#Blogtour The Ugly Truth by L.C. North

It’s a pleasure to take part in Blogtour The Ugly Truth by L.C. North.

About the Author

L.C. North studied psychology at university before pursuing a career in Public Relations. Her first book club thriller – The Ugly Truth – combines her love of psychology and her fascination with the celebrities in the public eye. L.C. North is currently working on her second novel, and when she’s not writing, she co-hosts the crime thriller podcast, In Suspense. L.C. North lives on the Suffolk borders with her family. L.C. North is the pen name of Lauren North. 

Follow her on Twitter @Lauren_C_North and @lauren_c_north on Instagram

About the book

Everyone’s telling a different story. Who do you believe? Melanie Lange has disappeared. Her father, Sir Peter Lange, says she is a danger to herself and has been admitted to a private mental health clinic.

Her ex-husband, Finn, and best friend, Nell, say she has been kidnapped. The media will say whichever gets them the most views. But whose side are you on? #SaveMelanie #HelpPeter

‘Told exclusively through interviews, transcripts and diary entries, The Ugly Truth is a gripping, original and smart thriller. It explores the influence of the press and social media on public opinion and in private lives; from conservatorship to the lack of mental health support for reality TV stars, the news cycle is full of stories about the often tragic consequences of media attention. L.C. North cleverly weaves these themes into a tense and compulsive thriller, perfect for book clubs. This thought-provoking and conversation-starting novel reminds us of the people behind the headlines, and how difficult it can be to separate fact from fiction.’


I think this dark psychological domestic thriller echoes a manifestation of the negative attributes of social media, the media overall, and how we all have front seats to the actions and emotions of our fellow humans on a daily basis. Whilst the above comes with plenty of positives, such as information sharing at high-speed, which is especially important in countries and situations that would and are usually shrouded in a cloud of information suppression, connecting all of us via threads of virtual communication can often come at a costly price.

The question is whether the positive outweighs the negative. Keeping in mind that media is now opinion sharing and no longer fact based reporting, which brings disinformation, misinformation, propaganda, and both troll and bot farm driven information. It’s also important to remember that our media companies are run by wealthy private individuals and big companies who drive their own political, social and personal agendas via these forums.

The above, and indeed the ability to influence a worldwide audience, is at the core of the story. It doesn’t matter what the truth is – only how many people you can convince that your narrative is the truth.

This is actually more than just a psychological thriller, it’s also simultaneously a poignant reminder of the way society is wrapped up in technology and the trickle down changes in the younger generations we are seeing. Opinion is fact, rumours are facts, truth is a blurred narrative with a lack of boundaries. Imagine being a victim or someone falsely accused in that ever expanding vacuum of opinions and reactions. Real life consequences and real time damage. Imagine, if you will, the power this allows the liar to wield.

Kudos to the author for the ending that leaves us with more questions than answers. Is that in itself a product of the above. That no matter what kind of factual proof a person convinced by a hydra of mixed messages receives they will stand on their hill and defend it blindly, despite the damage they leave in their wake. It’s a great read. I wonder – are you team Melanie or team Peter?

Buy The Ugly Truth at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bantam Press; pub date 16th March 2023 Hardback | £14.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour The Simple Truth by James Buckler

 It’s my turn on the Blogtour The Simple Truth by James Buckler.

About the Author

James Buckler lives in London. He has worked in film and TV for many years, most notably for MTV and BBC Films. His first thriller, Last Stop Tokyo, published to critical acclaim. The Simple Truth is his second novel. Follow @jamesbuckwriter on Twitter

About the book

A young woman is dead. A very wealthy client needs a favour. You’re newly qualified as a lawyer and this could be your big break, so you jump at the chance.

The case is about to be closed. All you have to do is talk to a family, ask them to sign some papers. How difficult could it be? Their daughter was found dead at a beauty spot on the outskirts of London in what you’re told was a tragic suicide. 

Only you can uncover what really happened. But the truth is never that simple. And this case could cost you your life…


What’s the difference between the crime organisations that deal with the street and the corporate world that cross the occasional boundary? None at all really other than the fact corporate believe they have the moral high ground, due to their education and the nepotism that gives them a helping hand on their paths. Criminal is criminal, right?

When Lewis is picked for distasteful job of getting an NDA signed, by the boss of his form of all people. He thinks it’s a foot in the door to the top, he also presumes it’s because the top tier can see the potential in him. It takes him a while to figure out he is the low-class patsy that belongs neither here nor there, because one set of people won’t accept him because he works for the enemy and the enemy think he will never be good enough to be considered an equal.

Lewis is the perfect man in the middle, and the kind of character that readers feel sympathy for, as he stumbles right into a wasps nest with the best of intentions. Well, perhaps his ambition allows him to ignore the obvious.

