The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

‘He said he didn’t remember killing them…’

As a series of rolling blackouts plunge the city into darkness, Detective Aidan Waits sits on an abandoned hospital ward, watching a mass murderer slowly die. Transferred from his usual night shift duties and onto protective custody, he has just one job…

To extract the location of Martin Wick’s final victim before the notorious mass murderer passes away.

Wick has spent over a decade in prison, in near-total silence, having confessed to an unspeakable crime that shocked the nation and earned him the nickname of The Sleepwalker.

But when a daring premeditated attack leaves one police officer dead and another one fighting for his life, Wick’s whispered last words will send Waits on a journey into the heart of darkness…

Manipulated by a reticent psychopath from his past, and under investigation from his new partner, Detective Constable Naomi Black, Waits realises too late that a remorseless contract killer is at work.

Can Aidan Waits solve his last case before fleeing justice?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. A few years ago I read and enjoyed Sirens, the first book in the Aidan Watts series. I was intrigued with the Manchester setting but wasn’t prepared for how dark the storyline was, how corrupt the police were and mainly how flawed Aidan was.

By book three much is the same, the darkness and corruption is still evident but I started to see a different side to Aidan. He seemed to accept, without resentment, the way his life had gone and I started to see a more compassionate side to him. I first noticed it when he met Adam in Strangeways prison. I felt that he was genuinely concerned for him and that he wanted to make his life more bearable. This feeling continued throughout the novel and on finishing it, I think it was because he was aware of what lay in his own future. A few days after reading it I feel that this was the first book I liked him in.

It was a nice change to have a police officer who wasn’t corrupt. Naomi, who became Aidan’s new partner early in the novel when Sutty was injured whilst on duty. I could sense her loyalty, despite the frustration she felt towards Aidan at times. Even when he hurt her feelings she didn’t abandon him. She was the only member of the force who I didn’t feel had a different agenda. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of her.

The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

‘I THOUGHT SHE WAS OUR FRIEND. I THOUGHT SHE WAS TRYING TO HELP US.’

After the sudden death of her husband, Tess is drowning in grief. All she has left is her son, Jamie, and she’ll do anything to protect him – but she’s struggling to cope.

When grief counsellor Shelley knocks on their door, everything changes. Shelley is beautiful, confident and takes control when Tess can’t bear to face the outside world.

But when questions arise over her husband’s death and strange things start to happen, Tess begins to suspect that Shelley may have an ulterior motive. Tess knows she must do everything she can to keep Jamie safe – but who can she trust?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Perfect Betrayal was a novel that made me feel tense from the very beginning. Not only because the narrator was one of the most unreliable I have ever come across in fiction, but also I couldn’t work out if I could rely on the other two main characters either.

Tess is struggling with bereavement and would rather talk to grief counsellor Shelley than her mother and brother. Shelley also has her own grief to deal with and at times I wondered if the friendship was good for her. Ian, the brother in law was just crass, insensitive and a bully. But was he responsible for any of the more intimidating things that were occurring?

What happened to Tess was devastating, I couldn’t begin to imagine what she was going through. It made me cherish the life I have more, aching for closeness as I read. The memories of conversations, days out and plans for the future had me close to tears a few times.

What was happening wasn’t a complete shock, I had my suspicions a few times but told myself I was wrong. The ending though was one that left me without words. 


The Suspect by Fiona Barton – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft, and frantic with worry. What were the girls up to before they disappeared? 

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth–and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, whom she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. 

As the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Suspect is the third book in the series that features DI Bob Sparkes and journalist Kate Waters. Bob appears a lot less in this book, he has other things to concentrate on. But Kate features heavily. Whilst the mystery of the two missing girls is a big story she also has a personal connection. 

There are various narratives. The Detective, the Reporter, the Mother and Alex who is one of the missing girls. Because the reader is aware of some of Alex’s story it was pretty upsetting. How the excitement of backpacking is short lived and nothing like she expected it to be. But, her account was the most fascinating.

I have to admit, I do have a problem with the type of journalists who feature in this novel. The ones who stand on a doorstep desperate for a story, ignoring the heartache that a loved one will be going through. Kate admits that she has been one of them in the past but her personal connection shows her exactly how it feels to be on the other side of the door and she soon realises how hard it is. 

Whilst I did have a good idea what had happened I wasn’t correct about everything, there were a few surprises. This is the type of fiction that the author does so well. Always keeping something back, and it’s always something that gives you plenty to think about.

The Suspect is my favourite in the series so far, and I am really intrigued about what might happen next.


Too Close by Natalie Daniels – Guest Post – Review – Blog Tour.

 

Too Close Cover

Today it is my pleasure to publish a review and also show a guest post from the author. I will let you read about Natalie’s favourite books first, we have similar tastes, and then tell you what I thought of the book.

