Sleep – C.L Taylor. ~ Blog Tour.

Back of the book :

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

What I think :

Anna was on her way home from a weekend away for a work thing when she had a really serious car accident. She and another work colleague barely survived. Sadly her other two work colleagues died. Anna was driving.

Since that day she’s barely slept, she feels so guilty about the accident, she’s been having awful nightmares. She also thinks that someone is following her. Its really scaring her.

When Anna and her boyfriend Alex split up a few weeks after the accident, Anna decides she needs to try and move on. She gets a job in a hotel on the remote island of Rum in the wilds of Scotland, where the population is just 31.

She’s still not sleeping but she’s getting by, she gets on ok with the hotels owner David and she seems to be settling in.

When seven guests arrive at the hotel, A family of three, two single women and two single men, they are not what they seem, they all have something to hide.

But what …. ?

Has her stalker somehow followed her …?

Then the storm arrives and they’re all stranded on the island.

Weird things start to happen and Anna’s new life starts to go wrong, very wrong …

I have always loved Cally’s books, so when I was asked to join the blog tour, I did little squeal and a happy dance !

I couldn’t wait to get started, the proof copy must have sat on my TBR pile for a good 2 months, just waiting … Let me tell you though, it was well worth the wait !! When a book starts with a letter from the main character saying ” If you’re reading this then I’m dead” you just know that the book is going to be brilliant.

I couldn’t put this book down, with such an excellent story line and excellent characters, it had me sucked in right from that first chapter. I needed to keep on reading to see what was going to happen and how it was all going to end.

Very dark and atmospheric and just a little spooky too, with the ever present storm raging in the background, I think this may just be Cally’s best yet !

It’s peppered with loads of twists and turns and a few gasp out loud moments, it really is a rollercoaster of a ride. And that ending, it tips everything on its head so you just won’t see what’s coming !!

Loved it 10/10.

Published by Avon Books on 04/04/19

As always, the biggest thanks to Sabah Khan at Avon for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.

If you could go anywhere – Paige Toon

Back of the book :

HOW DO YOU FIND WHERE YOU’RE GOING, IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU’RE FROM . . .

Angie has always wanted to travel. But at twenty-seven, she has barely stepped outside the small mining town where she was born. Instead, she discovers the world through stories told to her by passing travellers, dreaming that one day she’ll see it all for herself.

When her grandmother passes away, leaving Angie with no remaining family, she is ready to start her own adventures. Then she finds a letter revealing the address of the father she never knew, and realises instantly where her journey must begin: Italy.

As Angie sets out to find the truth – about her family, her past and who she really is – will mysterious and reckless Italian Alessandro help guide the way?

What I Think :

Angie has lived in the same small south Australian mining town of Coober pedy for all of her life. She and her Grandparents live in a cave house that has been carved into the rock. She never knew her parents so her Nan and Grandad are pretty much all she’s had. Her Grandad died a while ago so it’s just been her and her Nan.

Angie has dreamed of travelling since she was a child, but the nearest town is a six and a half hour drive away and it has a population of only 10 people. There is only 1800 people in their own little town and she must have asked almost all of them, at one time or another, ‘If you could go anywhere, where would it be ?’

Her Nan has had dementia for a few years now so she’s had to put her plans on hold. But then sadly her Nan dies and she’s free. When the town clubs together and give her some valuable Opals she decides it might be time to finally go travelling, to see the world.

One night after her Nan’s funeral she’s having a drink with her friend Louise when they find a letter hidden in amongst the wine bottles. The letter is addressed to her father, who lives in Italy, from her mother. Angie knows what she must do, she’s has to go to Italy to find out the truth of what really happened all those years ago …

Will she find her father but more importantly, In finding her father will she find herself … ?

Who is Alessandro and can he help her in her quest …?

I absolutely adore Paige’s books, they always are so well written with the best descriptions. You always feel as if you are really there, right in the middle of the story, in this case, in the middle of the Australian dessert in the heat and the sand and the hustle and bustle of Roma, Italy.

