When controversial internet celebrity Violet Armstrong vanishes in the middle of a scorching Peak District summer, the case sparks a media frenzy.
The clock is ticking for DI Meg Dalton and her team to find Violet before online threats explode into real-life violence. And then the blood and hair of a young woman are found in an empty pig trough at the local abattoir…
The more Meg finds out about this unnerving case, the more she becomes convinced that something very, very bad has happened to Violet. With temperatures rising and the press demanding answers, the case is about to take a terrifying turn…
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Even though this is book three in the series it is the first I have read. Before I even got 50 pages in I was kicking myself for not reading the earlier books. I loved the writing, the setting and the characters. I want to know more about all of this police team in Derbyshire.
If you read a lot of crime fiction like I do you probably struggle to find something original and I was pleased that everything about this book was. The investigation was one that I had never read anything similar to before, and even though Meg has some personal problems they were also different. Concerning parents rather than failed relationships. I enjoyed her relationship with her friend Hannah and her devotion to her cat Hamlet ( great name for a cat). And even though I would like to visit Ladybower reservoir I will go out of my way to avoid anywhere that looks like Gritton.
It is quite a gory read at times, not just with the crimes that are committed but also the everyday procedures at the abattoir. I will certainly be looking more closely at the meat products I buy in the future.
Today it is my pleasure to feature a guest post from Phoebe Morgan where she is talking about her favourite characters. I am reading her new novel The Girl Next Door via the pigeonhole app, where you read the novel as a series. I am enjoying the book a lot, and if it allowed me to read quicker I would do. I will tell you about the book first.
About The Book
One little lie just became deadly…
Perfect mother. Perfect wife. Jane Goodwin has spent years building her picture-perfect life in the quiet town of Ashdon.
So when the girl next door, sixteen-year-old Clare Edwards, is found murdered, Jane knows she must first protect her family.
Every marriage has a few white lies and hers is no exception. Jane’s worked hard to cover up her dark secret from all those years ago – and she’ll do anything to keep it hidden…
My Top 5 Characters in Psych Thrillers
I work as an editor in my day job so I have read a LOT of psychological thrillers – I’m lucky to read for a living! This is a tough question as there are so many great characters but my top five would have to be…
Paul in Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant – I absolutely LOVED this book, it’s a wonderfully sinister, creepy read and the main character, Paul, really got under my skin. I think Sabine Durrant is one of the most talented writers around, and highly recommend this one in particular. A lot of the books I read feature female protagonists so it was refreshing to have a male voice in this one.
Cordelia Russell in Skin Deep by Liz Nugent – Liz Nugent is another fantastic writer and someone I’ll drop everything for. I don’t pre-order that many books (though you should, it really helps authors!) but I do pre-order all of Liz Nugent’s. Cordelia is an amazingly dislikeable character, but she is mesmerising at the same time – and the entire book is based around the message that beauty only goes skin deep. It’s a fascinating portrayal of a very disturbed mind.
This is a bit unfair because I helped edit this book, but Wendy in The Fear by C.L. Taylor is a brilliant character. I can’t give too much away but there was a moment when reading Cally’s book when she really gave me the creeps, and it’s stuck in my mind ever since. Cally is the master of creating great female characters.
Kate, the barrister in Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan, is another very three dimensional character and there’s a very good twist in the novel that makes you realise nothing is quite what it seems in Kate’s life. The author has clearly done her research as the world of criminal law and the depictions of London are wonderful, and Kate herself carries the narrative flawlessly.
Bram Lawson in Our House by Louise Candlish – gosh, this really is a clever book! After reading it I went back and read all of Louise’s backlist whilst on holiday in France, but start with this one as it truly is magnificent. Bram is a man who has made a terrible mistake and got himself into a dangerous mess, but his characters is so deceptive that it’s quite hard to feel sorry for him. His voice really pulls you in and the final few pages made me gasp! Well worth reading.
Even the good have to die. A beloved teacher is murdered and left in a ditch beside a country lane. His wife is found beaten and gagged in their suburban home.
