#BlogTour The Wild Girls by Phoebe Morgan

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Wild Girls by Phoebe Morgan

About the Author

Phoebe Morgan is an author and senior commissioning editor. She studied English at Leeds University after growing up in the Suffolk countryside. She has previously worked as a journalist and now edits crime and women’s fiction for a publishing house during the day, and writes her own books in the evenings. The Doll House was her debut novel. It became a #1 iBooks bestseller and spent over 8 weeks in the Kindle top 100. Her new novel The Wild Girls is out now.

Follow @Phoebe_A_Morgan on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit phoebemorganauthor.com

About the book

It’s been years since Grace, Felicity, Alice and Hannah were together – The Wild Girls, as they were once called, are no longer so wild. Alice has settled with a new baby and partner. Hannah is now a teacher. Grace has gone to ground. Only Felicity seems to have the same spark she once had.

And now Felicity has invited them all on the weekend of a lifetime – a mini-break in Botswana to celebrate her birthday, a chance to put that night two years ago behind them, when things went so very wrong between them, and their bomb-proof friendship was shattered for ever.

But on arriving at the luxury safari lodge, a feeling of unease settles on Grace, Hannah and Alice. Felicity isn’t there to meet them. There’s no sign of the party she promised. The awful phone signal means that they are on their own, in the wild…  It’s a weekend with a difference. But who is hunting who?

Review

This some kind of messed up – I tell ya. It’s enough to put anyone off having friendships or friendship groups. Perhaps this group of women should consider going their separate ways, then again after they have their jolly weekend trip they may never see each other ever again.

Felicity has invited her three best friends to celebrate her birthday, who can say no to a trip to Botswana – all expenses paid. Hannah doesn’t want to leave her young child and her husband, Alice can do with a break from her toxic relationship, and Grace is the mouse who goes along with what the others say.

Morgan does like a secret left hook, especially when you’re not expecting it and it’s completely out of the blue. You think you know who the bad guy is, but do you really? Or is it a case of everyone has their secrets and is willing to do anything to keep them buried?

It’s a captivating psychological thriller with a bit of Bates Motel vibe. The hunted have no clue they are in the sights of a vengeful person with no remorse. It gives readers the perfect balance between crime read and psychological thriller, and why hanging onto old friendships like the old pair of jeans you fit in twenty years ago in the hopes you will eventually lose ten kilos you gained might not be the right thing to do.

Buy The Wild Girls at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : HQ pub date 15 April 2021. Buy at Amazon comAt Waterstones.

#BlogTour Killing the Girl by Elizabeth Hill

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Killing the Girl by Elizabeth Hill.

About the Author

Elizabeth published ‘Killing The Girl’ in April 2019, which has won the ‘Chill With A Book’ Premier Readers Award and Book Of The Month for October 2020. She is now busy working on her second novel, Killing The Shadowman.

We all love a great murder mystery and ‘Killing The Girl explores the reasons why an ordinary woman kills. What pushes her to her limit of endurance and sanity? And could that woman be you?

Elizabeth is a member of The Alliance of Independent Authors, The Bristol Fiction Writers Group and Noir At The Bar, Bath. She was a speaker at the 2019 Bristol Festival of Literature. Elizabeth lives in Bristol, UK. Find out more on her website https://wickedwritersite.wordpress.com

Follow @wickedwriteruk on Twitteron Amazonon GoodreadsBuy Killing the Girl

About the book

For over forty years Carol Cage has been living as a recluse in her mansion, Oaktree House. Fear is her constant companion. She’s been keeping a secret – and it’s about to be unearthed.

When she receives a compulsory purchase order for her home, she knows that everyone is going to find out what she did to survive her darkest weeks in 1970. She writes her confession so that we can understand what happened because she wasn’t the only one living a lie. The events that turned her fairy-tale life into a living hell were not all they seemed.

She’s determined not to pay for the mistakes of others; if she has to suffer, then they will too. Carol Cage has a terrible secret … and she’s about to exact retribution on everyone who’d let her suffer.

Review

When you spend nearly your entire life hiding a secret, albeit one that has brought you peace and hasn’t really kept you up at night, the possibility of it being disclosed can make you feel a little perturbed. To be fair Carol’s secret has brought her some level of peace, but the exposure would definitely bring life as she knows it to a sudden halt.

The reader is taken into her past where the events leading up to the secret she hides play out. Hiding the body of the bad boy love of her life in her backyard seems perfectly normal the way she describes it. Who doesn’t plonk a body in the garden when you need to get rid of someone and make sure nobody finds them at the same time, right?