She always has this knack of being able to produce such wonderfully down to earth characters that you can really identify with.

I really loved this book and didn’t want it to end.

I give it a really well-earned 10/10. (5 stars)

Published by Simon and Schuster on 16/05/19

A really huge thank you to Sara-Jade @booksandthecity (Simon & Schuster) for the review copy of the book that I got in my goody bag when I went to the @Booksandthecity Spring Bloggers evening. ( Thanks so much for inviting me 🙂 xx )

🎈Five year Blogerversary🎈

Hello lovely book people,

Today is my FIVE year Blogerversary !!

Where has the time gone ?

Just think of all of those lovely books I’ve read over the last five years !!

As I’m sitting here thinking about all the books I’ve read over the last few years, I’ve also realised how much my reading taste has changed. When I first started my blog, my book of choice was always chick Lit, but over the years I’ve branched out and now my genre of choice is crime thriller. (But, you know me I’ll give any books a go !) Who would have thought eh ?

Anyway less of my ramblings.

Just to let you know, I’ve just finished ‘If you could go anywhere’ by the lovely Paige Toon and my next book is going to be ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ by Christy Lefteri.

I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of the lovely authors and publishers that have sent me review books over the last five years, I feel really privileged and lucky to have been one of the first people to read your book. (Please keep sending them !)

Also the book blogging community, mainly on Twitter, is the best ! I have made so many lovely friends. Thanks guys for making me so welcome 🙂 xx

Here’s to the next five years 🎉🎉

That’s all for now folks,

Happy Reading

xXx

Tick Tock – Mel Sherratt ~ Blog Tour.

Back of the book :

TICK…
In the city of Stoke, a teenage girl is murdered in the middle of the day, her lifeless body abandoned in a field behind her school.

TOCK…
Two days later, a young mother is abducted. She’s discovered strangled and dumped in a local park.

TIME’S UP…
DS Grace Allendale and her team are brought in to investigate, but with a bold killer, no leads and nothing to connect the victims, the case seems hopeless. It’s only when a third woman is targeted that a sinister pattern emerges. A dangerous mind is behind these attacks, and Grace realises that the clock is ticking…
Can they catch the killer before another young woman dies?

What I think :

2014.

Melissa likes to jog everyday. She’s in training for the London marathon. She has a two year-old son and originally started running to get rid of her ‘mum tum’, but now she does it to stay fit and to get some ‘me’ time. Sadly today will be Melissa’s last run, or for actually doing anything really, as today Melissa is murdered. Because as she was running through the small wooded area she regularly runs through, someone strangled her.

2019.

Five years later, Lauren and her friends Courtney and Caitlin are doing a cross country class in the field next to their school. Lauren stops to re-tie her trainers and her friends carry on back to school. When Lauren doesn’t arrive back at school twins Courtney and Caitlin go back to find out where their friend has got to. The twins find Lauren laying on the grass. She’s been strangled. How could this have happened in broad daylight in the matter of minutes that she’d been gone ?

Three days later young mum Diane is kidnapped and her body is found the next day on the outskirts of Central Park. She’d been strangled.

Does the city of Stoke on Trent have a serial killer on the loose ?

It’s up to DS Grace Allendale and her team to find the killer before they strike again …

I really loved the character of Grace, after having to move to Stoke on Trent after her last case had affected her personally, she’s still trying to find her place in the team. She’s also trying to make her relationship with Simon work. But she seems to finally be happy.

The story moves quite quickly from the start and has lots of twists and turns to keep you hooked. The story has some chapters told from what I presumed is the killer, so that also keeps you interested as well.

It’s a bit of a follow-on from the first ‘Grace’ novel but it’s also good as a stand alone, as the author explains stuff from the first novel in this one.

A brilliant story that kept me guessing until the end. With lots of down to earth likeable characters, and plenty to keep you interested. I’m looking forward to the next book.

