Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
The Silent Bride by Shalini Boland
A compelling & unique read!
If I ever need a book that I know will grip me from the start and have me flying through the pages, then I can always rely on a Shalini Boland book. For me, this author never disappoints! The blurb for this book had me hooked alone and I loved the story from start to finish!
It’s Alice’s wedding day, she can’t believe she’s marrying the man of her dreams. Excited for their honeymoon and new life together, she heads down the aisle with her father towards her handsome fiancé Seth. This is when things take a turn & all of a sudden the wedding is off! Why? Because the man standing at the front of the church isn’t Seth! Well, not the Seth that Alice knows. Everyone thinks Alice has gone mad, but she’s convinced this man is an imposter, but why?
If that kind of opening to a book doesn’t hook you in then I don’t know what will. Imagine not recognising the man you’re about to marry! I thought this story was fantastic and totally unputdownable. The chapters alternate between the past – When Alice met Seth, and the present – after the wedding day. Eventually, the chapters in the past catch up with the present and things all become a lot clearer as to what happened!
I had theories galore with this book! Most were completely wrong, but I enjoyed guessing. I did guess partly right with what happened but I was completely shocked by it all. I can’t say too much without giving spoilers, but I can say the twists are spectacular!
I love Shalini’s style of writing, I find her books so easy to read. This story is very unique, I’ve not read one like it before, I’d love to know how Shalini comes up with her amazing story ideas.
A totally awesome read, that left me wanting more at the end! I highly recommend this book!
Thank you to Shalini Boland, Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for my copy of this book.
Published today (1st June 2023)! Link to purchase –
Alice and Seth are a perfect love story: the handsome doctor and his beautiful fiancée. They’re wealthy, well liked and made for each other—the envy of all their friends. Alice can’t wait for the day of their dream wedding. But when she arrives at the altar, she doesn’t recognise the man waiting to marry her.
When this stranger insists he’s Seth, her husband-to-be, the entire congregation seems to agree. Even her parents try to persuade Alice to go through with the wedding.
As panic sets in, Alice’s world comes apart. Where is the real Seth, and why have all traces of him disappeared from her life? Fearing she’s losing her mind, she sets out to uncover the truth and escape the nightmare she’s living in. But with everyone around her convinced by the fake Seth, how can she ever hope to find the man she loves?
About the Author
Shalini Boland is the USA-Today bestselling author of seventeen psychological thrillers. With over two million copies sold, her titles are published by Amazon Publishing, Audible, Bookouture, and Grand Central Publishing.
Shalini lives by the sea in Dorset, England with her husband, two teens and their increasingly demanding dog, Queen Jess. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing (in between re-stocking the fridge and dealing with endless baskets of laundry).
She is also the author of two bestselling Sci Fi and Fantasy series as well as a WWII evacuee novel with a time-travel twist.
The Serial Killer’s Sister by Alice Hunter
An addictive and totally unpredictable read!
Having read The Serial Killer’s Wife and the Serial Killer’s Daughter, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of The Serial Killer’s Sister! I had high hopes for this one and I was not disappointed! Gripping from start to finish, this is another great book by Alice Hunter.
Anna and her brother Henry didn’t have the best childhood and ended up in the care system, where life wasn’t much better there either. As an adult Anna has now built a good life for herself, she is happily married and has a decent job as a teacher. Things soon come crashing down when the police arrive at her door! Anna hasn’t seen her brother Henry since they were kids, but the police now need her help tracking him down. Time is of the essence too, as Henry is a wanted serial killer and he’s due to target his next victim!
Anna’s life changes in an instant and things from her past are about to surface. The chapters alternate between the past and present as we join Anna in the hunt for Henry! I love it when books have a dual timeline, I really enjoyed going back to Anna’s childhood and finding out her backstory. As things from the past are gradually revealed, things in the present start to make sense.
I love Alice’s style of writing, it is so easy to get immersed in the story. The pace is just right as the story held my attention throughout, and the alternating between past and present keeps you reading as you need to know what happens next!
