You And Me by Nicola Rayner – Review.

About The Book

This is not a love story…

Watching sunrises together should have been romantic.

But you were always inside with your wife, and I sat in your garden, in the shadows.

I thought you’d never know how I felt about you.

Until one night, I witnessed a terrible crime.

I wanted it to bring us closer together.

But now the secrets are tumbling out.

And they could tear everything apart…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Fran is a loner, known by the cruel nickname Freaky Fran when she was at school she is the type of person who finds the real world difficult to be in. She would to prefer to live in her little book world, surrounded by all her favourite characters. She doesn’t have many people she can talk to in the real world. Her mother is dead, her sister and niece estranged and has a sometime distant relationship with an old school friend. One who knows about her extremely concerning obsession with another old school friend Charles. This isn’t an obsession that takes place across social media platforms. This is one where she watches his home and place of work but when he starts to make contact, after the death of another from school  she starts to feel that she is happier with the image she has in her mind rather than the reality.

I liked Fran a lot and had a lot of sympathy for her. She definitely didn’t handle her predicament well, it would take a very strong person to admit they had seen a death whilst they were stalking somebody else. I wanted to know more about her sister and why they argued and I wanted her to be able to relax and start to realise who her friends were. 

This is a crime novel but it also concerns mental health and a few other medical conditions that it would be difficult to reveal without spoilers. There is a heart to the storyline that shows you never know what is behind certain actions. 

There were plenty of twists, none of which I saw coming but it did all work surprisingly well. It’s well written, a great storyline with some decidedly unpleasant characters and an interesting account of a job in a bookshop. I would definitely read more by this author. 

Perfect Kill by Helen Fields – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

He had never heard himself scream before. It was terrifying.

Alone, trapped in the darkness and with no way out, Bart Campbell knows that his chances of being found alive are slim.

Drugged and kidnapped, the realisation soon dawns that he’s been locked inside a shipping container far from his Edinburgh home. But what Bart doesn’t yet know is that he’s now heading for France where his unspeakable fate is already sealed…

DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are working on separate cases that soon collide as it becomes clear that the men and women being shipped to France are being traded for women trafficked into Scotland.

With so many lives at stake, they face an impossible task – but there’s no option of failure when Bart and so many others will soon be dead…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Perfect Kill is the latest book in the wonderful series that features Ava and Luc. I was looking forward to seeing how their relationship would continue after the events from the previous book. Their situation is probably helped by their enforced separation due to work. Luc is back in Paris, facing up to some demons from his past as well as working and Ava in Edinburgh. 

The cases are grim and compelling, both concern human trafficking but for completely different reasons.  It was impossible to decide which was the most upsetting, especially when the victims had their own voice. This isn’t a novel where you just see the police activity. You get to know victims and perpetrators from both cases. 

There are also parts that show the more compassionate side to Ada, her concern for her close friend Natasha is touching. Even though they both tease each other you could see how much they meant to each other. And there is also humour, especially regarding Swift, the officer who soon earns himself a nickname. 

As is usual, I still have earlier books from the series to read which I do hope to get to soon. And I am looking forward to what this author writes next.  

Little Boy Lost by J. P. Carter – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

One early October afternoon, ten-year-old Jacob Rossi begins the short walk home from school. But he never makes it.
Days later, DCI Anna Tate is called to the scene of a burning building, where an awful discovery has been made. A body has been found, and the label in his school blazer reads: J. Rossi.
As Anna starts digging, she soon learns that a lot of people had grudges against the boy’s father. But would any of them go so far as to take his son?

And is the boy’s abductor closer than she thinks?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I hadn’t read the previous books in this series but I had no problem getting to know the characters, especially Anna and her daughter Chloe. I appreciated the back story regarding their relationship although some may regard it as a spoiler. 