I give it 8/10.

Published by Avon Books on 02/05/19

A huge thank you to the very lovely Sabah Khan from Avon Books for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book.

Extract :

Grace never went with the adage that the wealthy were any better than the ones scraping around for pennies. She firmly believed there were shades of polite and ugly in every level of society. She’d seen compassion from a drug user at the lowest ebb of his life; she’d seen injuries of domestic abuse caused by a high-ranking politician. So much went on behind closed doors regardless of class.

Arriving back from a meeting with Allie Shenton, a colleague who oversaw six local community intelligence teams, she felt a buzz of activity as soon as she opened the door to the office where her team was located. Her phone went off and she slipped a hand inside her jacket pocket to retrieve it. It was her boss, DI Nick Carter.

Grace could see him sitting in his office. She raised her hand to show him she was here as she walked across to him. Something must have come in while she’d been out. Adrenaline began to pump through her, as had become natural.

‘We’ve had a call of a suspicious death at Dunwood Academy, over in Norton,’ Nick told her. ‘Female, sixteen years of age. Out on a cross-country run, got left behind. First thoughts were she’d had some kind of seizure. Two pupils found her; one ran to get help. By the time their teacher got to her, bruising had started to appear around her neck.’

Grace pulled a face. ‘Do they suspect foul play from anyone there? The teachers, or the pupils?’

‘I’m not sure. Can you task someone with getting everything ready here and then we can go in five?’

‘Will do.’ She headed back to her desk.

Perry Wright, one of two detective constables on her team, was sitting opposite her.

The House Across the Street – Lesley Pearse ~ Blog Tour.

house across the street book

Back of the book :

Twenty-three-year-old Katy Speed has always been fascinated by the house across the street . . .

The woman who lives there, Gloria, is the most glamorous neighbour on the avenue, owning a fashionable dress shop in Bexhill-on-Sea. But who is the woman who arrives in the black car most Saturdays while Gloria is at work? Sometimes she brings women to the house, and other times the women come with children.

Hilda, Katy’s mother, disapproves of Gloria. She wonders where these mysterious visitors have come from, and what they want. Does Gloria have sinister reasons for secretly bringing strangers into the heart of the community?

Then one night, the house burns down. In the wreckage, the bodies of Gloria and her daughter are found. Katy is sure the unexplained strangers must be responsible, until her father is arrested and charged with murder.

Surely the police have arrested the wrong person?

Is the rest of the street safe?

Can Katy find the truth before it’s too late?

What I think : 

Bexhill-on-Sea 1960’s

Katy loves watching the house across the street.

She spends a lot of time in the front guest bedroom (her bedroom is at the back, overlooking the garden – nothing to see there !) Katy’s brother Rob just calls her plain nosy !

Gloria Reynolds lives in the house across the street, she seems very glamorous. She owns a posh little dress shop in town, she’s very popular. She has people visiting all of the time, mostly women, of all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they seem to be injured and have bedraggled looking children with them. They always seem to be dropped off by a middle aged woman in a big, dark car.

Katy’s mother, Hilda is the only person in the street that isn’t interested in Gloria and her visitors, she didn’t think that Gloria was anything special, in fact she was always saying that she was “no better than she ought to be” But the Hilda wasn’t a very nice woman anyway, Katy said that her mother was ‘all full of sharp edges’ and never had anything nice to say about anyone. Katy can never work out why her mother is like this, maybe something bad happened to her when she was younger . Or why her dad stays with her mother as she’s so nasty to him most of the time.

One very cold night, just after Christmas, Katy was woken by her mother shouting “FIRE’. Gloria’s house across the street is completely a blaze and nobody can find her. Then in the morning the bodies of Gloria and her daughter are found by the fire brigade. The police also find out that the fire was started on purpose, somebody murdered Gloria.

But who would want to kill Gloria ?

She was well liked in the town. Maybe it had something to do with the frequent  visitors.