I was fascinated by the whole concept of Carol and the girl. The dialogue, the self-examination, the questioning and decision making. This idea of accountability and responsibility, the dual roles she inhabits as she takes the readers through her past all the way into the present. In a way Carol is being forced to confront the choices she made and the guilt she carries or the lack of guilt as it may be.

I loved the way the author approached this story – I do like a speculative and cognitive read, especially when it’s combined with a bit of a dark thriller vibe. Simultaneously it’s also an introspective and contemplative experience of one person and their inner meanderings. Their thoughts on what was, what is and how she resign herself to the truth or her version of the truth. I’m looking forward to reading more by Hill.

Buy Killing the Girl at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Independently published pub date 27 April 2019. Buy at Amazon com

#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 Never Forget by Michel Bussi

It was my stop on the BlogTour Never Forget by Michel Bussi yesterday (not sure what happened there) but I am posting today to make up for it. It’s translated by Shaun Whiteside.

About the Author

Michel Bussi is a professor of geopolitics and one of France’s bestselling authors of the past decade. His novels have been published in 35 different countries. He is also the author of After the Crash (Hachette, 2016), Black Water Lilies (Hachette, 2017), and Time Is a Killer (Europa Editions, 2018).

Follow on Amazon, on Goodreads, Buy Never Forget

About the book

Before – A man running along a remote clifftop path on an icy-cold February morning. A woman standing on the cliff’s edge. A red scarf on the ground between them.

After – The man is alone – paralysed by fear. The woman is on the beach below – dead.The red scarf is now perfectly – and impossibly – arranged around the woman’s broken neck.

A handful of seconds. Two lives colliding. – What happened?

Review

This is the kind of read that has the reader playing armchair detective. Trying to solve the mystery before the author tells us the answer, and the main character for that matter, because he certainly has no clue whodunnit. Or does he?

It all begins with a jog along the cliff of a coastal town. Jamal stumbles upon a scarf which leads him to a young woman in distress. He believes she is a little too close to the edge for comfort and decides to help.

It’s a dark psychological thriller – a well-plotted story of murder and vengeance.

Bussi likes to play mind-games both with his characters and readers. It’s a never-ending game of doubt, suspicion, fear, paranoia and guilt. Is Jamal a murderer or just someone who is drawn into a deluded world conjured up by grief?

It reminded me of the more noirish pieces by Christie. The set-up, reveal and the premise, although it’s a lot darker than a prime Agatha.

Keeping everyone off balance is the key to the piece. You never quite know whether characters, places and scenarios are real or imagined. Ghosts or karma, nightmares or reality.

Bussi writes a cracking dark read that will keep you on your toes and looking over your shoulder. And kudos for the cynical dedication by the way.

Buy Never Forget at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson – Orion Books; pub date 9 July 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Waterstones.

#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 Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter

I have been looking forward to taking part in the BlogTour The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter. 20 books – 20 years. Once again Slaughter gives us a fantastic read.

About the Author

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 19 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant Sunday Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her.

The Good Daughter and Cop Town are in development for film and television and Pieces of Her is soon to be an eight-part Netflix adaptation, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (Mad Men), and produced by Charlotte Stoudt (Homeland) and Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies).

Karin is the founder of the Save the Libraries project- a non-profit organisation established to support libraries and library programming. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Follow @SlaughterKarin on Twitteron Goodreadson Amazon, Visit karinslaughter.comBuy The Silent Wife

About the book

Atlanta, Georgia. Present day. A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. The police investigate but the trail goes cold. Until a chance assignment takes GBI investigator Will Trent to the state penitentiary, and to a prisoner who says he recognises the MO. The attack looks identical to the one he was accused of eight years earlier. The prisoner’s always insisted that he was innocent, and now he’s sure he has proof. The killer is still out there.

As Will digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the original case in order to reach the truth. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear. And now he needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer. But when the past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake.

Review

Two crimes that seem to be single entities are connected, which is how Will Trent is drawn into the search for a killer who has allegedly been caught, and the machinations of a criminal with ulterior motives. Whilst peeling back the layers of an historic crime he realises that somewhere along the line people have screwed up and in a way that has cost lives and left scars that will never heal.

Simultaneously he has to navigate the complicated boundaries of his relationship with Sara, which is easier said than done. It’s hard loving a woman who admits that she will never love Will the same way she loved her ex.