The twists and turns are fab as I honestly never knew where the story was heading and I certainly didn’t guess the outcome. I was left with a couple of questions on things, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
I can’t reveal too much as I don’t give away spoilers but I have never been caught so off guard by a twist in a book before! Totally unexpected. Hats off to Alice for pulling that off!
Thank you so much to Alice Hunter, Avon Books & NetGalley for my copy of this book.
Links to purchase –
She thought she’d left her past behind.
She was wrong…
Despite a childhood in the care system, Anna Price has beaten the odds and built for herself the perfect life, complete with beautiful seaside home, devoted husband and a job she loves.
Then a policeman appears at Anna’s door: her estranged brother Henry is a wanted serial killer, and the police need Anna’s help to catch him before he strikes again.
When an envelope turns up on her doorstep, Anna suddenly finds herself caught in a sick game. One that she remembers all too well from childhood – one that, this time, she must win at all costs…
About the Author
After completing a psychology degree, Alice Hunter became an interventions facilitator in a prison. There, she was part of a team offering rehabilitation programmes to men serving sentences for a wide range of offences, often working with prisoners who’d committed serious violent crimes. Previously, Alice had been a nurse, working in the NHS. She now puts her experiences to good use in fiction. The Serial Killer’s Wife, The Serial Killer’s Daughter and The Serial Killer’s Sister all draw heavily on her knowledge of psychology and the criminal mind.
The Hike by Lucy Clarke
What a great read! I love the way Lucy manages to transport you to the location of her books through her amazingly clever, descriptive storytelling!
Liz, Maggie, Helena and Joni all set off on a hike, aiming for the peak of Blafjell mountain in the Norwegian wilderness. Friends since school, this trip is a little different compared to their usual sunny holidays, but this mountain is somewhere they’d always wanted to go ever since studying about it when they were younger.
Each woman has some kind of drama going on in their life, so I think they are hoping that this hike is exactly what they need. If only Liz had listened to the local lady about turning back, things could’ve ended so differently! If she had though, that wouldn’t make this a very fun book to read now, would it?
Lucy is a hugely talented writer, I enjoy following her on social media and love that she takes her research so seriously. After following her own hiking trip with her husband, I just knew this would be a great book to read!
The Hike is hugely atmospheric, incredibly suspenseful and at times pretty chilling! It played out in my mind like a movie and I could imagine everything perfectly. I warmed quickly to each of the women for different reasons and was rooting for them all the way. Whilst I wouldn’t say this book has any massive jaw-dropping twists, I honestly don’t think it needs any. I enjoyed the story and the journey it took me on, and the ending was gripping yet emotional.
A thoroughly enjoyable read!
Thank you to Lucy Clarke, Harper Collins and NetGalley for my copy of this book.
Links to our purchase –
THE PERFECT DAY FOR A HIKE
Leaving behind their everyday lives, four friends hike out into the beautiful Norwegian wild – nothing between them and the mountain peak but forest, sea and sharp blue sky.
THE PERFECT PLACE TO DISAPPEAR
But there’s a darker side to the wilderness. A woman went missing here one year ago, scarring the mountain with suspicion and unanswered questions.
Now, the friends are hiking into the heart of the mystery. And waiting on the trail is someone who’d do anything to keep their secrets buried – and to stop the group walking away alive . . .
About the Author
Sunday Times bestseller, Lucy Clarke, is the author of eight destination thrillers, which include Waterstones Thriller of the Month, The Castaways, and Richard and Judy Book Club pick, One of the Girls. Lucy’s novels have sold over a million copies in the UK alone and are published in over twenty territories worldwide.
No Escape has been filmed as a major international TV series for Paramount+ due for release in 2023, and three further novels are currently in development for screen.
When Lucy isn’t away on research trips (her favourite part of the job!), she can be found writing from a beach hut on the south coast of England. She lives with her husband and their two children.
Tell Me Lies by Teresa Driscoll
Another brilliant book by the incredibly talented Teresa Driscoll.