It’s a legal thriller, which has the potential to be a series, as Lewis grows and becomes more secure in his self, his nose for crime, and his inadvertent interest in the truth.

Buy The Simple Truth at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bantam Press, pub date 5th January 2023 / Hardback / £14.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena. 

‘The new unputdownable thriller from the ‘queen of the one-sit read’ and multi-million-copy bestselling author of The Couple Next Door. Her most original and twisty book to date. When an elderly couple are found murdered, could their children be responsible?’

About the Author

Shari Lapena worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before writing fiction. Her debut thriller, The Couple Next Door, was a global bestseller, the bestselling fiction title in the UK in 2017 and has been optioned for television. Her thrillers A Stranger in the House, An Unwanted Guest, Someone We Know and The End of Her were all Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers. Follow @sharilapena on Twitter, Visit sharilapena.com

About the book

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets – even the dead. In the quiet, wealthy enclave of Brecken Hill, an older couple is brutally murdered hours after a tense Easter dinner with their three adult children. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their vindictive father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did someone snap after that dreadful evening? Or did another person appear later that night with the worst of intentions? That must be what happened. After all, if one of the family were capable of something as gruesome as this, you’d know. Wouldn’t you?


When a wealthy couple is viciously murdered their immediate family members fall under suspicion, especially the adult children they had dinner with a few hours before their death. Far from being an example of close loving relationships, the family is a snake pit of envy, desperation and a lack of genuine positive interaction.

The general vibe, both dysfunctional and malevolent, reminded me a lot of what family can disintegrate into. It’s this realistic imagery of often contentious relationships between siblings and parents that gives this read an extra bit of spice, and the ending is exactly right and on par with the malicious intent that runs through the story.

Lapena always gives readers an uncomfortable window seat into human nature. It’s not always pleasant or morally correct, but it is an honest representation of what we are capable of and the way some of us conduct ourselves. When you combine that thought with the general idea of family the majority tends to have, then it’s will be no wonder if this raises some eyebrows.

It’s a delightfully dark and menacing domestic thriller, and the author gives the story the ending this family absolutely deserves.

Buy Not a Happy Family at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Transworld Digital pub date 27 July 2021 – Bantam Press; pub date 5th August 2021 / Hardback / £14.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Camelot by Giles Kristian

Today I am really excited to take part in the BlogTour bring you the second book in The Arthurian Tales series, Camelot by Giles Kristian.

‘Following his acclaimed Sunday Times bestseller, Lancelot, Giles Kristian’s new novel returns us to the realms of Arthurian legend . . .’ Oh yes indeed!

About the Author

Family history (he is half Norwegian) and a passion for the fiction of Bernard Cornwell inspired Giles Kristian to write. Set in the Viking world, his bestselling Raven and The Rise of Sigurd trilogies have been acclaimed by his peers, reviewers and readers alike. In The Bleeding Land and Brothers’ Fury, he tells the story of a family torn apart by the English Civil War. He also co-wrote Wilbur Smith’s No.1 bestseller, Golden Lion.

In his most recent novel, the Sunday Times bestseller Lancelot, Giles plunged into the rich waters of the Arthurian legend. For his next book, he continues his epic reimagining of our greatest island ‘history’. Giles Kristian lives in Leicestershire.

Follow @GilesKristian on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagramon Goodreads, Visit gileskristian.comBuy Camelot

About the book

Britain is a land riven by anarchy, slaughter, famine, filth and darkness. Its armies are destroyed, its heroes dead, or missing. Arthur and Lancelot fell in the last great battle and Merlin has not been seen these past ten years. Now, the Saxons are gathering again, their warbands stalk the land, their king seeks dominion.

As for the lords and kings of Britain, they look only to their own survival and will not unite as they once did under Arthur and his legendary sword Excalibur. But in an isolated monastery in the marshes of Avalon, a novice of the order is preparing to take his vows when the life he has known is suddenly turned upside down in a welter of blood.

Two strangers – the wild-spirited, Saxon-killing Iselle and the ageing warrior Gawain – will pluck the young man from the wreckage of his simple existence. Together, they will seek the last druid and the cauldron of a god. And the young man must come to terms with his legacy and fate as the son of the most celebrated yet most infamous of Arthur’s warriors: Lancelot.

For this is the story of Galahad, Lancelot’s son – the reluctant warrior who dared to keep the dream of Camelot alive . . .


I will have to try and be careful with this one there are just too many juicy plot secrets that would spoil the read for others. Let me try and declare how much I love this book without telling you exactly why.

Let me start by saying that the first in The Arthurian Tales series, Lancelot, is a hard act to follow – even for the author who wrote it. If you haven’t read it yet then please do, you are missing out on a superb read. Camelot is a continuation of the tale of Lancelot, Arthur and Guinevere or rather of the people left behind after the last great battle saw the demise of the destructive trio.

