#BlogTour The Whispers by Heidi Perks

‘The Whispers is Heidi’s fourth brilliantly fast-paced thriller, which sees seemingly perfect wife and mother Anna Robinson go mysteriously missing after a night out with her fellow Mummy friends. Anna’s oldest friend Grace is beside herself with worry – desperately searching for answers and certain that someone is hiding the truth. But everyone has a theory of what happened to Anna, and as gossip at the school gates begins to turn to violent, time is running out to fine Anna alive…’

About the Author

Heidi Perks is a Sunday Times bestselling author of Now You See Her, Come Back For Me and Three Perfect Liars. Elements of The Whispers are drawn from Heidi’s own personal experience of making friends at the school gates and the intrigues and dramas of motherly friendships. Heidi Perks’ debut novel Now You See Her twice reached the Sunday Times bestseller list, first in hardback in July 2018 at No.9 and again at No.6 in paperback in March 2019 where it was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick for Spring 2019.

Now You See Her has sold over 300,000 copies across formats to date and has received over a staggering 1000 five start reviews on Amazon from readers, with more than 400,000 copies of Heidi’s books sold in the UK alone. Now You See Her has also been optioned for TV from the production company behind BBC One’s ‘The Miniaturist’ and Channel 4’s ‘National Treasure’. Heidi Perks lives with her family in Bournemouth, and sets all over books on the South Coast of England.

She is a graduate of the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative Online Novel Writing Course (the only creative writing school run by a literary agency). Follow Heidi on Twitter @HeidiPerksBooks and join in the conversation with #THEWHISPERS

Follow Heidi on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit heidiperksauthor.co.ukBuy The Whispers

About the book

A missing wife. Four friends. Who is telling the truth? Anna Robinson hasn’t been seen since she went on a night out with her four closest friends.

She has a loving husband, a son she adores, a perfect life… surely she wouldn’t abandon them. And if not, then something terrible must have happened. It’s not long before the rumours start at the school gates where this group of friends all met. What exactly happened on that mum’s night out?

Anna’s oldest friend Grace is beside herself with worry – desperately searching for answers and certain that someone is hiding the truth. With each day that passes, Anna’s life is under increasing threat. And as the pressure mounts, it won’t be long before something cracks…

A scintillating thriller exploring female friendships and the secrets we keep from those who think they know us best.

Review

Two friends reconnecting after many years apart. Sharing the joys of motherhood and their childhood memories. Sounds like such a calm and happy story, right? Err, wrong.

What emerges is an adult playground bullying scenario. A group of friends isolating a newcomer, except the newcomer is an old friend of one of the group. It makes it difficult for both Grace and her young daughter. If you don’t connect with the parent then there is little hope for a connection between the children.

Grace is trying to rekindle the tight sisterly bond she used to have with Anna, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears and some of her new friends are quite antagonistic towards her. Grace feels as if something is simmering just below the surface, a feeling that Anna is in danger somehow. When her friend goes missing after a night out those suspicions appear to be confirmed.

The author knows how to take the most normal of scenarios and extract the paranoia, suspicion and malcontent from them. The darkness that lurks just below the surface, just waiting to pop out when you least expect it. This dark domestic psychological thriller plays on the themes of sisterhood, friendships and what happens when they cross the boundaries into uncomfortable.

Keeping the reader on their toes as they try to discern who is really the bad apple in this scenario, because there are so many areas between good and bad – nothing is ever clear cut.

Buy The Whispers at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Century;  Ebook release – 18th March 2021 – Hardback release – 15th April 2021 – Hardback, £12.99. Buy at Waterstones.

#BlogTour Can You See Me Now by Trisha Sakhlecha

 This book should absolutely be on your radar for 2021! It’s an excellent crime read. It’s my turn on the BlogTour Can You See me Now by Trisha Sakhlecha.