A week or so later, Katy and her friend Jilly Decide to go to London to find jobs. The trip goes well and they both end up with good jobs, and a place to live. Jilly at London Zoo as a veterinarian nurse and Katy as a legal secretary in a big firm of solicitors. However on their return Katy discovers that her father has been arrested for the murders of Gloria and her daughter. Katy’s is in shock as she knows her father would never do anything like this.  Her plans are then thrown into chaos as she sets about trying to find out the truth of what really happened that night, who really started the fire and also more importantly clearing her fathers name.

Can Katy find out the truth without putting herself in danger ?

****************

This is another excellent read from Lesley, her 25th no less !!

I always really look forward to Lesley’s books being published, her writing is always very down to earth, very gritty and her brilliant characters are very true to life.

Her books are nearly always set in a time gone by, in this case in the 1960’s, so you can really imagine what it would have been like in that particular time period. Lesley’s research is always impeccable.

As always this book had me gripped right from the beginning, with plenty of twists and a little bit of added tension thrown in for good measure.

Lesley does cover some really difficult subjects in this case its domestic violence, but she writes it in such a way that it makes you feel as if you are right there in the room involved in the story.

This certainly isn’t your average chick-lit book, all I can say is that if you’ve not read this book yet, go and buy it now, it’s excellent !!

A big Congratulations to Lesley on her 25th book !! 

I give this brilliant read 10/10 !

A huge Thank you to Sian Heap at Penguin for the review copy of the book.

5 gold stars

The House Across The Street by Lesley Pearse is published on 6th September in hardback by Michael Joseph priced £20.00. This year is Lesley’s 25th anniversary year in publishing.

thumbnail_The House Across The Street banner

Perfect Crime – Helen Fields ~ Blog Tour.

Back of the book :

Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge until a suicide prevention counsellor stops him. A week later, Stephen is dead. Found at the bottom of a cliff, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are drafted in to investigate whether he jumped or whether he was pushed…

As they dig deeper, more would-be suicides roll in: a woman found dead in a bath; a man violently electrocuted. But these are carefully curated deaths – nothing like the impulsive suicide attempts they’ve been made out to be.

Little do Callanach and Turner know how close their perpetrator is as, across Edinburgh, a violent and psychopathic killer gains more confidence with every life he takes…

What I think :

It seems there is a Serial killer at large in Edinburgh.

DI Luc Callenach and the team haven’t got much to do so when four bodies turn up almost one after the other, they are secretly relieved. Each death is looking very much like suicide, however after looking into the deaths the team discover that it’s murder. Very odd ones at that. Are they connected ? It would seem that they are. So then the team have their work cut out trying to find the culprit before they kill again ….

Meanwhile, Luc again has his own battles to face, this time when he visits a care home and the person he visits later turns up dead ! Can poor Luc ever catch a break ?

This is the fifth book in this wonderful Scottish series. (How can it be that many already ?)

We are back once again with the team, with Luc and Ava heading it up, it promises lots of murder and grittiness. It’s so nice to be back with all the characters. They are beginning to feel like old friends.

This serving starts slowly, then picks up the pace, with lots of brilliant twists and turns, it’s pretty dark in places. You don’t want to put it down without knowing what’s going on, with an ending that really is brilliant !

Yes, another excellent book from this excellent author.

I give this one 9/10.

Published by Avon Books on 18/04/2019

As always, a huge Thank you to the lovely Sabah Khan for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Here for your reading pleasure is an extract of the book.

Extract :

Not physically, I can say that with a high level of certainty. We know from high-fall victims who survive that their brain protects them immediately prior to impact. They pass out or go into a sort of impending trauma fugue. Very few have any memory of impact at all. In this man’s case, I can tell you death was so instantaneous that he wouldn’t have had time to have registered the pain. The back of his head hit the concrete hard enough to flatten a section of his skull. Shall I turn him over for you to see?’

‘No need. I’ll take your word for it,’ Ava murmured.