I’ve read all of Teresa’s books and loved each one, this one is no exception! With a gripping storyline that had me enthralled throughout and twists that I did not see coming, I highly recommend this book for any fans of psychological thrillers.
Hannah, Sam and their daughter Lily are on holiday in Cornwall, staying at a beautiful place called Owl Cottage. This is a bit of a make-or-break holiday for the couple after their marriage hit the rocks back home. Not long after they arrive at the cottage strange things start to happen, and the story takes a dark turn.
Is Hannah imagining things or has someone local taken a disliking to holidaymakers? Or perhaps she doesn’t know her husband as well as she thought she did! All I know is that this book messed with my mind just as much as it did with Hannah’s!
Teresa’s writing style is unique and it is one that I take to immediately. The story drew me in from the start and my attention never waned. I honestly couldn’t see where it was going and gave up guessing halfway so I could just let the story guide me to the end and what a fantastic ending it was.
I’m a big fan of PI Matthew Hill and whilst his part was a lot smaller in this story I love how Teresa still managed to include him. I’d love one day for Teresa’s books to become a TV series and then we can bring Matthew to life on screen!
Thank you so much to Teresa Driscoll, Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for my copy of this awesome book.
Publication Date – 18th April 2023
Link to pre-order/ purchase:
After a betrayal that sent their marriage into freefall, Hannah and Sam are desperate for a fresh start with their eight-year-old daughter Lily―and where better than picture-perfect Owl Cottage in beautiful Cornwall. But something about the holiday home stirs dark memories for Hannah…
When she finds dead creatures on the doorstep and hears mysterious knocks at the door, Hannah can’t help wondering whether someone is messing with her―or whether the past she’s been running from has finally claimed her sanity.
As the disturbing events at Owl Cottage seep out into the local community and the police become involved, Hannah turns to Sam for help, but when he dismisses her worries, she wonders if she was wrong to ever trust him. Are the memories making her paranoid, or is this something more sinister than she dares imagine?
About the Author
Teresa Driscoll is a former BBC TV news presenter whose psychological thrillers have sold more than two million copies across the world.
Her first thriller I Am Watching You hit Kindle Number 1 in the UK, USA and Australia and has sold more than a million copies in English alone.
Teresa writes women’s fiction as well as thrillers and her work has been optioned for film and sold for translation in more than 20 territories.
For decades Teresa was a journalist working across newspapers, magazines and television. Covering crime for so long, she was deeply moved by the haunting impact on the relatives, the friends and the witnesses and it is those ripples she explores now in her darker fiction.
Teresa lives in glorious Devon with her family and blogs regularly about her “writing life” at her website – http://www.teresadriscoll.com.
The Favour by Nicci French
A fantastic read!
Nicci French never disappoints! I’ve been reading and loving their books for the last 20 years. This fantastic writing duo have the ability to create stories that are fascinating and suspenseful and they are always highly original.
This book had me hooked from the start, engrossed throughout and left me wanting more at the end!
Jude has a great life! She works hard as a doctor, has a lovely boyfriend Nat and is currently planning their wedding. So, when Jude’s first love from her teenage years rocks up and asks her to do him a big favour, you’ll all be screaming ‘No’ at the book as much as I was!
By agreeing to the favour Jude’s life is soon turned upside down and she’s drawn into a strange world with some very unsavoury people! This book is full of secrets, lies and a murder investigation! What more could you want from a psychological thriller?
As always, Nicci and Sean have created some fantastic characters. They always love to give us a strong, stubborn woman who rarely follows police advice and Jude is exactly that! 😂
I love how quirky and bizarre some of the characters are. I didn’t trust anyone apart from Jude and desperately wanted her to get away from these people she’d found herself involved with. Danny made me nervous and Vin made my skin crawl, whilst many of the others didn’t sit right with me either. It’s an incredible talent to create such characters.
The story is well-written and perfectly paced. Don’t get me wrong some parts are a tad unrealistic, but who cares! It’s fiction and if it makes the story great I don’t mind if there are some unlikely scenarios.
A gripping read that has a dark and chilling element to it! I highly recommend this to any fans of psychological suspense!