About the Author

Trisha Sakhlecha grew up in New Delhi and now lives in London.  For her new novel she draws upon a true story – a famous scandal that erupted at her own high school and which changed India.  She works in fashion and is a graduate of the acclaimed Faber Academy writing course. In the past, Trisha has worked as a designer, trend forecaster, and lecturer. She is the author of Your Truth Or Mine?.

Follow @trishasakhlecha on Twitter, on Instagram, Visit www.trishasakhlecha.comBuy Can You See Me Now

About the book

Three Indian girls. One horrific scandal.  And fifteen years later, secrets that refuse to stay buried…

Fifteen years ago, three sixteen-year-old girls meet at Wescott, an exclusive private school in India.  Two, Sabah and Noor, are the most popular girls in their year. One, Alia, is a new arrival from England, who feels her happiness depends on their acceptance.

Before she knows it, Sabah and Noor’s intoxicating world of privilege and intimacy opens up to Alia and, for the first time, after years of neglect from her parents, she feels she is exactly where, and with whom, she belongs.

But with intimacy comes jealousy, and with privilege, resentment, and Alia finds that it only takes one night for her bright new world to shatter around her.

Now Alia, a cabinet minister in the Indian government, is about to find her secrets have no intention of staying buried . . .

Review

Three young girls become friends or as friendly as teenage girls can be until someone gets upset, and of course when one person is intruding on a tight twosome there is always going to be trouble. Two rich girls and a poor girl full of resentment and ambition, what could possibly go wrong?

The story goes from present to past with Sabah and Alia as one of them decides to revisit a traumatic event in their past, and the other fears the truth could implode her chances of climbing the political ladder. 

This book is a stark reminder of why the female of the human species, especially during their teenage years, are one of the most vicious species on the planet. Willing to humiliate, bully, control, hurt and then revel in the aforementioned – yes, they are quite something to behold and experience. Given the right circumstances and motivation they will destroy within the blink of an eye and in the next moment cry genuine tears of remorse at the damage they have caused.

The author uses that element of teenage hysteria, vengeance and lack of good judgement or choices to create an atmosphere of mistrust, paranoia and a need to belong. All of those factors lead in to the culture of victimisation of women, especially in India, which plays an important role in this story.

The rape culture, the victim blaming, the general attitude towards women and young girls who are sexually assaulted, raped and in the majority of cases murdered. Whether Alia uses this platform in an attempt to cleanse her own conscience or just because it is a popular one – it is one that needs to spoken about. The author does an excellent job of showing the disparity between gender, class, wealth and of the course the patriarchal tomb of silence that allows perpetrators to walk away unpunished, whilst women suffer and die.

I loved this book. It is a well written intriguing crime read and social commentary. I very much hope to read more by this author in the future.

Buy Can You See Me Now at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Pan Macmillan, pub date 4 February 2021, paperback original, £8.99. Buy at Amazon comHiveBookshop orgWaterstones.

#BlogTour Safe and Sound by Philippa East

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Safe and Sound by Philippa East.

About the Author

Philippa East is a fiction writer with HQ/HarperCollins and she also works as a clinical psychologist.

Philippa grew up in Scotland before moving to Oxford and then London to complete her clinical psychology training. A few years ago, she left the NHS to set up her own part-time practice and dedicate more hours to writing. The result was her debut novel Little White Lies, which was longlisted for The Guardian’s Not-The-Booker Prize and shortlisted for the CWA “New Blood” Award 2020.

Philippa’s next book Safe and Sound is another twisty and compelling tale. For a fun preview, check out the video trailer on Philippa’s Amazon Author page (best with sound on!). Released in February 2021, Safe and Sound is available to buy now.

Philippa now lives in the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside with her husband and cat. She loves reading (of course!) and long country walks, and she also performs in a local folk duo called The Miracle Cure. Alongside her writing, Philippa continues to work as a psychologist and therapist.

