The Guest List by Lucy Foley – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater.
 
Old friends.
Past grudges.
 
Happy families.
Hidden jealousies.
 
Thirteen guests.
One body.
 
The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped.

All have a secret. All have a motive.
One guest won’t leave this wedding alive . . .

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Guest List was a book that once I started I struggled to put down. Because the chapters are very short and each one features a different character I was always encouraged to read a little longer. 

The multiple narrators include the bride, bridesmaid, plus- one, wedding planner, best man and groom. A couple of these I had sympathy for immediately,  a few others I had to get to know more and a few I didn’t like at all. I can’t name any, for much of this novel you don’t know who the victim or the killer is. All I can say is it was a bit of a surprise for both. 

There are also the characters who you don’t get to know that well but learn enough just from their brief appearances. There were a few times when I felt outrage at the behaviour of the ushers and other guests. 

There is almost a Christie feel to this novel. The way that all that events from the past are revealed, and how those connected feel about it. The bleak setting, with the ancient burial site, peat bogs and the threat from the sea. The feeling that Aiofe, the wedding planner, has that she would always be an outsider and never fully accepted by the locals.

I read most of this novel in one day, hooked on the storyline and wondering who would die. When it was revealed I had to cover the page so I wouldn’t accidentally see who it was. And the way the killer was revealed was wonderful, various accounts of lights failing had me sitting on the edge of my seat. 

This is a novel that will hook many, a brilliant read that is perfect for a day when bad weather stops you from leaving the house.

The Dilemma by B. A. Paris – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

It’s Livia’s 40th birthday and she’s having the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding she never had. Everyone she loves will be there except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad. But although Livia loves Marnie, she’s secretly glad she won’t be at the party. She needs to tell Adam something about their daughter but she’s waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together.

Adam wants everything to be perfect for Livia so he’s secretly arranged for Marnie to come home and surprise her on her birthday. During the day, he hears some terrible news. He needs to tell Livia, because how can the party go on? But she’s so happy, so excited – and the guests are about to arrive.

The Dilemma – how far would you go to give someone you love a last few hours of happiness?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Dilemma was a book that I had to wait a few days before I tried to review it. I didn’t find it an easy book to get into, partly because I didn’t care for either of the characters at first but also because you find out very early what Adam is concerned about and you know that he is in for a very long night. I felt very tense at times, wondering how he would tell Livia and Josh about his fears.  But the way it started to develop was mesmerising and Adam was a character who I quickly changed my mind about. 

One of the strongest points of this novel were the differences between the characters. Some smarmy, most loyal, but there was an overwhelming feeling of true friendship from most. The relationship especially between Adam and his son Josh was one that showed a closeness that had been worked at over the years, rather than one that was instantaneous.

It was a novel where I couldn’t judge either for their actions. What would you do? If you faced with a similar dilemma to Livia and Adam. I honestly don’t know. 

The Room Mates by Rachel Sargeant – Extract – BlogTour.

About The Book

THEY LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE
University is supposed to be the best time of your life. But Imo’s first week is quickly going from bad to worse.

YOU SHARE EVERYTHING
A stalker is watching her flat, following her every move, and Imo suspects that her new roommates are hiding dark secrets…

BUT DO YOU TRUST THEM?
When one of them suddenly disappears, the trauma of Imo’s recent past comes hurtling back to haunt her. And she begins to realise just how little she knows about the people she lives with…

Extract

Prologue

Three Years Ago

A car horn blares and instinct makes her jump back. Male driver, early thirties. Mouth open in an oath as he speeds past, skidding on the bridge’s frosty tarmac. She can’t be bothered to gesture after him. Defiance gone.

Clutching her elbows for warmth, she makes it to the opposite side. Her jacket’s not much of a coat these days. Zip bust from straining. The barrier along the side of the bridge is tall – nearly her height – but she peers between its vertical railings. The river below looks benign. No boats are out in mid-winter to ruffle its grey-green surface. A few dog walkers and cyclists on the promenade. The café’s open but the air’s too bitter even for smokers to sit outside.

Wind picks up, making her stumble. For a moment she longs for the warmth of the bonfire under the bridge where the others will be. A few cans and a bit of weed. Where’s the harm? But she can’t go there because of Danno. Can’t bear to see her betrayal reflected in his eyes. To see how her lies have destroyed him.

With her back against the barrier, sheltering from the worst of the weather, she squats and watches the traffic. When a passing lorry causes the bridge to judder, a change of plan flits through her mind. It might be quicker, more certain. But she can’t do that to a driver. She’s damaged enough people. People she loves. Her eyes smart. She stands up.