Thank you to Nicci French, Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for my copy of this book.
Links to pre-order / purchase –
A good deed
Can turn deadly…
When Liam unexpectedly turns up in Jude’s life after ten years of no contact, asking her for a favour, she just can’t say no. He was her first love, and even though she is now a successful doctor and about to get married, he will always be someone special to her.
But after she does the favour, she is contacted by the police, informing her that Liam has been found dead, and suddenly she is caught up in a murder investigation.
And she realises this one decision could cost her everything – even her life…
About the Author’s
Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The couple are married and live in London and Suffolk.
Those People Next Door by Kia Abdullah
Gripping with a fantastic twist!
I listened to this as an audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed it! It takes a decent narrator and a gripping storyline to hold my attention as I can be very easily distracted and don’t get on with all audiobooks. This one had both and I found myself wanting to listen to it at any given opportunity!
Salma and her family have moved house, hoping to leave their troubles behind them and looking for a fresh start. The area seems nice and when they’re invited to a neighbourhood barbecue they feel certain they’ll be happy here.
Unfortunately, not all the neighbours are that welcoming and when Tom from next door starts to moan about where Salma has parked her car and pulls down her Black Lives Matter banner from her garden; she quickly realises this might not be the fresh start they were hoping for!
Things continue to go from bad to worse with the nightmare neighbours next door! Are they really responsible for everything that happens? What will Salma and her family do? Read or listen to this fab book to find out!
This story is extremely well written, with a fantastic, unexpected ending. I liked Salma and felt sorry for her having to deal with her nightmare neighbours, there were times when I felt she shouldn’t have reacted the way she did, but she was just trying to stand up for herself and her family. A book like this highlights how you can stop thinking rationally when you are feeling threatened.
Racism is a hard topic to cover in a book. The author has done a fantastic job of making this an incredibly thought-provoking story!
I love how this book is part suspenseful thriller and part courtroom drama, it really works. I found myself completely immersed in the story each time I listened, feeling like I was right there in the courtroom!
Thank you to Kia Abdullah, HQ publishing and NetGalley got my copy of this audiobook.
Links to purchase –
You can choose your house. Not your neighbours.
WELCOME TO YOUR DREAM HOME…
Salma Khatun is extremely hopeful about Blenheim, the safe suburban development to which she, her husband and their son have just moved. Their family is in desperate need of a fresh start, and Blenheim feels like the place to make that happen.
MEET YOUR NEW NEIGHBOURS…
Not long after they move in, Salma spots her neighbour, Tom Hutton, ripping out the anti-racist banner her son put in their front garden. She chooses not to confront Tom because she wants to fit in. It’s a small thing, really. No need to make a fuss. So Salma takes the banner inside and puts it in her window instead. But the next morning she wakes up to find her window smeared with paint.
AND PREPARE FOR THE NIGHTMARE TO BEGIN…
This time she does confront Tom, and the battle lines between the two families are drawn. As things begin to escalate and the stakes become higher, it’s clear that a reckoning is coming… And someone is going to get hurt.
About the Author
Kia Abdullah is an author from London. Her novel Take It Back was named one of the best thrillers of the year by The Guardian and Telegraph and was selected for an industry-first audio serialisation by HarperCollins and The Pigeonhole.
Kia has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, The FT, The Telegraph, the BBC and The Times, and is the founder of Asian Booklist, a nonprofit that advocates for diversity in publishing.
Make Me Clean by Tina Baker
Where do I start with telling you how awesome this book is? This is exactly the kind of book that I love to read, one that will hold my attention from start to finish and have me on the edge of my seat throughout! The only problem now is that I have a massive book hangover!
Maria is a cleaner, she’ll leave your sideboards sparkling, your floors spotless and she’ll dispose of anything you need her to, including things like evil husbands! Maria may sound like a bad person, but she really isn’t. Everything bad she does is with good reason and you can’t help but love her! She’s up there with my favourite book characters of all time and I know I’ll really miss reading about her.