Follow @philippa_east on Twitteron Amazonon GoodreadsBuy Safe and Sound

About the book

Home can be the most dangerous place… In a small London bedsit, a radio is playing. A small dining table is set for three, and curled up on the sofa is a body…

Jenn is the one who discovers the woman, along with the bailiffs. All indications suggest that the tenant – Sarah Jones – was pretty, charismatic and full of life. So how is it possible that her body has lain undiscovered for ten whole months?

Review

Jenn is the first to admit that she has struggled in the past and is scared she might slip into darker periods of her life again. It’s important that she stay on track for herself and her young son. Unfortunately it looks as if she has let some of her work slide and in doing so has inadvertently put someone else at harm. 

The death of a young woman disrupts her fragile hold on her own mental stability, a woman she should have checked up on. Jenn becomes obsessed with finding out what happened and why.

There is a parallel between Jenn and her responsibility towards Sarah, and in turn the mental health services and their responsibility towards Jenn. It’s the core of story, who does carry responsibility and accountability and to what degree. The human element means human error, which is the variable no one can ever predict accurately.

I thought I had it sussed  it within the first few chapters, but the author clearly plans for the deductive readers and gives this psychological thriller a bit more bite and mystery to keep them engaged. East gives an interesting insight into the world of mental health, both from the perspective of the person dealing with said issues and the support services surrounding them.

It’s clear that the system and the services are lacking due to overworked staff and underfunding, which is how people fall in between the cracks of the system. On the other side you have a woman battling with the stigma of mental health and the fear someone could notice a decline. The need to appear healthy to the outside world creates a vicious cycle of guilt, shame and desperation – a cycle that is detrimental to all involved.

If this book is any indication of what this author can bring to the table then this just the first of many riveting reads.

Buy Safe and Sound at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ pub date 18 Feb. 2021. Buy at Amazon comHiveBookshop orgWaterstones.

#BlogTour Bright Lies by A.A. Abbott

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Bright Lies by A.A. Abbott.

About the Author

British crime thriller writer A.A. Abbott (also known as Helen Blenkinsop) loves to escape with an exciting and emotional read, and that’s what she aims to write too. Based in Bristol, she’s also lived and worked in London and Birmingham. All three cities feature in her pacy suspense thrillers. Her latest psychological thriller, ‘Bright Lies’, begins in North Somerset with a posh art exhibition in Bath. Young Emily meets the man who will change her life and cause her to run away to a squat in Birmingham, work in a nightclub and get further entangled in a web of lies.

To write ‘Bright Lies’, Helen has had advice from thirty beta readers on subjects as varied as police procedure, drug abuse, grooming, art, music, DJing and clubbing. She’s grateful to them and to her editor, Katharine D’Souza, for making huge improvements to the story.

Helen’s earlier 5 book Trail series is a lighter read focused on a vodka business. Snow Mountain is a premium vodka made in the former Soviet Union, and its owners have blood on their hands. The saga follows the fortunes of two families running the business and what happens when they fall out with each other and with a London gangster. Glamorous heroine Kat is the girl readers love to hate at the beginning of the series, but by the last book, she has won them over. Book research for the series included prison life, hotel research and vodka. Helen especially enjoyed a tour and tasting with the helpful folk at the Chase Distillery in Herefordshire.

Like 10% of us, many of Helen’s family are dyslexic. While she is not, she wants her books to be enjoyed by readers with dyslexia and visual impairment too. She publishes her thrillers in a Large Print dyslexia-friendly edition as well as the standard paperback and Kindle versions. (You can also adjust the font on your Kindle to suit your needs.) Audiobooks are definitely on the cards – watch this space!

Helen likes speaking to book groups, business networks and social circles, and reading thrillers and short stories at live fiction events and on Zoom. If you’re a book blogger, litfest organiser, reviewer or simply adore books, she’d love to hear from you.