In an isolated monastery in the middle of the mysterious marshes of Avalon lives a young man who lives in the shadow of his father’s past. He is reluctant to part from his path towards the life of a monk until an old warrior and the young woman who saves his life convince him that perhaps his path is something completely different.

Together with the remnants of Arthur’s loyal comrades they set out on an impossible quest, to restore the power and balance to their country, and their friend. Vague enough for you? Good, because I wouldn’t want you to miss out on the surprises packed into this brilliant story.

Kristian writes about the world of King Arthur as if he were a constant companion in their trials and tribulations, that’s how vivid and realistic his storytelling is. He understands how folklore, myth and history need to become one and the same to fuel the depth of the characters and story.

Both Lancelot and Camelot are an homage to ancient legends whispered and carried along the centuries. Tales of loyalty, courage and magic all fiercely ingrained in the spirit of the isles. Kristian is a pleasure to read – his stories are such a completely immersive experience.

Buy Camelot at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bantam Press – Transworld Digital; pub date 14th May 2020 | Hardback | £12.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Lancelot by Giles Kristian.

#BlogTour Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland

Today it’s the last stop on the BlogTour Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland. This is a riveting psychological thriller with an espionage vibe.

About the Author

Karen Cleveland spent eight years as a CIA analyst, focusing on counter-terrorism  and working briefly on rotation to the FBI. She has master’s degrees from Trinity College Dublin and Harvard University. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two young sons.

Follow @KarenCleve on Twitter, on Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit karen-cleveland.com

Buy Keep You Close

About the book

A strange sensation runs through me, a feeling that I don’t know this person in front of me, even though he matters more to me than anyone ever has, than anyone ever will.

You go into your son’s bedroom. It’s the usual mess. You tidy up some dirty plates, pick up some clothes, open the wardrobe to put them away.

And that’s when you find it. Something so shocking it doesn’t seem real. And you realize a horrifying truth…

Your own son might be dangerous…


Steph has a successful career and is a workaholic, much to the dismay of her son and her mother. The only thing marring her life is the dark secret she has kept hidden for nearly two decades. She is completely thrown for a loop when a colleague drops by wanting to speak to her son about his online contacts and possible worrying behaviour.

Her initial reaction is shock, anger and disbelief, but then she knows something her colleague is unaware of. Something that implies his accusations could be true.

Lots of nice little misdirections and red herrings going on. Readers are definitely kept on their feet. Cleveland uses body language to insinuate deeper, darker and more insidious secrets than what Steph can see on the surface.

If you leave the plot aside for a moment I think the relationship and interactions between Steph and Zachary are indicative of something more dangerous in our society. A certain unknown variable that is hard to put a finger on, when our children move away from us so much that we can lose them completely. When they fall into the trap of radicalisation, because they are vulnerable and at an age where everything can seem enticing.

It’s easy to see why Steph is torn between believing her son is innocent and fearing he may be a complete stranger capable of the worst crimes she can imagine.

This is a riveting psychological thriller with an espionage vibe. It’s an enthralling read about love, the bond between mother and child, trust and most of all it’s about instinct. Is instinct enough to deter a crime or risk an entire career. Is a gut instinct enough to go on when it comes to someone you love endangering others? If push came to shove would you choose blood or the safety of others?

Buy Keep You Close at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bantam Press;pub date 27 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Ellie and the Harp Maker by Hazel Prior

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Ellie and the Harp Maker. It’s contemporary fiction, a story about breaking free from the chains of our existence and societal rules.About the Author

Hazel Prior lives on Exmoor with her husband and a huge ginger cat. As well as writing, she works as a harpist.

You can find and follow Hazel at @HaveAHarp on Twitter, Visit hazeltheharpist.co.uk

Buy Ellie and the Harp Maker

About the book

Meet Ellie. She’s perfectly happy with her home and her husband and her quiet life. Happy enough, anyway. Which is why she’s so surprised to find herself drawn to an extraordinary stranger who gives her a gift – and a fresh perspective.

Dan. He thinks all he needs to be happy is the time and space to carry on making harps. Sometimes people buy them, too. But the last thing he expects is for Ellie to walk into his life, a whirlwind with cherry-coloured socks, bringing a string of surprises into his ordered existence.

As Ellie and Dan get to know one another, they begin to see the world – and themselves – in an entirely new way…


What comes to mind when you read this is the simplicity of the interactions, the words, the dialogue and structure of the story.

Whilst it is never referred to in the sense of a diagnosis, it’s clear that Dan doesn’t fit into certain typical stereotypes. He has his own way of living. A perspective through his own lenses, which doesn’t necessarily fit with the general overall perspective the majority of the world has.

The author doesn’t give it or Dan a label, which I found quite refreshing, because that way every reader experiences him in a different way and through their own frame of reference.

