustrator and has a commission to provide drawings for a book of fairy tales. But these tales are not ones that you would feel happy a child reading. I remember fairy tales as being slightly fluffy with only a slight threat in the background. These  tales are how they would have been without the true threat removed. They were not tales you would like to read in an old house with its creaks and isolation. Especially when you can also see the images that Caro has created.
Along with increasing unease there were the twists. By the end I was feeling completely duped by everything I had read and wanted to reread parts to see if I had missed anything. I did, I hadn’t. I was just cleverly misled.
Not many of the main characters are very likeable. They were brittle, defensive and unfriendly. It was one of the lesser characters I did like more than than anybody else.
It’s a great book that I read mainly in one sitting on a glum December day. Sat in my nice warm home that had no unexplained noises, empty rooms full of unwanted memories or threats from the past and the present.

Cuckoo Blog Tour