Helen is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors, Bristol Fiction Writers’ Group, and Birmingham’s New Street Authors. Find out more and get a free e-book of short stories at https://aaabbott.co.uk

Follow @AAAbbottStories on Twitteron Goodreadson AmazonBuy Bright Lies

About the book

She’s learned too much, too young. Can she break free? Emily’s dreams come true when her mother marries wealthy painter, David. Thanks to him, Emily’s artistic talents shine. Then he starts teaching her things a 14-year-old shouldn’t know. While Emily breaks free, she’s forced to sleep in a rat-infested alley.

Bad boy Jack has turned his life around. Working as a DJ with ambitions to open a club, he rescues Emily from the streets when he sees a woman in trouble. He doesn’t know she’s still only 15 – and trapped in a dark web of secrets and lies.

David must find Emily and silence her. As he closes in, Jack faces the hardest choice of all. If he saves Emily, he’ll kiss goodbye to his future… What would you sacrifice for love?

Review

Emily is on the cusp of discovering herself and her own sexuality, which makes her a prime target for a deviant, but in her mind the experience of feeling special evokes a sense of something exciting and unknown at first. It’s this confusion that victims find hard to reconcile with the reality of being abused.

When Emily finally realises what is happening she tries to escape, which is when she meets Jack. A young man with his own demons, guilt and part of his own crimes includes being a party to indiscretions against the vulnerable. The question is whether he can change his path and make the kind of choices that will either protect Emily or put her in more danger.

It’s a fast-paced psychological and domestic thriller. I felt it lacked clarity at times and was a bit rushed, the underlying premise and ideas are good though. More depth, better dialogue or giving characters the chance to delve deeper would do the premise more justice.

Grooming is still a very misunderstood crime. People always think of strangers in connection with grooming and tend to underestimate the number of victims who fall prey to someone in their inner circle. Accepting that someone you know could be a sexual deviant is a hard pill to swallow, so it is easier to dismiss accusations and ignore alarm signals when you experience them. The thought of falsely accusing someone always rates higher than the voice of a victim – always trust your gut instinct.

Buy Bright Lies at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Perfect City Press; pub date 23 Nov. 2020. Buy at Amazon comAt HiveAt Bookshop.org.

#BlogTour The Stolen Sisters by Louise Jensen

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Stolen Sisters by Louise Jensen

About the Author

Louise Jensen is a global No.1 bestselling author of psychological thrillers. Louise has sold over a million English language books and her novels have been sold for translation to twenty-fine territories, as well as being featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers’ lists. Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award and the Guardian’s Not the Booker 2018. the Gift has been optioned for TV and film.

When Louise isn’t writing thrillers, she turns her hand to penning love stories under the name Amelia Henley. Her debut as Amelia Henley, The Life We Almost Had, is out now.

Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northhamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction and writing tips.

Follow @Fab_fiction on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon Facebookon InstagramBuy The Stolen Sisters

About the book

Three little girls missing. One family torn apart…

Leah’s perfect marriage isn’t what it seems but the biggest lie of all is that she’s learned to live with what happened all those years ago. Marie drinks a bit too much to help her forget. And Carly has never forgiven herself for not keeping them safe.

Twenty years ago these three sisters were taken. What came after they disappeared was far worse. It should have brought them together, but how can a family ever recover?

Especially when not everyone is telling the truth . . .

Review

It’s the nightmare every parent hopes they never experience – their child going missing. When three little girls from the same family go missing at the same time, everyone is glad it isn’t their family. A tragedy, an unbearable nightmare.

The sisters learn to protect and rely on each other, even after everything they have experienced together and the losses they suffered. Each one of them has their own scars to carry and damage to control. It makes having relationships difficult and sometimes the memories have to be drowned in the bottom of a bottle.

Leah in particular has very specific demons to battle, which are enhanced by the need to keep her own child safe. Her marriage is suffering because of her inability to leave the past behind her, but then some people are determined to keep the past alive.

Jensen lets the reader decide where to lay blame and guilt, if indeed they decide to do so. There isn’t really a way to discern the true measure of pain, betrayal and a lifelong sense of fear – no way to measure the times it interferes with their lives and the way each sister conducts or interacts with the outside world. So, no I’m not sure there is a real way of distributing the blame, despite the fact the sisters do it quite well themselves, albeit often in an unbalanced way.