His vision of the world and of beauty is envisioned through the works of art, his harps. He doesn’t make them to make money, he creates them because he has a calling. That’s the only way to explain it. His harps have individual identities, each one forged by hand.

When Ellie stumbles upon Dan and his harps she has no idea how it will change her life. It helps her to open up the door to her own wants, needs and dreams. A life controlled, determined and undermined first by her parents and then by her husband. A possessive and abusive husband who doesn’t want her to discover the magic of harps.

On a side-note: Anyone who calls any person, especially a woman Honey-pun deserves to be tarred, feathered, maimed and quartered. I am fairly certain that would drive me to commit the most heinous of crimes. Why did you kill your husband? He called me Honey-pun one too many times.

I couldn’t decide whether I liked the oversimplified writing, however when taking the entirety of the story into consideration it helped to portray and tell the story in a way it needed to be told.

It’s contemporary fiction, a story about breaking free from the chains of our existence and societal rules. It’s also a story about self-discovery and lifting the veil of oppression.

Buy Ellie and the Harp Maker at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.Publisher: Bantam Press; pub date 2 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Rumour by Lesley Kara

Today it is my turn on the BlogTour The Rumour by Lesley Kara. Kara gives the reader a run for their money with this exceptionally well-plotted read.

About the Author

Lesley Kara is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She completed an English degree and PGCE at Greenwich University, having previously worked as a nurse and a secretary, and then became a lecturer and manager in Further Education. Lesley has relocated to a small town on the North Essex coast, where she is currently working on her second novel.

Follow @LesleyKara @TransworldBooks on Twitter, on Instagram on Facebook, Visit lesleykara.com

Buy The Rumour

About the book

One casual remark. One whispered confidence.

That’s all it takes to set the wheels in motion and change the course of a life.

Imagine innocently passing on a rumour you’ve heard, a snippet of information, a story someone told you one morning … You don’t realise that this particular rumour isn’t just idle gossip – it is something far more dangerous. And once it’s out there, there’s no getting it back. You’re about to regret the day you ever said a word…

This is what happens to Joanna, single mother, part time estate agent when she hears a rumour that a notorious child killer is living in a safe house in her home town. Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death 47 years ago. No photos of her exist since her release from prison as a young woman. Joanna passes this rumour on without realising the repercussions.

The Rumour shows how easily secrets and lies and whispers can poison a small community. Tongues wag in the street, at the school gates, in book clubs, at children’s birthday parties – and whilst some people realise it needs to be stopped, others are fanning the flames… everyone you meet sparks suspicion. This is not a ‘whodunnit’, more of a which of your neighbours is it?


Joanna inadvertently becomes one of the first of a long domino wall when she repeats a rumour in an attempt to fit in with her peers and neighbours. She has no idea what ramifications her loose mouth will have, especially when it comes to her own safety and that of her child.

In a small village or town everyone knows everyone else’s business and rumours can take on a life of their own. When Joanne overhears someone mentioning the fact that the notorious Sally McGowan, a ten-year-old who killed a child nearly 50 years ago, may be living in their town, she doesn’t think twice about using the juicy gossip to ingratiate herself with her new acquaintances.

Looking at a horrific crime from the outside is easy, especially when it comes to making snap judgements and having an opinion. The media tends to gaslight and sensationalize in an attempt to get more readers. Everyone has an opinion and solution to the problem. A few months ago I moved from the outside looking in to being in the midst of one these situations, and now I see things a lot differently.

One of the points Kara is trying to make is that although in a small minority of cases a child who kills is also a psychopath, sociopath or too damaged by abuse or trauma to be helped, the majority can be rehabilitated.

What happens when the killers try to live a normal life after being released, when they are hunted by the media and overzealous vigilantes? Don’t they have the right to try and live their lives after fulfilling their debt to society via the prison system? Does it depend on the crime, the intent during the crime or the age of the victim?

The other side of the coin is the way the victim’s family feels about the crime. It isn’t unusual to want revenge and be filled with a longing for vengeance. The fact that their child can never grow up, have children or build a life is seen in direct comparison to the perpetrator who will one day walk the streets again, and able to do all the aforementioned. Even a life sentence doesn’t mean life. When a child kills they are kept in secure environments for under-aged criminals, and then usually released at the age of 21. A lot of families find it hard to accept that they are allowed to live and enjoy their lives, whilst their child is a memory.

I really enjoyed this book, perhaps more so because it shines a light on so many underlying issues surrounding children who kill, the way the media influences our society and the danger of Chinese whispers. By putting all of these together with a captivating plot and intriguing characters the author creates the right recipe for a perfect story. Everyone is nearly always the right fit when it comes to being the suspect, and Kara gives the reader a run for their money with this exceptionally well-plotted read.

Buy The Rumour on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy The Rumour at Amazon Com