I love following the author Tina on social media, her posts always make me laugh and her humour really shines through in this book. The funny bits are balanced out well with the darker bits of the story. It is extremely well written and highly original, I’ve not read a book like this before, which is very refreshing.
The characters in this book were all very unique, their personalities emanated from the pages enabling me to imagine them all perfectly in my head. I’d love to see this book on screen!
Not many books have me rooting for the killer! Move over Joe Goldberg 😂 This is the first book I’ve read by Tina Baker and I’m extremely excited to go back and read her previous two books now!
A pulse-pounding, page-turning, makes me want to clean type read! Loved it!!!
Thank you to Tina Baker, Viper Books & NetGalley for my copy of this fabulous book!
This book will be published on February 16th. Links to pre-order/purchase –
She will leave your surfaces sparkling.
But she may well leave you dead…
Maria is a good woman and a good cleaner. She cleans for Elsie, the funny old bird who’s losing her marbles, with the terrible husband. She cleans for Brian, the sweet man with the terrible boss. She cleans for the mysterious Mr Balogan, with the terrible neighbours. Bit if you’re thinking of hiring her, you should probably know that Maria might have killed the terrible husband, the terrible boss and the terrible neighbours. She may also have murdered the man she loved.
She didn’t set out to kill anyone, of course, but her clients have hired her to clean up their lives, and she takes her job seriously – not to mention how much happier they all are now. The trouble is, murder can’t be washed out. You can only sweep it under the carpet, and pray no one looks too closely…
The Other Guest by Heidi Perks
An okay read
Initially gripped, I had high hopes for this book, unfortunately, after the main event (which happened very early in the story), not a lot happened and sadly I found the ending quite disappointing.
Laila has been taken away on a luxurious holiday by her husband James. After many failed attempts at IVF, James has told Laila he no longer wants to try for a baby and hopes this holiday will be exactly what they both need.
Lying by the pool Laila likes to people-watch (don’t we all! 😂). However, she becomes a tad obsessed with another lady and her family, much to the annoyance of James who is starting to act strange and seems to be harbouring some secrets of his own! With a couple of other suspicious characters, there are certainly plenty of suspects when tragedy strikes at the resort just a few days into the holiday!
This was an enjoyable read and at no point did I not want to finish it, it just sadly didn’t tick the right boxes for me. I feel the cover, blurb and grab line are a little misleading. ‘She knows what she saw, but is it the truth’. I’m not sure that’s quite right as to what happens in the story.
After the tragedy near the start, the rest of the book is a bit lacklustre. The twists are there, but they didn’t blow me away. I really wanted to be shocked by the ending as that would’ve made this book great, but sadly it was a bit of an anti-climax and predictable in parts.
My thoughts could merely be down to the fact that I read so many thrillers that it takes a lot to shock and surprise me now. I really do appreciate the time and effort an author puts into writing a book and I’m a big fan of Heidi Perks’s books, I guess sadly we can’t love everything we read. Heidi is a great writer and I love how she set the scene in this book, making me dream of sunny holidays.
I’m possibly in the minority by not being overly struck on this one, so please do judge for yourself.
Thank you to Heidi Perks, Century and NetGalley for my copy of this book.
Link to purchase –
She thinks she knows the truth. But what if she’s wrong?
Laila and her husband arrive for a week’s holiday in Greece in desperate need of a reset.
As Laila sits by the pool she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the other family staying in their resort.
Em has no idea who Laila is, or that she has been watching her and her teenage sons and husband so intently.
Five days later their worlds will be blown apart by a horrifying event.
Laila thinks she knows the truth of what happened. But in telling Em what she’s seen, she stands to lose everything she holds dear.
And what if she’s got it wrong?
Link to Heidi’s website – https://www.heidiperksauthor.co.uk/
Blind Spot by Paula Hawkins
Quick Reads can be hit and miss. Some leave you wanting more and some don’t quite work. This one I thought was just right! A complete story in just 120 pages – Gripping throughout and nothing left unanswered come the end!