The author takes a horror scenario and fills it with a shocking twist that changes the narrative, and yet the bond between the characters remains strong. The feeling of gratefulness overshadows the events and even the anger towards the guilty, at least to a certain extent.

It’s a domestic psychological thriller, which probably won’t read or go the way you expect it to. A typical riveting Jensen read.

Buy The Stolen Sisters at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 30 Sept. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour One Step Behind by Lauren North

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour One Step Behind by Lauren North.

About the Author

Lauren North writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and from her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation. Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside.

Follow @Lauren_C _North @TransworldBooks on Twitter, or Lauren on Facebook, on Amazonon Goodreads,Visit Lauren-North.comBuy One Step Behind

About the book

Jenna is a wife, a mother, a doctor. She’s also the victim of a stalker. Every time she leaves her house, she sees him. Disturbing gifts are left at her door. Cruel emails are sent to her colleagues. She  has no idea who this man is but she feels powerless against him.

Until the day he is brought into her hospital after a serious accident, and Jenna is given the chance to find out once and for all why this man is tormenting her. Now, the power is all hers. But how many lines is she willing to cross to take back control of her life?

Review

It’s not paranoia when there really is someone out to get you, right? The whole core of this story revolves around the way the main character is perceived. It’s easy to call someone crazy when you’re not on the receiving end of a stalker. It’s easy to brush off the worries of someone else when you’re not the one being threatened on a daily basis.

Jenna feels as if her stalker has invaded every part of her life, even the house and her privacy. He is there when she opens her door, takes her kids to school and when she goes home from work. He is everywhere all the time. Then one day he ends up in a situation where his life and death is in her hands.

North builds her story around a very important scenario, which was not acknowledged as a crime for many years. Only in recent years certain countries have started to address the fact that stalking is a crime, a crime that usually escalates into something more dangerous for the victim.

For too long victims have been told they had to wait until an actual crime had been committed until the police could intervene – many of those victims are dead thanks to an outdated criminal justice system.

North delivers a read that throws up some interesting dilemmas at times. Would you have made the same choice in the A&E for instance? Just throwing that out there. It’s a fast-paced read full of creepiness, betrayal and secrets.

Buy One Step Behind at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher:Transworld; Paperback | pub date 3rd September 2020 | £7.99 | Corgi Ebook available from 16th July 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North.

#BlogTour Not My Daughter by Suzy K. Quinn

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Not My Daughter by Suzy K. Quinn.

About the Author

Suzy K Quinn is a British fiction author, and writes in three different genres: psychological thriller, comedy and romance. She was first published by Hachette in 2010 with her debut novel Glass Geishas (now Night Girls), then self-published a romance series, the Ivy Lessons, which became an international bestseller and a #1 Kindle romance bestseller in the US and UK.

After her second daughter was born in 2013, she self-published the Bad Mother’s Diary series, which also went on to become a #1 Kindle romantic comedy bestseller.

Suzy K Quinn’s novels have been translated into 7 languages and her books have sold over ¾ million copies worldwide.

Suzy lives in Wivenhoe, Essex, with her husband Demi and two daughters, and travels to Mexico every year to write and study Mayan story telling. Suzy loves her family, friends and readers, but when pushed to add more to the list, she also loves travelling, food and alcohol.

Follow @SuzyKQuinn on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit suzykquinn.comBuy Not My Daughter

About the book

I told my daughter a terrible lie…

Lorna never told her sixteen-year-old daughter the chilling truth about her real father. But one morning, she finds Liberty missing — and realizes the teenager has left to find the man she once fled from…

After sixteen years of protecting my daughter from the dark secret of her past, I wake one morning to find her room empty, rucksack gone. Most runaways return within 72 hours, but I’m not so sure. I think my daughter has gone to find her real father – the man I fled from years ago.