Even the best schools have secrets. New detective Pippa Adams learns that the teacher ran a homework club for vulnerable pupils. But what did he really teach them?
Even the perfect family has something to hide. When Pippa scratches the surface of the school community, she meets families who’ve learned a shattering lesson. And finally uncovers the good teacher’s darkest secrets…
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The start of the novel is quite tense, a woman handcuffed to a chair and then a body found by a pensioner walking his dog. It doesn’t take long for the two cases to be linked.
Pippa ‘Agatha’ Adams is a new member of the local CID. She has to prove her worth and accepts her nickname with good grace. She has her dreams about how her career and working relationships will be. But the reality isn’t like her dreams. It is harder to be accepted than she imagined and she has to put up with public dressing downs and being on the receiving end of jokes and the occasional insult. There is a strong hint of trauma in her past which influenced her decision to join the police but no real detail.
I liked Pippa and her team. The rivalries, the jokes and the loyalties were all convincing. The author showed that the loyalties had to be earned, the existing team weren’t prepared to give Pippa an easy ride, she had to prove that she was worthy. There was a character, the head teacher who I loathed with a passion. I really hope that he wasn’t a true portrayal of anybody within the education system.
I expected the teacher to be not as good as the title suggests but I was completely wrong about the reasons why. I was also wrong about who the culprit was. It does all work though, I was just duped. It would be great to see this novel become a series, I would love to see Pippa succeed in her job and build on her standing in the team.
Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.
Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.
Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the way things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.
As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Things we Need To Say is a lovely but sometimes extremely sad novel. I won’t go into the subject matter, it is one that the reader will appreciate more if they learn like I did, the events what happen throughout their marriage.
But I will say, that the title of this book couldn’t be anything else. If things were spoken about everything could have been different. Not only for Fran and Will but many of the other characters in the novel. Whilst most of the novel does concern Fran and Will and you do hear both sides of their story, the minor characters are also very important in the novel.
I always admire an author who can make the lesser characters feel so important and in this book it is shown that others have bad times as well. That grief isn’t something that just one person goes through, and Fran is shown to want to help others through yoga.
I enjoyed seeing trust and friendships develop, seeing how strangers could open up to each other in the right circumstances. And how by doing so, it showed that there was no wrong way to cope with loss.
Yoga is an activity I know nothing about. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know any of the positions or terminology, it was enough that I could see the benefit that it had. If anybody who reads it is familiar, they will probably see this much more.
A second book by Rachel Burton that I have no hesitation in recommending.
It’s never too late to follow your dreams…
Forty-year-old air stewardess, Emily Forsyth, thought she had everything a woman could wish for: a glamorous, jet-set lifestyle, a designer wardrobe and a dishy pilot boyfriend. Until he breaks up with her…
Catapulted into a mid-life crisis she wishes she’d had earlier, she decides to turn her life upside-down, quitting her job and instead beginning to chase her long-held dreams of becoming an actress!
Leaving the skies behind her, Emily heads for the bright lights of London’s West End – but is it too late to reach for the stars?
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
The Start of Something Wonderful is a lovely novel that shows it is never too late to follow a dream. When Emily’s boyfriend breaks up with her it makes her realise that the job she had wasn’t what she wanted, despite giving her an often glamorous lifestyle. She decides to train to become an actress and this novel shows how hard but how rewarding her journey was.
At first she struggled, taking acting jobs that could be humiliating but were also well-paying. And she also had to do jobs that would supplement her income. It is from one of these jobs that she finds somebody that she starts to have feelings for.
I found parts of the novel to be very amusing, especially her accounts of working in rep, a scene that involves a bicycle and her memories of the not as glam as you think life as an air stewardess.
I wanted her to find love again, and to be happy. Not to feel that she was letting people down and to give herself a break. And I wanted her dream to become a reality. I wasn’t sure if I felt happy or sad at the end. I’m sure there will be others who feel the same.
A heart warming novel for a miserable January day.