Guest Post

I had to think hard about my favourite reads. Fortunately I was expelled from a Cult in my early teens when things began to take on a sinister take. After a lapse in my own mental health, I was eventually placed in a normal school and it was then that I discovered books! With hindsight, I can see that the books I loved usually contained a darkness, a twist, a kink. I repeatedly devoured Roald Dahl’s Switch Bitch and Kiss Kiss, any Daphne du Maurier book – My Cousin Rachel, Rebecca, The Birds, Jamaica Inn; I was delightfully shocked by Brett Easton Ellis’ American Psycho and John Irving’s Hotel New Hampshire where the protagonist spent a day in bed with his sister (very Greek tragedy). I loved Martin Amis. And Jenny Diski really opened my eyes! On a lighter note, I also enjoyed Elizabeth Jane Howard’s family sagas. A quote of hers stuck with me for many years: ‘I can either write or be in love, but I can’t do both at the same time.’
As an adult I have recently been catching up on classics I never read and my new favourite book of all time is Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I’m not normally a fan of science fiction but I just LOVED it. His prescience is astonishing. And he writes with such simplicity and humour.
My favourite writers are Julian Barnes, Jonathan Franzen, Hilary Mantel, William Boyd, Margaret Atwood, Anne Tyler and I’ll read anything at all by Dorothy Parker. And I know it sounds pretentious but surely the best book in the world has to be War and Peace because Tolstoy lets you play God, loving the characters for their faults as much as for their virtues (although I must add, were he with my agent, the last 50 pages would have had a red line drawn through them).
The last 2 books I have read and thoroughly enjoyed are John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

About The Book

For fans of THE GIRLFRIEND and THE WIFE BETWEEN US, TOO CLOSE is a twisting tale of friendship and betrayal.

How close is too close?

Connie and Ness met in the park while their children played. As they talked, they realised they were neighbours. Perhaps it was only natural that they and their families would become entirely inseparable.

But when Ness’s marriage ends in a bitter divorce, she is suddenly at Connie’s house all the time. Connie doesn’t have a moment to herself, no time alone with her husband, not a second to chat to her kids.

It’s all too much. Something has to give.

Connie has woken up in a psychiatric hospital. They say she committed a terrible crime but she says she can’t remember a thing.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Too Close wasn’t what I expected it to be. This isn’t a bad thing, because it is different to many other thrillers that I have read this year. It is crime fiction but it is approached differently. You see the thoughts of Connie who has been accused and judged by everybody. You also get to see what her psychiatrist is going through and I can understand fully why their friendship started. You also get to read Connie’s daughter Annie’s diary which added some humour to the narrative. Innocence is so lovely to read in a novel that at times could be upsetting.
The crime Connie has committed is a terrible one, but apart from a brief moment fairly early you are not aware of the details until the end. It’s only a small part of the novel. Instead the focus is on what led to it, the emotion, betrayal and from those she loves and the jealousy that she feels. You see the lack of help from those who should do more and the devastating loss of somebody very close. But you also saw her bizarre friendship with Sita, something I could visualise clearly and loved the description of.
You also get to know her psychiatrist Emma and how she dealt or otherwise with her own issues. Strangely I found her harder to warm to, it’s a strange feeling to feel more empathy with the accused rather than the one who was trying to understand. I admired the way she dealt with the way her patient was regarded by her friends and wondered if this was how many who worked in similar situations felt.
It’s clever, a book that you really need to concentrate on to understand the feelings behind the actions. It is crime fiction but unlike many others it concentrates on what lead up to the event. I found it fascinating, often sad, often chilling but also glimpses of humour.

Too Close blog tour 2

Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid – Blog Tour Review.

 

Perfect Liars PB 1

About The Book

Sixteen years ago, at an elite boarding school secluded in the English countryside, best friends Nancy, Georgia and Lila did something unspeakable.

Their secret forged an unbreakable bond between them, a bond of silence. But now, in their thirties, one of them wants to talk.

One word and everything could be ruined: their lives, their careers, their relationships. It’s up to Georgia to call a crisis dinner. – she knows there’s nothing that can’t be resolved by three courses in her immaculate kitchen.

But the evening does not go as planned.

Three women walk in to the dinner, but only two will leave.

Murder isn’t so difficult the second time around…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Perfect Liars was a brilliant twisty novel that had me hooked. It starts with a funeral of an unnamed person. You don’t find out who they are until the end. The rest of the novel is dual time frame with 3 different narrators. I don’t think there will be many readers who like all of them.
I will describe my feelings about each of the three but will keep their identity private, to reveal too much will spoil the read. One of them I quite liked, I understood her a lot more than the others and definitely had more sympathy for her. Another, I preferred as an adult. Still not keen but she showed a softer side. The final one, I disliked her both as a teenager and an adult. A horrible person who didn’t have a good side to her.
I couldn’t work out which of the three would die or what happened at the school. Even though I did have an idea who it would involve. I hope that there aren’t schools like this. I really hope that there aren’t people like this but I suspect I could be wrong on both accounts.

Perfect Liars Blog Tour Poster Week 2