No one knows better than me that beneath his charm lies a monster. I escaped him once. But will she see him for what he really is? After all, blood is thicker than water…

Review

It’s one thing to be trapped in a situation with someone who is an expert manipulator but it is quite another to be trapped in one with someone who is a global star.

Or is this really a case of fandom turned obsessive stalker? Lorna has built her entire life on a bed of lies, which is what makes her sensitive to any intrusion from the outside world. She keeps her daughter Liberty so isolated and caged that the teenager has started to rebel against the very strict rules her mother has put in place.

Little does Lorna know that Liberty is ten steps ahead of her mother when it comes to breaking free and finding out what Lorna has been hiding all these years. She is off to find the mysterious father her mother has kept her away from her entire life. A rock star, a living legend who lives in the middle of his own forest just a few miles away.

Quinn presents a not entirely uncommon situation – a he said she said dilemma. Is she an insane fan or is he a skilled manipulator? By putting the world of celebrity into the equation it amplifies the imbalance of power and the lack of support potential victims encounter.

Without drawing specific attention to it the author also shows the position of strength a powerful person can manipulate from. A platform can be used to influence fans and followers, which always puts the non-celebrity in a weaker position.

It’s an emotional fast-paced read with a nice wicked twist at the end.

Buy Not My Daughter at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 28 May 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Don’t Tell Teacher by Suzy K. Quinn.

#BlogTour The Wrong Move by Jennifer Savin

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour the Wrong Move by Jennifer Savin.

About the Author

Jennifer Savin is an award-winning journalist and currently Features Writer at Cosmopolitan. Jennifer has a particular passion for investigative journalism – something which has found her in all manner of situations, from going undercover to share a tiny bedroom with a stranger for 10 days while tackling the housing crisis, to going undercover to expose the ‘landloards’ offering vulnerable women free rent in exchange for sex.

Follow @JenniSavin on Twitter@savcity on Instagram, on Goodreadson AmazonBuy The Wrong Move

About the book

You Thought it was the perfect flat…

When Jessie moves into a flatshare at Maver Place, she’s finally found a decent place to live. And when she’s befriended by fellow tenants Lauren and Sofie, she’s got great flatmates to share it with. You think she’s safe. You think she can trust these people. You’re wrong. When you flatshare, how well do you really know the people that you’re living with?

Review

I’m not sure immersing yourself into the world of flatmate banality and living restrictions is the right way to recover and rebuild your life after escaping an abusive relationship. Then again it’s hard to start from the bottom and work yourself up again. Jessie is willing to ignore any doubts or concerns she might have, because she is desperate to reboot her life.

Yes, the previous tenant seems to have left under a mysterious circumstances. Some of the flatmates are peculiar and the reign of terror her ex has started against her is enough to drive anyone insane.

It’s a psychological thriller that is built around a centre of chaos and paranoia. You know what they say though – it isn’t paranoia if they really are out to get you.

At some points in the story you start to doubt the narrative Jessie is providing. Is she really as innocent as she appears to be, just incredibly naive or perhaps unlucky. There are certainly moments where she can be accused of being hypocritical. If she can break unspoken rules why can’t others?

Although the author doesn’t use an element of disbelief when it comes to the main character and the other characters, she does use it within the boundaries of the main characters psyche. The paranoia and distrust become the devil on the shoulder whispering doubts and untruths. What is truth and what is lie, which is ultimately what makes the read.

Buy The Wrong Move at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Ebury Press; pub date 23rd April 2020 |  Paperback Original | £7.99 | Also in Ebook. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour Silent Cry by Jenny O’Brien

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Silent Cry by Jenny O’Brien.

About the Author

Born in Dublin, Jenny O’Brien moved to Wales and then Guernsey, where she tries to find time to write in between working as a nurse and ferrying around 3 teenagers.

She’s an avid reader and book blogger in addition to being a previous RoNA judge. In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off. She’s also an all-year-round sea swimmer.

