#BlogTour Audiobook: The Estate by Liza Costello

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for the Audiobook The Estate by Liza Costello. Narrated by Denise Gough.

About the Author

Liza Costello was born in County Westmeath, where she lives with her husband and two children. A copy editor and poet, her writing has been broadcast on RTE Radio 1 and published in outlets including The Stinging Fly, The Saturday Independent (Ireland), The Manchester Review and Mslexia. Costello won the Dromineer Literary Festival Poetry Award (2011), came joint second for the Patrick Kavanagh Award for an unpublished collection of poetry (2015), and has been shortlisted for the Sean O’Faolain International Short Story Competition and the Francis McManus Short Story Competition. She is currently completing a PhD on the work of the Irish writer Dermot Healy.

Follow on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit lizacostello.comBuy The Estate

About the book

In her gripping debut, Liza Costello takes listeners on a journey into the world of ‘ghost estates’, sprawling housing complexes left almost abandoned. The Estate follows Beth Sheehan, a young Irish woman staying in a Buddhist retreat in Sri Lanka, where she writes down everything that happened to her back in Ireland in an attempt to believe what she has been told; that she is not guilty of murder.

The Estate transports listeners between the remote Sri Lankan retreat where Beth recovers from her trauma and recession-era Ireland, exploring how her life began to unravel. Isolated from her friends and family, she falls for the intense and charismatic Jason, who persuades her to go with him to housesit in an upmarket ‘ghost estate’ in the rural Irish midlands. When Jason’s arrival is postponed, Beth finds herself alone, with only the inhabitants of the estate for company, including friendly Clara, the strange Mr and Mrs Doran, and Michael, a squatter with substance issues and a medical problem.

As Beth begins to settle into life in her new home, it becomes clear that something dark is happening on the estate. She hears gossip about the house she’s living in alone – rumours about a suicide. And when a child goes missing, the house takes on deadly connotations. There’s no place like home…and Beth hopes there never will be again.

Narrated by Denise Gough (People, Places and Things; Angels in America), The Estate is a shocking story in which motives are thrown into doubt, ties are tested, and truths are questioned. An edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Cass Green.

Review

The story wanders from Beth in a silent Buddhist retreat in Sri Lanka and Beth in Ireland. Life after and life before. Almost like scales of guilt and justice balanced precariously in her mind and as part of her daily reality.

You know what they say nothing comes for free. It’s something that Beth should have considered before accepting a strange offer to move into an elegant high-end rent free house on an isolated housing estate with her boyfriend.

Her friends are fed up with her constant drinking and partying, which is why the roommates all go their separate ways. The relationship with her mother and sister is often strained – they go months without communicating. It puts her in a position of vulnerability, because she is isolated. There is no one to share any fears or concerns with, perhaps to bounce any worries off of.

There is also this element to Beth, a part of her personality that she seems unwilling to acknowledge. She becomes aggressive when she drinks and she drinks a lot. Is she capable of hurting someone? Does she really have herself under control?

It’s not long until the peace in the small community or rather the crushing isolation of the area is disturbed by odd events that lead Beth into something she never expected at all. I’m going to leave it at that, because listeners should hear the story develop for themselves, including the insidious plot that creeps into the life of unsuspecting Beth.

It’s a psychological thriller, an insidious plot with multiple layers. All the story-lines are pulled together to create a fascinating read.

I have to give a nod to Denise Gough for the excellent narration. She absolutely manages to embody the character of Beth, set the stage and execute the plot with authenticity and precision, which of course is a testament to her talents.

This is a cracking debut novel. Costello infuses the story with elements of a domestic, psychological and urban thriller.

Buy The Estate (Audiobook) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length – 6 hours 57 minutes, Author – Liza Costello, Narrator – Denise Gough, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 06 February 2020, Publisher – Audible Studios, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Original recording, Language – English, ASIN – B081VSNX8F,

#BlogTour Audiobook: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Audiobook The Wives by Tarryn Fisher. Narrated by Lauren Fortgang.

About the Author

Tarryn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.  She lives in Seattle with her children and husband.  Her heart is dark but she loves you with it anyway. Tarryn is the founder of Guise of the Villain, a fashion blog, and has written twelve published novels. Tarryn is a Slytherin.