‘Very wise, but I’m afraid I have a caveat to your question about his having suffered, and it’s linked to why you’re here at all.’ The door opened and a white-suited figure entered. ‘Luc! Come and join us. We were just getting to the heart of the matter.’

‘Hey.’ Ava smiled at him. ‘Sorry to deny you your final few hours of leave. Were you doing anything fun?’

Luc shook his head. ‘I was at the gym. I ate too much in Paris. Got to get back in shape.’

It was a lie, but Ava let him get away with it. Callanach had the sort of slim build and washboard stomach that most men could only dream of.

‘Didn’t have gyms when I was your age,’ Ailsa grumbled as she pulled over a mobile light with a magnifying glass on a flexible arm. ‘We went for good long walks, didn’t sit in front of screens for hours at a time and we certainly didn’t spend all our spare cash on food that was more saturated fat than protein.’

The Garden of Lost and Found – Harriet Evans

Back of the book :

Nightingale House, 1919. Liddy Horner discovers her husband, the world-famous artist Sir Edward Horner, burning his best-known painting The Garden of Lost and Found days before his sudden death.
Nightingale House was the Horner family’s beloved home – a gem of design created to inspire happiness – and it was here Ned painted TheGarden of Lost and Found, capturing his children on a perfect day, playing in the rambling Eden he and Liddy made for them.
One magical moment. Before it all came tumbling down…
When Ned and Liddy’s great-granddaughter Juliet is sent the key to Nightingale House, she opens the door onto a forgotten world. The house holds its mysteries close but she is in search of answers. For who would choose to destroy what they love most? Whether Ned’s masterpiece – or, in Juliet’s case, her own children’s happiness.
Something shattered this corner of paradise. But what?

What I think :

1919.

When Liddy finds her painter husband Ned burning his most famous painting in his studio at Nightingale House, the family home, she doesn’t quite know what to do … Then a few days later her husband is dead and all it seems is gone …

Now.

Juliet is Liddy’s great-granddaughter, her life is pretty awful right about now. Her 3 children seem troubled, especially her teenage daughter. And her husband is probably having an affair. And then her job at the auction house is terminated. So when she receives a letter from her great-grandmother (who incidentally has been dead for around 15 years) telling her that she now owns Nightingale House it seems heaven sent. Before long she has left her husband and packed her and the children up and gone to Nightingale House where she spent many happy times in the holidays as a child growing up. It’s whilst she there that she discovers secrets from the past That could shape her future ….

I always absolutely adore Harriet’s books, so when I received a review copy of this one a few months ago, after doing a squeal and a happy dance around the room I placed it on my ever growing TBR. Every now and then I would eye it up willing April to come around quicker so I could read this beauty.

Let me tell you that I wasn’t disappointed, this book was everything and more that you would expect from this brilliant author. An excellently epic story of love, loss and family. It’s expertly set on two time lines, now (Juliet) and late 1800’s – early 1900’s (Liddy) It tells a complex story of family secrets that the family were hoping never to be told. With a host of brilliant characters that seem to become real, it makes up a brilliant twisty story that draws you in right from the first page to the last.

Talking of the last page, this is one long tale of 554 pages ! (My copy was an arc so I’m not sure if the published copy will have the same number of pages) But absolutely worth it because its brilliant !

Go out and buy this excellent book now !

I give this gorgeous tale 10/10.

Published by Headline Review on 18/04/19.

A big thank you to Becky Hunter at Headline for the review copy of the book in return for a honest review.

***********************************

When Liddy was a child, always afraid,

She had dreamed of her own home, hidden away where no-one could find her.

Where she could be safe.

Then Ned had brought her here and for a few years everything had been perfect.

Utterly perfect.

As summer soared into the garden and then faded away again, the silken light of golden September giving itself to the mist and damp of autumn and the darkness of winter, the question that had haunted Liddy kept coming back to her.

Do you pay for happiness like that ?

Perhaps, yes, perhaps you do ….