Follow @ScribblerJB on Twitter, On Facebookon Amazonon Goodreadson Instagram, Visit jennyobrienwriter.wordpress.comBuy Silent Cry

About the book

Alys is fine. Don’t try to find us.

Five years ago, Izzy Grant’s boyfriend Charlie took their newborn daughter Alys out for a drive.They never came back.

After years of waiting, Izzy has almost given up hoping that they’re still alive – until a note is pushed through her door telling her they’re fine, not to look for them. Suddenly the case is top priority again, and Izzy is swarmed with faces from the past: the detective who was first on the scene to help; an old friend who vanished not long after Alys and Charlie.

Izzy doesn’t know who she can trust, who is sending her notes, where Charlie and Alys might be. Her only ally is DC Gabriella Darin, recently transferred from Cardiff and fleeing a painful past of her own.

Gaby knows something doesn’t fit with the case, and she knows Izzy won’t rest until she finds out what really happened to her daughter. Could someone she knew and trusted really have taken Alys from her?

Wherever Alys and Charlie are, Gaby is determined to find them, no matter what it takes. Somewhere in Izzy’s past is a clue, if Gaby can only find it…

Review

At the most vulnerable, confusing and happiest time in her life the last thing Izzy expects is the ultimate betrayal. The kind of betrayal that never lets go of your heart, mind or soul. Five years ago, shortly after giving birth to her daughter Alys, Izzy’s boyfriend Charlie disappears with the baby. The only thing left in this mysterious wake of destruction is a postcard ‘Alys is fine. Don’t try to find us’ -that’s all.

No words of explanation. No trail left to follow. All there is are the suspicions and conspiracy theories of a distraught mother. DC Gabriella Darin is the only person who seems to be interested in helping Izzy find the truth.

The author gives an accurate and heartbreaking account of what it must be like for victims of missing loved ones. The people who are relegated to cold case file status, because the clues and the trails run cold. None of that changes the way they feel about the missing or their need to find them.

It’s a psychological thriller built on constantly rising emotional tension.

O’Brien builds her story on the complacency and assumptions of her readers. We expect, so we assume. Our minds create the rest of the narrative around the few details and minimal information we receive at the beginning. Full steam ahead towards  – and that’s when we end up in the ocean waiting for someone to throw us a lifeline, because the plot gets turned upside down.

Buy Silent Cry at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 17 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of The Stepsister by Jenny O’Brien.

#BlogTour Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle.

About the Author

Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including her forthcoming domestic suspense, Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Follow @KimberlySBelle on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit kimberlybellebooks.comBuy Dear Wife

About the book

Beth Murphy is on the run…

For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning–one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.

Sabine Hardison is missing…

A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.

As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long.

Review

‘He robbed me of the ability to trust in others’ – truth.

The story begins with the escape of an abused wife. Beth has planned it meticulously. Burner phones, false leads, new identity and despite being able to breathe for the first time in years, she knows it’s just the start of a really long process to rebuild her life.

Simultaneously a woman called Sabine goes missing and her husband becomes the focus of the police investigation. Is he the caring, attentive husband he appears to be? Why isn’t he that bothered by her disappearance? So many questions, which just makes it all the more interesting.

Who is Beth really? What is her connection to the missing woman. Are they the same woman just at different times during one story? Is Sabine on the run too? These questions and the doubt are actually the details that create this sense of being a passenger without knowing the destination or the driver. The author lets the truth drop bit by bit as the story evolves.

Belle writes a wicked psychological thriller and a tense crime read. What won me over was the authenticity when it came to the domestic abuse aspect of the read, and it’s done without gratuitous details.

This type of abuser works hard on their two faces – the public and the private one. This type of abuser has a support network of enablers. Their victims are generally not believed and their characters are maligned as part of the misinformation dissemination process, and as part of the carefully structured physical, psychological and emotional abuse.

The author is an incredibly gifted plotter and storyteller, and delivers a fantastic read.

Buy Dear Wife at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 16 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.