One White Lie by Leah Konen – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

IT’S ONLY ONE SMALL LIE . . . UNTIL SOMEONE TURNS UP DEAD

2020’S MOST GRIPPING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER with twists you’ll never see coming, perfect for fans of Samantha Downing, Rachel Caine and Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door

Imagine you’ve finally escaped the worst relationship of your life.

Imagine your new next-door neighbours are the friends you so desperately needed.

Imagine they’re in trouble. That someone is threatening their livelihoods – and even their lives.

Imagine your ex is coming for you.

If you just needed to tell one small lie to make all these problems disappear, you’d do it . . . wouldn’t you?

It’s only one small lie, until someone turns up dead . . .

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I had a feeling from reading the synopsis that the friendship between Lucy, Vera and John would be an unhealthy one. But I wasn’t prepared for how unhealthy or how unlikeable the characters were. I did really try to like Lucy, but found that the only part of her I did like was her care of her dog, Dusty.

Woodstock was one of those areas that you find everywhere. The type of community where newcomers will never fit in. At first I thought this was why Lucy was warned to keep away from Vera and John but these thoughts diminished when I got to know more about them. Lucy does  build tentative friendships with Maggie, Al and Rachel but it is her increasingly obsessional relationship with Vera and John which made me cringe. I was practically screaming at her to keep her distance but she was hooked on their way of life and their charm. You just knew that it would all go wrong.

 I don’t think I have ever read a book where so many characters are so obsessed with the others. And I couldn’t work out what the appeal was. It was the type of novel where you are so fascinated by the relationship dynamic you are unprepared for how wrong their plan goes. I really did not see it coming, and I had no idea who was responsible.

It’s clever and slightly creepy. Especially when you read about Lucy’s relationship with Davis, his character sent the hairs up on the back of my neck. And the way his treatment had her check everything around her.

I always admire an author who can create unlikeable characters but who fascinates at the same time. I would definitely read more by her. 

The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually by Helen Cullen – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

On an island off the west coast of Ireland, the Moone family are shattered by tragedy.

Murtagh Moone is a potter and devoted husband to Maeve, an actor struggling with her most challenging role yet – being a mother to their four children. Now Murtagh must hold his family close as we bear witness to their story before that tragic night.

We return to the day Maeve and Murtagh meet, outside Trinity College in Dublin, and watch how one love story gives rise to another. And as the Moone children learn who their parents truly are, we journey onwards with them to a future that none of the Moones could predict . . .

Except perhaps Maeve herself.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is a lovely, passionate and sad novel that is all about the Moone family. It takes place in Ireland over a period of roughly 40 years, from when Murtagh and Maeve met in Dublin, their marriage and the tragedy that tore the family apart.

The first part of the novel concerned Maeve and Murtagh, you saw how both of them got to know each other, fall in love and also her illness. I know nothing at all about her condition but I really appreciated how the author showed the affect it had on her and her family. As you read more, after the events on Christmas Eve 2004, the focus switched to the Moone children, how they dealt with their loss and felt  about being in their childhood home.

One of the reasons I liked this novel so much, was that there was no wrong way. In today’s society it is easy to judge and criticise. But with the four children, now adult, and Murtagh, they all coped with their grief in different ways. Not always right for each other, but right for the individual. I liked all of them but the two I felt more for were Murtagh and Mossy. It is difficult to say why, apart from I felt that both of them seemed much warmer characters. Especially Mossy the only one who had a family of his own.

The book has inspired me to read The Lost Letters of William Woolf as quickly as possible. 

He Started It by Samantha Downing – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

No-one knows you better than your family.

They know the little things that make you smile. Your proudest achievements. Your darkest secrets. 

Sure, you haven’t always been best friends. 

But if it seemed as though someone was after you, that you might be in danger, then you’d be on each other’s side.

Right?

So gripping you won’t stop reading.

So twisty that you won’t know who to trust.

And so dark that you’ll realise something truly chilling:

No-one is more dangerous than the ones who know you best.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I hadn’t read Samantha Downing’s first book so was unprepared for the enjoyment I would get by reading this novel. I love dual time frame novels and this was one of the better ones. Same characters, set in modern day and when they were young children doing the same road trip. And the more I read the increasingly unlikeable they became. Nothing would get me in car with any of them. I have probably never misjudged so many characters in one book.

Three siblings, Beth, Portia and Eddie. Beth’s husband Felix and Eddie’s wife Krista. This isn’t a close family, they barely tolerate each other. All of them  prefer to communicate by text, mainly to complain about another in the group. None are honest with each other, especially Beth who has never revealed the truth about what happened concerning her parents to Felix and he has no idea that there was an older sister. The reasons why become clearer the more you read. 

The location fascinated me, I had initially thought that the tourist attractions were invented but after researching a couple I found I was mistaken. I’m not sure I would visit a barbed wire museum but would have enjoyed everything to do with Bonnie and Clyde and seeing the Codger Pole.

It’s full it twists, none of which I saw coming and I enjoyed every one of them. I had it all worked out which way things would go and I was wrong on just about everything. 

Alice Teale Is Missing by H. A. Linskey – Review.

About The Book

Alice Teale walked out of school at the end of a bright spring day.

She’s not been seen since

Alice was popular and well-liked, and her boyfriend, friends and family are desperate to find her.

But soon it’s clear that everyone in her life has something to hide.

Then the police receive a disturbing package.

Pages from Alice’s precious diary.

Who could have sent them? And what have they done with Alice?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Alice Teale Is Missing is the first in a new series and also the first book I have read by this author. I’m happy to say that it is a book I really enjoyed and I am happy knowing that there is another series to read.  I have a feeling that this series is going to be a good one. 

One of the main reasons is that I liked the way the two main characters Beth and Lucas were together. Lucas could have been unlikeable and unfriendly with the disastrous case he was involved in but instead he was shown to suffer from it. A loner in the police force and a broken marriage he could have been shown as bitter and blaming everybody else but he doesn’t. Instead he has tried to move in, whilst acknowledging the gossip and mistrust from other colleagues.

Beth is the graduate officer, has a pass into her position but desperate to do a good job. She has been made aware of what happened to Lucas but wants to investigate Alice’s disappearance so tries to accept it.

I had no idea what happened with Alice. I couldn’t work out if she was dead or alive or the reasons why. I couldn’t work out if she was a nice person or if she wasn’t as popular as se seemed. I had no idea who could be trusted or relied on. I felt frustration at the lack of help from former employees and I loved the description of live in a rundown town with no chance of prospects. And I’m sure we’ve all been in a pub like The Dirty Donkey! 

I see huge potential for this series. A very likeable partnership and I want to see them succeed and prove their colleagues and superiors wrong.

My Top Ten Books of 2019

The time has come again to face an impossible task of narrowing the 117 books I have read into a top ten list. As always it was difficult to do but I have managed and I will list them in no particular order. Apart from my favourite book of the year which I will reveal at the end. You can see my review for each book by clicking on the title.

Expectation by Anna Hope.

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman.

The Photographer Of The Lost by Caroline Scott

Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

Red Snow by Will Dean

From The City, From The Plough by Alexander Baron

On My Life by Angela Clarke

The Taking Of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor

The Girl At The Window by Rowan Coleman

My Book of 2019

Turbulent Wake by Paul. E Hardisty