There are two different stories in the novel, Anna trying to solve the murder of a young boy who had been abducted and riots that are taking part across London which place Chloe in danger. It was the riots that I had more interest in. I found them intense and often terrifying with the mindless behaviour shown by some. In some cases it was just an excuse to cause mayhem. I don’t live in a city that has experienced them, yet, but I found the account very convincing and often worrying. It made me wonder how and what I would do if there was a riot on my street. 

I could see the frustration the officers from all ranks felt at the lack of officers, lack of support and lack of respect. There was also evidence of the police officers who made the situation worse by their actions. I could also see the frustration felt by the perpetrators, caught up in need to prove their point. And, very convincingly, there was the inept attitude by the politicians who had little idea how to improve the situation.

Despite being a novel about crime I felt this was more about feelings rather than the usual police procedural. Not a bad thing, I enjoyed seeing a different approach, the emotional view rather than just crime solving and science.


Through The Wall by Caroline Corcoran – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Lexie’s got the perfect life. And someone else wants it…

Lexie loves her home. She feels safe and secure in it – and loved, thanks to her boyfriend Tom.

But recently, something’s not been quite right. A book out of place. A wardrobe door left open. A set of keys going missing…

Tom thinks Lexie’s going mad – but then, he’s away more often than he’s at home nowadays, so he wouldn’t understand.

Because Lexie isn’t losing it. She knows there’s someone out there watching her. And, deep down, she knows there’s nothing she can do to make them stop.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Through The Wall is a novel that makes you examine the relationship between neighbours. And whether you really want one.

Lexie, Tom and Harriet are the neighbours concerned. All have their problems, Lexie and Tom are desperate for a child, Harriet is estranged from her family by choice, struggling with her feelings after breaking up with her fiancé and the actions that led to.

It is a fast-moving novel, the chapters switch between Lexie and Harriet. Harriet’s narrative switches between modern day and her attitude to Lexie and Tom and her past, particularly her relationship with Luke. When reading her story it was easy to feel sympathy, how everybody could see how toxic Luke was apart from her. I wished that she could be different, that she hadn’t suffered a breakdown that affected her judgement because she could probably have been good friends with both Lexie and Tom.

Despite what Lexie was going through, and my liking of her it was Tom I preferred. A minor character compared to the others but still going through the same heartache. I know couples who are desperate for a family and this felt like a true picture of how traumatic it must be. Even the scenes in the waiting rooms were convincing.

A brilliant novel that will make some reluctant to know who they could be living next door to.

Forget Me Not by Claire Allan – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

I disappeared on a Tuesday afternoon. I was there one minute and the next I was gone. They’ve never found my body…

It’s six in the morning during the hottest summer on record when Elizabeth O’Loughlin, out walking her dog, comes across Clare, a victim of a horrific knife attack, clinging onto life at the side of the road.

Clare dies minutes later, but not before whispering her haunting last words to Elizabeth.

When it becomes clear that Clare’s killer has more than one murder on his mind, Elizabeth has to take drastic action or face losing everything.

But what if she can’t stop a killer determined never to be forgotten?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Forget Me Not is the first book I have read by Claire Allan.

When I was younger I could never wait to find out what happened in a book and to my shame I nearly always read the last few pages. It is a long time since I have done that but reading this book had me tempted. I really needed to know if my suspicions regarding ‘why and who’ were correct. I did manage to resist the temptation and can say I was right on one, wrong on the other but I will not reveal which.

It was a captivating read. It was dual narrative, Rachel, a lot of information and back story were revealed straight away and Elizabeth. She was more of an enigma and much of her family life story was withheld. All you really knew was her ability to cope with the death scene came from what she had seen when she was a nurse during the troubles. I felt that this was something the author had experienced, either herself or as a relative. There was no graphic information, or particular events, it was more about how it had to be dealt with.

I loved the family dynamic across the novel. Not only Rachel’s family, and how each of them handled the situation, but also Claire’s parents and brother. The way their lives were torn apart was one of the more convincing accounts I have read.

A fantastic introduction to yet another author I have to catch up on.