Searching for places to climb, she walks close to the barrier and spots possible toeholds – welded joints on some of the metal posts that are fixed into the ground at regular intervals. There’s a lull in the traffic and she hears her heartbeat. Loud. A shiver passes through her. Can she do this? What else is there? No one wants her, can’t blame Mum and Jade.

In one swift movement, she grips two railings, wedges the side of her foot on a bolt and hauls herself up. An icy blast hits her head and neck. When she looks down, the river looms in and out of focus. Her head spins so much, she’s sure she’ll overbalance. Determination deserts her and the dizziness makes her afraid. Her hands clench the top rail and she ignores how much the cold metal burns.

As she stares down at the water, Leo’s face flashes across her mind. This isn’t because of Danno – or Mum or Jade. Most of all she’s failed Leo. Her breathing slows and the unsteadiness fades. Her doubts begin to disappear. She levers herself higher.

No more pain, no more loss, no more hurting those who care – used to care. The burden lifts. Limbs and belly light for the first time in months. All over. She smiles. Places a knee on the top of the barrier. One final breath.

“Amber!” A voice shrieks along the bridge before the wind swallows it whole.

Postscript by Cecelia Ahern – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

It’s been seven years since Holly Kennedy’s husband died – six since she read his final letter, urging Holly to find the courage to forge a new life.

She’s proud of all the ways in which she has grown and evolved. But when a group inspired by Gerry’s letters, calling themselves the PS, I Love You Club, approaches Holly asking for help, she finds herself drawn back into a world that she worked so hard to leave behind.

Reluctantly, Holly begins a relationship with the club, even as their friendship threatens to destroy the peace she believes she has achieved. As each of these people calls upon Holly to help them leave something meaningful behind for their loved ones, Holly will embark on a remarkable journey – one that will challenge her to ask whether embracing the future means betraying the past, and what it means to love someone forever…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I was hesitant about reading this book at first, I hadn’t read PS, I Love You but I was assured that it worked well as a standalone. I’m glad I took the chance, it is a while since I read a book that made me feel so emotionally drained but also enchanted by the characters.

I was prepared to be upset, you would have to have a heart of stone not to get upset at least once when reading this book. Holly’s memories of Gerry were special, but apart from one scene didn’t affect me so much. It was the group of people who Holly decided to help, against advice from friends, family and new partner Gabriel. One of them more than any other, I won’t say who. Everybody who reads will have a character who they have more empathy for.

But there were also moments that made me laugh. Her family, especially her brother Richard and her friends, I laughed every time Mathew appeared.

A truly inspiring novel which showed an unusual way of bringing comfort in a tragic situation. That even doing the smallest thing could make a difference.

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

It begins with an abduction. The routine of a family shopping trip is shattered when Michelle Spivey is snatched as she leaves the mall with her young daughter. The police search for her, her partner pleads for her release, but in the end…they find nothing. It’s as if she disappeared into thin air.
A month later, on a sleepy Sunday afternoon, medical examiner Sara Linton is at lunch with her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the serenity of the summer’s day is broken by the wail of sirens.
Sara and Will are trained to help in an emergency. Their jobs – their vocations – mean that they run towards a crisis, not away from it. But on this one terrible day that instinct betrays them both. Within hours the situation has spiralled out of control; Sara is taken prisoner; Will is forced undercover. And the fallout will lead them into the Appalachian mountains, to the terrible truth about what really happened to Michelle, and to a remote compound where a radical group has murder in mind…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Even though I have read books by Karin Slaughter before I have never read one from the Will Trent series. I had no problems following the storyline though. Despite knowing nothing about any of the characters.

The action starts immediately with the abduction of a mother who is out shopping with her daughter. Whilst this is unexpected, you would expect it to be the daughter, it isn’t the main focus of the storyline. What is, starts when Sara and Will are just about to have a family meal and are interrupted by an emergency situation. And it is one of the most convincing, terrifying and sickening that I have ever read. 

There are three points of view. Sara’s, Will’s and Faith, his partner and good friend to both of them. It was Sara’s I preferred, mainly because she was the one who was in the midst, but also because I understood her story a lot more. There is a lot to understand about white supremacy groups and I did find some of the terminology a little confusing at times. But as the story progressed and the danger levels increased I struggled to put the book down.

It is a series I need to catch up on. I want to know more about Will and how he turned his life around and how  he met Sara. And I want to know more about Faith and her brilliant and sometimes witty approach to being a mother.