Follow @DarkMarkTarryn on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreadson Facebookon Instagram,Visit tarrynfisher.com, Buy The Wives – Audiobook

About the book

Imagine that your husband has two other wives.

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretences, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then, Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realise she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

Review

Referring to the women as days is a really interesting way to debase them. It suggests a bizarre type of equality, anonymity and lack of importance at the same time. Thursday is my day and the others are Monday and Tuesday, until we realise Thursday is actually also her name.

The polygamy plays a huge role in the premise. The suggestion that women should somehow be pleased with their lot as one of many, as opposed to being important enough to be viewed as an individual. The man is omnipotent and worthy of being served by many. Polygamists lie to themselves when they tell themselves a woman is happy in a situation like that, as do the women.

It makes Thursday insecure and paranoid. She thinks about the other wives all the time. Do they satisfy him the way she does? Are they prettier than she is? Does he love them more? When Thursday finds a scrap of paper with the name of a woman in his pocket the ever mounting hill of questions gets the better of her, so she begins to look for them.

I do enjoy it when a read doesn’t evolve as expected. Fisher leads the readers along on the path paved with red herrings – lets us look out of a few windows and open one or two doors and then lets us watch the carefully constructed building of lies crumble all around us.

The narrator, Lauren Fortgang, adds that necessary level of doubt, suspicion, paranoia and almost manic frenzy that’s needed to accurately portray the emotional depth and confusion Fisher creates in her story.

This was my first read by this particular author, but it certainly won’t be my last.

Buy The Wives – Audiobook at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com. Also available in ebook Paperback.

The Wives

Listening Length – 8 hours 59 minutes, Author – Tarryn Fisher, Narrator – Lauren Fortgang, Whispersync for Voice – Ready, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 30 December 2019, Publisher – HQ, Program Type- Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English, ASIN- B0817239L3

#BlogTour When the Dead Come Calling by Helen Sedgwick

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour When the Dead Come Calling by Helen Sedgwick.About the Author

Helen Sedgwick is the author of The Comet Seekers, selected as a best book of 2016 by the Herald, and The Growing Season, shortlisted for the Saltire Society Fiction Book of the Year in 2018. She has an MLitt in Creative Writing from Glasgow University and won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. Before she became an author, she was a research physicist with a PhD in Physics from Edinburgh University. She now lives and writes in the Scottish Highlands.

Follow @helensedgwick on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit helensedgwick.comBuy When the Dead Come Calling

About the book

A murder investigation unearths the brutal history of a village where long buried secrets threaten a small community.

When psychotherapist Alexis Cosse is found murdered in the playground of the sleepy northern village of Burrowhead, the local police force set out to investigate. It’s not long before they uncover a maelstrom of racism, misogyny and homophobia.

But there’s worse to come. Shaken by the revelations and beginning to doubt her relationship with her husband Fergus, DI Georgie Strachan soon realizes that something very bad is lurking just below the surface. Meanwhile someone – or something – is hiding in the strange, haunted cave beneath the cliffs.

Review

The atmosphere created in this story reminded me of thrillers in the 70/80s. The Hammer House of Horror kind of heavy on the creepy, laced with taut tension and fear lurking in the background to jump all over them. You can’t trust anyone and you never know what is behind closed doors.

At first there is terror and desperation, as we are narrated by someone being stalked or chased. Shift gears and the reader is drawn into the complacent marriage of Georgie and Fergus, which leads to the discovery of a body, which comes as a shock to the small community of Burrowhead.

What appears to be the normal multitude of problems in a small village, such as misogny, sexism, homophobia and racism, is just the cherry on top of a very dark sundae. Somewhere beneath the surface lurks something DI Strachan just can’t seem to put her finger on. Whilst none of these problems are acceptable they also don’t lead Strachan closer to any answers.

The author has a talent for description – the writing is almost lyrical at times. You’re hiding in the cave. You can hear and see the sea. Feel the presence that has laid itself on top of Burrowhead, almost like a darkness no one can see, but everyone is aware of on a certain level. Evil sits on the back of your neck just waiting to do something. You’re not sure what and the expectation is exactly what drives this read.

It’s a psychological murder mystery that has a wonderfully intense atmospheric element to it that lasts until the final page. Sedgwick surprised me. There is this sense of confusion, of being in the dark or surrounded by something, and yet not knowing by what or by whom. I was expecting a straight up crime read, but she has infused it with so much more and added an ending that lends itself to many more stories going forward.

Buy When the Dead Come Calling (The Burrowhead Mysteries #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Point Blank, pub date 9 Jan. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell.

About the Author

Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School. She worked at a prestigious Manhattan law firm before spending eight years fighting crime in NYC as a federal prosecutor. Her debut novel It’s Always the Husband was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller.

Follow @MCampbellBks on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit MicheleCampbellBooks.com

About the book

There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house.

Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aidan, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.

As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aidan for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, he life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder.

Review

Poor Caroline is being played for a fool by her supposedly loving hubby. Not only is he straying from the marital bed he also has the audacity to bring the harlot to their home and parade her in front of their friends and family.

In her despair Caroline ends up having a drunken fling with a younger man. She has no idea that he has a dark and volatile past, and that he might be dangerous. He starts to stalk, threaten and scare her. It’s all too much to deal with as she has to watch the life she loves slowly disintegrate.

Then the coin is flipped and the reader follows Aiden and his perspective on the story, which can in all honesty often come off as stalkerish, possessive and creepy. Simultaenously you get short moments of the desperation he feels to be accepted by family, friends and society in general. Is his connection to and concern for Caroline real? He certainly seems to be unusually invested in keeping her safe. Or is it keeping her to himself?

The story is very much a he said/she said scenario. Should the reader believe Caroline or Aiden? Their stories are so different and yet at times very similar. It’s hard to determine who is telling the truth or who is telling great big fat lies. Well I’m not telling you – you will have to read it and find out.

It’s a psychological thriller, a tense game of half-truths and betrayal. Campbell keeps the narrative of both parties flowing seamlessly – with only tiny glimpses of the actual truth here and there.

Buy A Stranger on the Beach at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; eBook £2.99 pub date 23 July 2019 – Paperback £7.99 pub date 9 Jan 2020 – Audiobook £12.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

#BlogTour The Secret Sister by K.A. Clarke and A.J. Brittany

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Secret Sister by K.A. Clarke and A.J. Brittany. These are pseudonyms for the successful writers Karen Clarke and Amanda Brittany.

About the Author/s

Amanda Brittany lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two dogs. She loves spending time with family, travelling, walking, reading & sunny days. Amanda has also written 3 psychological thrillers: Traces of Her, Tell the Truth and Her Last Lie. Published by HQ Digital/HarperCollins.

Karen Clarke lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children where she writes romantic comedy novels published by Bookouture and psychological suspense for HQDigital/HarperCollins.

The Secret Sister is a psychological suspense co-written by K.A. Clarke and A.J. Brittany and is out in January 2020.

Follow @amandajbrittany on TwitterA.J. Brittany on Goodreads, on Facebook, on Instagram, Visit amandabrittany.co.uk

Follow @karenclarke123 on TwitterK.A. Clarke on Goodreads, on Facebook, on Instagram, Visit karenclarkewriter.com,

Buy The Secret Sister 

About the book

Can you trust a sister who is a stranger?

Ella Matthews has it all. A beautiful house, a charming husband and a precious baby daughter – her life has pretty much turned out exactly as she planned.

But when Ella’s mother tragically dies, her perfect life starts to crack. Her mother had been harbouring a life-long secret. Ella has a sister – an older sister – called Colleen. Excited by the thought of no-longer being an only child, Ella can’t wait to find her.

But Colleen has a whirlwind past of her own. Desperate to escape her troubles, she is ready to go to any length to start afresh.

As their paths collide, someone is keeping secrets… and when Colleen mysteriously disappears without notice, Ella can’t help but question if she should have started looking for her at all…Review

Imagine life as you know it being turned completely upside down by the revelation that your mother had another child. A child she chose to give away and keep secret for the entirety of her lifetime. Ella is thrown for a loop, and yet part of her feels drawn to find this stranger, who is part of her mother and part of her.

Colleen has had a turbulent and painful life, which hasn’t been made easier by a partner who appears to be a loving person to the outside world. The truth is that Gabriel has another face completely – a persona that only Colleen gets to experience.

In a way Colleen has made similar choices to Anna without being aware of it. The need to be loved overshadows the negative aspects of the relationships they have with men. They both have or had a tendency to pick men with possessive, jealous streaks, which ultimately ends up defining the lives they lead.

The difference is where one gave in and subjected herself to the wishes of her man and thereby ignoring her needs and those of her loved ones – can the other woman break the cycle and be free to determine her own path in life?

It’s a moving tension filled psychological thriller which draws from the complex relationship structures of mothers and daughters. If this collaboration is anything to go by the writing duo Clarke and Brittany is off to a fantastic start and I hope this is the first of many more.

Buy The Secret Sister at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Review

Now I get the hype. This really is an absolutely cracking read.

Alicia has remained silent since her conviction and transfer to a locked mental health facility for the brutal murder of her husband. She, or rather her condition, has become an enigma to the professionals treating her. The problem with that is the possibility of her becoming too interesting or a challenge, which then clouds judgement.

From the very beginning Theo shows a lack of ethical judgement. Admittedly he acknowledges this when he takes certain steps in his therapy plan for Alicia, but he crosses the line way before those transgressions.

Theo wants to help Alicia move forward in her treatment and healing. Her silence has become a challenge of sorts, both professionally and psychologically, which of course in itself is quite unprofessional from a therapeutic point of view.

It’s a superbly plotted and executed psychological thriller. The author presents the inadequacy of psychological science. It’s flawed, because of the human factor. There is no such thing as being a blank slate for a patient or client, only the attempt to be blank and not let our own frame of references colour therapeutic treatment.

What really makes it an incredible crime read is the way the author manages to spin the truth and the lies in a way that absolutely leaves the reader thinking they know where the story is headed. Not sure they will though, which ultimately is what makes this a great read.

Buy The Silent Patient at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orion: Paperback pub date – 12 Dec. 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Hive.co.uk.

Follow @AlexMichaelides on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Instagramon Amazon,

#BlogTour Gone by Leona Deakin

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Gone by Leona Deakin. It’s the first in the Dr Bloom series and it’s a cracking read.

About the Author

Leona draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. She is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds.This is her debut thriller.

Follow @LeonaDeakin1 on Twitter, on Amazonon GoodreadsBuy Gone

About the book

Four strangers are missing. Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read: Your gift is the Game. Dare to Play?

The police aren’t worried – it’s just a game. But the families are frantic, and psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom is persuaded to investigate. As she delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all.

And that something makes them very dangerous indeed. As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the puppeteer. But is she playing into their hands?

An addictive debut thriller with an ingenious hook that turns the missing person plot on its head – what if the missing people are the dangerous ones?

Review

This is the first in the Dr. Bloom series and if this anything to go by then it’s going to be a popular one, because this is a cracking read.

When random people start going missing there doesn’t appear to be any connection between them until someone notices the invitations they have been receiving. Daring them to be true to their real selves and play a game – a game only a small number of people can play, because they are the only ones who understand the rules.

Jameson gets pulled into the mystery when a friend goes missing and leaves her teenage daughter behind. His friend Augusta Bloom slowly gets drawn in, especially because the subject matter and actions of the disappeared seem oddly familiar. Simultaneously we follow her story with a young girl called Seraphine, who struggles to keep her true identity a secret and quite frankly is annoyed she even has to.

It’s an engrossing and well thought out psychological thriller. Deakin plants red herrings here and there to try and trip the reader up, but they are easily found if you pay attention to the subject at hand.

What would you do if you found out someone close to you was a psychopath. Would it change the way you think about them, would you question their motives and reactions or would you just accept that they had different personality traits and way of processing things?

The truth is there are many among us, perhaps even someone you know. A lot of successful people in high positions have to be ruthless to the point of feeling no empathy or having no conscience. Perhaps one day they might be traits to embrace, as opposed to being uncertain or fearful of.

Buy Gone (Dr Bloom #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Transworld Digital; eBook – 9th August 2019 – Paperback | Black Swan – 12 Dec 2019 | £7.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Hive.co.uk