It amazed me how many twists and turns were squeezed into this short story, each one shocking and surprising! I had no idea where the story was going or who the killer was, but I raced through the pages to find out!
Perfect if you want something to read in one sitting and definitely one of the best Quick Reads that I’ve read!
Link to purchase –
‘How can you say things like this? How can you be so blind?’
Since they were kids, Edie, Jake and Ryan have been the closest of friends. It’s been the three of them against the world. Edie thought the bonds between them were unbreakable. So when Jake is brutally murdered and Ryan accused of the crime, her world is shattered.
Edie is alone for the first time in years, living in the remote house that she and Jake shared. She is grief-stricken and afraid – with good reason. Because someone is watching. Someone has been waiting for this moment. Now that Edie is alone, the past she tried so hard to leave behind is about to catch up with her…
About the Author
PAULA HAWKINS worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction. Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. Her first thriller, The Girl on the Train, has been a global phenomenon, selling 23 million copies worldwide. Published in over forty languages, it has been a No.1 bestseller around the world and was a No.1 box office hit film starring Emily Blunt.
Into the Water, her second stand-alone thriller, has also been a global No.1 bestseller, spending twenty weeks in the Sunday Times hardback fiction Top 10 bestseller list, and six weeks at No.1.
The Drift by C J Tudor
I have never read a book like this one! It is absolutely bloody brilliant!
This chilling apocalyptic thriller had me racing through the pages, hooked from the start, I craved my next fix of the story each time I had to put the book down. It is certainly not a book for the faint-hearted, but if you don’t mind something a bit darker that will chill you to the core, then this is an absolute must-read!
Hannah and a group of others were heading to a place of safety after being evacuated from their school. They don’t quite make it there and find themselves trapped inside a coach after it crashes during a snowstorm. Those that have survived must work together to find a way out and get help. Will they make it?
Meg wakes up to find herself trapped with five others in a cable car that has stopped moving on its way up the snowy mountains. Dressed identically, stripped of their belongings and with no memory of how they came to be in the cable car! They initially hope that there is a technical glitch and that they will start moving again soon, but it soon becomes apparent that they won’t!
Carter lives and works at the retreat with other survivors. Those that live there have had things ticking over quite nicely, but when the generator packs up and their supplies begin to diminish, things start to go horribly wrong and the bodies begin to pile up! Will those left work together? Or against each other?
This fast-paced, action-packed thriller has not one but three gripping storylines that take you on a high-octane journey through the snowy mountains. This has to be one of the most atmospheric books that I have ever read, jeez I almost got frostbite just from reading it!
The high level of description put me right there on the coach, in the cable car and at the retreat, each chapter played out in my mind like a scene from a movie. I didn’t trust a single character; each one gives you more than one reason to doubt them and their motives. I didn’t even try to guess where each story was going and if they would connect, as I was so engrossed in the moment. Each twist and turn had my jaw on the floor, and nothing about this book was what I expected. I loved it!!!
I’d describe this book as Contagion meets 28 Weeks Later in the snow! If you catch my Drift!
This is my first C J Tudor book and it most certainly won’t be my last. I love the way that she crosses the bridge from thriller to horror. Move over Stephen King!
Thank you so much to C J Tudor, Penguin and NetGalley for my copy of this fantastiac book.
Publication Date – 19th January 2023. Links below to purchase:
Survival can be murder . . .
Hannah awakens to carnage, all mangled metal and shattered glass. Evacuated from a secluded boarding school during a snowstorm, her coach careered off the road, trapping her with a handful of survivors.
Meg awakens to a gentle rocking. She’s in a cable car stranded high above snowy mountains, with five strangers and no memory of how they got on board.
Carter is gazing out of the window of an isolated ski chalet that he and his companions call home. As their generator begins to waver in the storm, the threat of something lurking in the chalet’s depths looms larger.
Outside, the storm rages. Inside each group, a killer lurks.
And will anyone make it out alive? . . .
About the Author
C. J. Tudor lives with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.
Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and, now, author.
Her first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller and sold in thirty-nine territories.