Together they have to retrace steps and revisit mistakes to find a ruthless killer, which also leads them right into the clutches of little old troublesome Lena Adams. Such a great character, because she really doesn’t give two monkeys whether she breaks rules, commits crimes or crosses boundaries.

On a side-note I really disliked Sara. Not Sara as the professional, but most certainly in her personal life. Regardless of her past and all her ex-hubby baggage – she really enjoys the drama, perhaps more than she should. It’s a peculiar imbalance, because as far as being the expert when it comes to death and crime scenes she gives Cornwell’s Scarpetta a run for her money.

It’s a police procedural with the vibe of a vicious and meticulously plotted psychological thriller.

I really enjoy the way Slaughter plots. She plays the long game. As a reader you should be looking under beds, remembering every detail and looking out for the solution woven shrewdly into the story. It’s there – if you look close enough.

What this author does exceptionally well is deliver a read you really want to solve. The story keeps you captivated from beginning till the end, which is always a sign of a great read and a talented author.

Buy The Silent Wife at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperCollins; pub date 25 Jun. 2020.| £20.00 | Hardback. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogBlitz The First Lie by A.J. Park

The First Lie by A.J. Park is out tomorrow – Publisher: Orion; pub date 25 Jun. 2020.

A husband and wife cover up a murder. But the lie eats away at the fabric of their relationship and things unravel till they can’t trust anyone – even each other.

About the Author

Follow @AJParkauthor on Twitter, on Amazon, Visit karlvad.comBuy The First Lie

About the book

A freak accident. An impossible choice. But what was the first lie?

When Paul Reeve comes home to find his wife in the bathroom, bloodied and shaking, his survival instinct kicks in.

Alice never meant to kill the intruder. She was at home, alone, and terrified. She doesn’t deserve to be blamed for it. Covering up the murder is their only option.

But the crime eats away at the couple and soon they can’t trust anyone – even one another…

But there is much more at stake than anyone realises – and many more people on their trail than they can possibly evade…

Available as a paperback, ebook and audio bookBuy The First Lie at Amazon UkBuy at Waterstones.

#BlogTour The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

It’s a pleasure to take part on the BlogTour The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton.

About the Author

Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy, and developed a love of travel through moving around so much. This led her to a career as a flight attendant, and it was in the air that she thought of the idea for her debut thriller The Perfect Girlfriend.

Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy, and has now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband. The Perfect Girlfriend was a Sunday Times Top Ten  bestseller in paperback. The Last Wife is her hotly anticipated second novel.

Follow @KJHAuthor on Twitteron Goodreadson Amazon, Visit karenhamiltonwriter.comBuy The Last Wife

About the book

Nina, in the final days of her illness, asks her best friend Marie to look after her family when she’s gone. And Marie does everything she can to step into Nina’s shoes after her friend’s tragic death. She tries to do the best by Nina, tries to be there for Nina’s young children, tries to support Nina’s grieving husband, tries to keep their lives on track despite their terrible loss.

But when Marie discovers a dark secret that Nina had kept concealed, she is forced to confront the past. Tense, heart-breaking and utterly gripping, The Last Wife explores the real nature of love and friendship – and just how fragile every relationship can be in the face of the secrets we hide from each other.

Review

I spent a lovely lazy Sunday – with interruptions for baking and cooking – enjoying this read. It’s exactly what the doctor ordered when it comes to domestic thrillers. Nothing is what it seems, relationships are complicated and the goal posts change as the story progresses.

Marie promised Nina on her deathbed that she would take care of her children and Marie figures that means her poor grieving hubby too, which is fine I suppose if it weren’t for the fact she has her own husband. Her marriage is going through a rough patch because she spends so much time taking care of Nina’s family and obsessing about creating her own.

As the different threads unravel it is difficult to see whether there are any good guys or characters without any ulterior motives at all, and that includes the dead best friend Nina. Everyone appears to have some skin in the game.

What I really enjoyed about this read was the lack of protagonist, because let’s be honest Marie is absolutely without a doubt a bona fide antagonist, even if she doesn’t think she is. That is the beauty of the plot – the fact the reader doesn’t really feel any empathy for Marie because she spends the entire time acting like a very determined serial killer/stalker.

Even when everything points towards her finally comprehending why people have such a problem with her she always has an inner dialogue and the world is set to rights again. Painting herself as the victim is such a narcissistic trait of hers, which in a way makes her such an excellent character.

Kudos to Hamilton for a riveting, fast paced read.

Buy The Last Wife at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Wildfire | pub date 25th June 2020 Hardback | £12.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Waterstones.

Read my review of The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton.