The Tuscan Contessa – Dinah Jefferies ~ Blog Tour.

Dinah Jefferies


Back of the book

In 1943, Contessa Sofia de’ Corsi’s peaceful Tuscan villa among the olive groves is upturned by the sudden arrival of German soldiers. Desperate to fight back, she agrees to shelter a wounded British radio engineer in her home, keeping him hidden from her husband Lorenzo – knowing that she is putting all of their lives at risk.

When Maxine, an Italian-American working for the resistance, arrives on Sofia’s doorstep, the pair forge an uneasy alliance. Feisty, independent Maxine promised herself never to fall in love. But when she meets a handsome partisan named Marco, she realizes it’s a promise she can’t keep…

Before long, the two women find themselves entangled in a dangerous game with the Nazis. Will they be discovered? And will they both be able to save the ones they love?


What I think :

Wow ! just Wow ! I always get very excited when I hear that Dinah has written another of her fabulous books ( long ago when I first started reviewing/blogging, Dinah’s first book was my first ever review (a first for both of us) So there is a little space in my heart reserved for Dinah and her books) I absolutely love her books, and this latest one is no exception.

This time we are off to Tuscany in Italy and its the 1940’s (ww2) We meet Contessa Sofia de’ Corsi and her husband Count Lorenzo. When war breaks out the Contessa wants to help the war effort so she secretly provides medical aid and shelter without her husband finding out. Then Maxine arrives, she is working for the resistance and the two form a sort of partnership. When Maxine falls in love she realises that she’s made a promise she can’t possibly keep, and before long the pair are involved in a really dangerous game.

After everything that they have put a risk, will they survive long enough to save the people they love … ?

This book, as always, is a fabulous read, her books are always well researched and her characters are so relatable and well-formed. With descriptions second to none its like you are really there in 1940’s Italy with the sun on your face. If you only read one book this summer, make it this one, you won’t regret it !! It’s a book you can’t put down, it grabs you right from the first page, up to the last.

I adored this book and give it my highest award of 10/10 (5stars)



Published by Penguin on 23/07/20.

The biggest Thank you to Georgia Taylor at Penguin for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.



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If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha ~ Blog Tour.



Back of the book :

If I Had Your Face plunges us into the mesmerizing world of contemporary Seoul – a place where extreme plastic surgery is as routine as getting a haircut, where women compete for spots in secret ‘room salons’ to entertain wealthy businessmen after hours, where K-Pop stars are the object of all-consuming obsession, and ruthless social hierarchies dictate your every move.

Navigating this hyper-competitive city are four young women balancing on the razor-edge of survival: Kyuri, an exquisitely beautiful woman whose hard-won status at an exclusive ‘room salon’ is threatened by an impulsive mistake with a client; her flatmate Miho, an orphan who wins a scholarship to a prestigious art school in New York, where her life becomes tragically enmeshed with the super-wealthy offspring of the Korean elite; Wonna, their neighbour, pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they will afford to raise in a fiercely competitive economy; and Ara, a hair stylist living down the hall, whose infatuation with a fresh-faced K-Pop star drives her to violent extremes.


What I think : 

This book follows the lives of four different women in Korea.

The Korean beauty industry to be precise, its all about your image with cosmetic surgery in the forefront and prostitution and sexism coming a close second. OhMYGosh! those wealthy men love to use their money to get what they want !!

Kyrui is a ‘Room Salon’ Girl, ( a prostitute)  She has had many surgeries and the men seem to love her. which is a good job as its really a dog eat dog world out there and she has to compete for everything.

Miho grew up in an orphanage, and is an artist and has quite a wealthy boyfriend, but she is trying to be independent and not ask him for help.

Ara is a mute and she is in love with the lead singer of a K Pop band. Her dream is to one day meet him.

And lastly Wanna is pregnant, she is really worried about money and wants her unborn child to be secure and have much more than she had.

And so we follow the lives of these four very different women …

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this novel, as its the first time that I’d read anything remotely along these lines. But I was pleasantly surprised as what I found was a really tough story about four equally tough characters in a really tough world.

I really liked the well written characters and whilst I couldn’t identify with what any of them was going through, they were really believable in their own way.

I liked this debut novel and give it 8/10 (5 stars)


Published on 23/07/2020 by Viking Books (Penguin)

The biggest Thank you to Hannah Sawyer from Penguin Random House for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.


Liar – Lesley Pearse ~ Blog Tour

lesley Pearse


Back of the book :

In a Shepherd’s Bush bedsit, Amelia White dreams of being a reporter. The closest she’s come is selling advertising in the local paper.

Until the fateful day she stumbles on a truly shocking scoop.

Round the corner from her home, she discovers the body of a murder victim, dumped among the rubbish. When the police and reporters descend, Amelia is horrified at the assumptions made and lies soon to be spread about this poor young woman.

Determined to protect the victim from these smears and help her grieving family, she convinces her paper’s editor to allow her to take up her pen and tell the true story.

But when another body is found and the police investigation stalls, Amelia – uncovering new witnesses and suspects in her search for clues – discovers that she may be the only one with any chance of learning the truth and stopping more killings.

If only she can work out who the liar is . . .


What I think : 

Shepherds Bush, 1970’s Amelia dreams of something big …

Amelia is on her own, after a traumatic childhood, she lives in a dilapidated building that she keeps clean and tidy (she’s about the only person that does) She doesn’t have any real friends. But she remains cheery and optimistic that one day she’ll realise her dreams.

She currently works at the West London Weekly Newspaper selling adverts, but what she really wants to be is a journalist or write a book.

When she finds a pair of boots in a rubbish bin she thinks she’s struck lucky as she’s had her eye on a pair of these boots for ages. However the boots still belong to someone else, as they’re still on the feet of murdered young girl.

So begins a media circus, Amelia is horrified by the lies that are told about the poor murdered girl. She manages to convince her boss to let her find out about the victim and her family and write the truth. Then more bodies are found, and the police trail goes cold, is Amelia the only person to able to find out the truth … ?

Who is the liar ?

I have always absolutely loved Lesley’s books and have read all of them many times over. I always look forward to the next one. Just recently I have been lucky enough to have been chosen to be on the blog tour and review them, I feel this is a real privilege.

Lesley’s books just get better and better. Her characters are always real and relatable and you find yourself getting wrapped up in the story from the first page. I thought this one was a little different this time though, it felt that it was bordering into crime thriller territory. I love crime thrillers ! It just shows how versatile the author is.

Anyway, back to the story, it had me gripped from the first page, I thought that Amelia really had a bad deal of it but the weathered the storm. It was set in a great era, the 70’s which is when I was born (1970) There was plenty of twists and turns and ups and downs, to keep you on the edge of your seat. I thought I’d got it sussed out a couple of times but then something else happened and I was wrong !!! Just the sort of story I love, one that keeps me guessing !!

With a brilliant ending, this book earns a 10/10 ( 5 stars ) from me.

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Published on 25/06/20 by Penguin (Michael Joseph)

The biggest Thank you Megan Denholm at ed public relations for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.


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The Other Passenger – Louise Candlish.

louise candlish


Back of the book :

It all happens so quickly. One day you’re living the dream, commuting to work by riverbus with your charismatic neighbour Kit in the seat beside you. The next, Kit hasn’t turned up for the boat and his wife Melia has reported him missing.

When you get off at your stop, the police are waiting. Another passenger saw you and Kit arguing on the boat home the night before and the police say that you had a reason to want him dead. You protest. You and Kit are friends – ask Melia, she’ll vouch for you. And who exactly is this other passenger pointing the finger? What do they know about your lives?

No, whatever danger followed you home last night, you are innocent, totally innocent.

Aren’t you?

What I think : 

James (Jamie) Buckby feels really lucky, his commute isn’t like everyone else’s. His commute is by river bus. He has really bad claustrophobia and had to stop taking the train and the tube and leave his job in marketing because of it. He now works in a cafe, which he is happy with and isn’t really looking for another job.  His girlfriend Claire is wealthy with her own business and owns the house they both live in, in a posh area of London. He really doesn’t have to worry about Money (but if you spoke to Claire she’d probably tell you a much different story – she sees his cafe job as a stopgap and wants him to get a better job) But all in all he feels he has got it made.

On Dec 27th 2019 Jamie is returning to work after the Christmas break, Claire and Jamie have spent Christmas with Claires family in Scotland so he hasn’t been around or even switched his mobile on. He notices that his friend/travel buddy Kit isn’t on the river boat as usual. He really doesn’t think much of it because he has probably got a hangover after all the festivities and is throwing a sicky today. However when they reach destinations end there are two police detectives waiting for him and want to question him about Kit’s possible disappearance. He hasn’t been seen for a couple of days and his wife Melia is worried and has reported him missing. Jamie and kit had drinks together just before Christmas and apparently he was the last person to see him, does that make him a suspect … ?

Jamie has a secret that could blow his life apart if it ever comes out …

What happened to Kit after the drinks ?

Was Jamie really the last person to see him ?

I really look forward to Louise’s books and I was lucky enough to have been sent a review copy by the lovely folk at Simon & Schuster. So after doing a happy dance around the living room I settled in to read this brilliant book and wasn’t disappointed.

The book kept me on the edge of my seat, with plenty of twists and turns, it’s really was a rollercoaster of a ride. I thought that this book was slightly different to the authors other books. I don’t know whether it was because we zipped back and forth from the start of 2019 to the end so it was on a couple of timelines and we usually just stay in the here and now or it was because of the police procedural element. But anyway it just seemed like she was going in a different direction, which in my opinion is no bad thing. I liked it !!

The characters are down to earth and quite believable, apart from the main character who I didn’t like at all, who I thought, for a middle aged man was rather spoilt and easily led.

But anyway, I really enjoyed the story and give it 8/10 (5 stars)

Published on 25/06/20.

The biggest Thank you to Jess Barrett at Simon & Schuster for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.

The Family Holiday – Elizabeth Noble ~ Blog Tour.

the family holiday - elizabeth Noble


Back of the book :

The Chamberlain family used to be close.

Charlie and Daphne were happily married, and their children Laura, Scott and Nick were inseparable. But then, inevitably, the children grew up and their own messy lives got in the way.

Since Daphne died, Charlie can’t help but think about happier times for the Chamberlain family – before his children drifted apart. His wife was the family’s true north, and without her guidance, Charlie fears his kids have all lost their direction.

For his eightieth birthday, all Charlie wants is to bring his family together again. And by some miracle, they’ve all said yes.

So, for the first time in a long time, the Chamberlains are going on a family holiday.

It’s only ten days . . . how bad could it be?


What I think : 

When Daphne planned a holiday for the family for Charlie’s eightieth birthday all those years ago, of course she expected to be there to celebrate his milestone birthday. But sadly Daphne died and feeling a little bit rudderless without her, Charlie decides to arrange the holiday in a hope that all the family will be together again and make some more happy memories. They all seem to be a little bit lost, Nick lost his own wife about a year ago and is still in a lot of grief and struggling to bring up three children alone, Laura is going through a bad divorce and has other important stuff going on as well and Scott has just got married to the perfect wife but he thinks that maybe his family don’t quite see her the way he does ….

So off they all go on a lovely holiday in a country house in the cotswolds. Will this holiday bring them together or push them further apart … ?

This is a very lovely story of family life and all the ups and downs that involves.

Packed with fabulous characters, the story ebbs and flows with happy and sad moments. I really liked this book and loved the way that we are introduced to the characters individually before the story starts properly so we get a snap shot into their lives and we get too know them a bit before ‘The family Holiday’

All in all a brilliant book that I absolutely loved. I would usually say that this is one to take with you on your holidays but as the pause button has been pushed on that particular activity right now, I’ll just say you need to read this one as its fab !!!

I give this book a well earned 9/10. (5 Stars)

Published by Penguin Random House on 25/06/2020

The biggest Thank You to Ella Watkins from Penguin for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.


The Family Holiday blog tour asset


The Curator – M.W.Craven ~ Blog Tour.

The CuratorBack of the book :

It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6

Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again . . .


What I think : 

Washington Poe and Till Bradshaw from the National Crime Agency are called to investigate a particularly awful murder case, Three pairs of fingers are discovered in three different places on three different days over the Christmas period. Each scene of crime has the symbols #BSC6 near it, either on a piece of paper or an object. After extensive searches nobody seems to be able to find our exactly what it means, not even Tilly, and she can usually find anything, if it’s there she’ll find it. Nobody knows who the victims are. As they have no bodies to work with, Tilly and Poe have their work cut out. Slowly but surely, with the help of the cumbria police, they start to discover the identity of the three victims. But why choose these three ?

Body number one, male, has had his fingers hacked off with either a saw or a pair of scissors and very crudely but the other two bodies, that have yet to be found, are female, one of these women had their fingers surgically amputated whilst anaesthetised but the other victims fingers were cut off non surgically but was still anaesthetised. Why ??

Howard Teesdale, computer analyst and sex offender, Rebecca Pridmore, MOD contracts manager and Amanda Simpson, Retail Assistant are identified as the victims. But why them ? They have absolutely nothing in common.

How has he chosen his victims ? Why did he abduct two of them ? And why did the female victims have anaesthetic in their system ? Why use a surgical tool on one but not the others  ? Why stage body parts over three consecutive days and then go quiet ? Is he sending a message ? Has he finished ? Is he only getting started ? And what the hell is hashtag #BSC6 ? “

These are the questions being asked ….

Then in amongst all of this Poe receives a phone call from FBI agent Melody Lee, she has a really weird tale to tell about someone called ‘The Curator’ It’s all pie in the sky and no one believes her, but Poe thinks there could be something in it. Could ‘The Curator’ be a person of interest ?

So we’re back with the third instalment in the Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw Series. D.I Stephanie Flynn is very heavily pregnant and not enjoying it at all. She’s refusing to slow down one tiny bit. The weird but brilliant pathologist Estelle Doyle is on the case and as mind-blowingly factual as ever.

I found the story dark and gruesome, and really not for the fainthearted. Especially as the prologue of the book starts with graphic descriptions of a woman having her finger chopped off whilst still awake and then garrotted and killed !! But I wouldn’t really have expected anything less if I’m honest, if the other two books are anything to go by !!

This book also touches on the dark web and a suicide game called ‘The Blue Whale Suicide Challenge’ which as the author writes in his acknowledgments is a real thing which if I’m honest sends a shiver down my spine.

The story moves along at a rapid pace, dropping lots of little clues and red herrings along the way. As usual its very factual, the author must spend hours /days months even on research (I always find out really interesting science stuff whilst reading a M.W Craven book !) All adding up to a really explosive ending that will make you gasp out loud. I really thought I’d worked it out a couple of times but then another twist comes along and turns it right on its head.

I really can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed this brilliant novel and I’m waiting in anticipation for the next one !

I give this brilliant novel 10/10 (5 stars)

5 gold stars


Published on 04/06/20 by Constable (Little, Brown)

The biggest Thank you to Beth Wright from Little, Brown for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.





I Made a Mistake – Jane Corry ~ Blog tour.

Jane corry 2

** I would just like to say a HUGE Thank you to Jane Corry for the gorgeous water colour that came with the review copy of this book **

Back of the book :

In Poppy Page’s mind, there are two types of women in this world: those who are faithful to their husbands, and those who are not. Until now, Poppy has never questioned which she was.

But when handsome, charming Matthew Gordon walks back into her life after almost two decades, that changes. Poppy makes a single mistake – and that mistake will be far more dangerous than she could imagine.

Someone is going to pay for it with their life . . .


What I think : 

Poppy has been married to Stuart for twenty years. They have two teenage daughters together, Melissa, 17 and Daisy, 14. Like most couples that have been married for most of their adult years they have grown apart. They both have really demanding careers, Stuart is a dentist and Poppy runs her own business, a ‘Casting Agency’ where she supplies the ‘extras’ for film and TV programmes.

Her mother-in-Law, Betty also lives with them at the house. She helps out with the girls. Poppy adores Betty, she sees her as the mum she never had, and the feeling is mutual, Betty would do anything thing to help her family.

One evening, at an industry party, by chance she meets up with Matthew again, she was in a relationship with him around twenty years ago. This is where she makes her mistake, she has a little bit too much to drink and ends up in bed with him. the morning after she really regrets it and just wants to forget about it. Matthew however has other ideas …

This is the event that leads to a series of events that will change her life forever ….

Told from Poppy perspective, it tells us about what happened before during and after Poppys mistake. The story is also told by Betty in the form of a letter sent to Poppy, telling of her early years, about when she met her late husband Jock, and of her mistakes and regrets that she made and had.  We also get a glimpse of a murder case in the form of scenes from the Central Criminal court in London. How does that tie in ?

I really did enjoy this book, as I have all the others that Jane has written. I really couldn’t put it down, in fact I read it in just over a day ! I like the way that Jane’s characters are always just normal people that go about normal lives, however I did have a bit of trouble warming to Poppy, which is a first for me with this authors main characters.

There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you gripped, in fact I did find it a bit of a rollercoaster of a book, just as you get over one thing something else happens !

I can’t wait for the next book from this author !!!

I give this brilliant read 9/10 ! (5 stars)

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Published 28/05/2020 by Penguin

A big Thank you to Ellie Hudson at Penguin for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.




I made a mistake


He Started it – Samantha Downing ~ Blog Tour.

sam downing

Back of the book :

No-one knows you better than your family.

They know the little things that make you smile. Your proudest achievements. Your darkest secrets.

Sure, you haven’t always been best friends.

But if it seemed as though someone was after you, that you might be in danger, then you’d be on each other’s side.

Right ?

No-one is more dangerous than the ones who know you best.


What I think : 

Beth, Eddie and Portia are all siblings. They’re not particularly close, in fact they really don’t see each other at all. But then their Grandfather dies, and they all have to get together for the will reading. The will is a bit of a surprise to the siblings as it has quite an unusual request. The will states that they all must go on a road trip across America together, just like the one that they did with their Grandfather years ago when they were all a lot younger, then they must scatter grandads ashes at journeys end. The will also states that :

Anyone who ends up in jail, who does not complete the trip or deviates from the original trip in any way will get nothing” 

It’s quite a large inheritance so everyone is eager to comply with the rules. The only thing they do that isn’t mentioned in the the will is that Eddie brings his wife Krista and Beth bring her husband Felix.

So all they have to do is go on the road trip, going to the exact same places that they did with their Grandfather and then scatter his ashes. come home and collect the money.

Sounds easy, right ?


These siblings just don’t get on, they have never got on, they each have secrets they want to keep, no matter what …

Then odd things begin to happen, they get run off the road by a black pickup truck. The brand new tyre they have fitted after the accident is flat the next morning when they come out after breakfast, and another morning the starter motor has vanished from the engine.

When was the last time they saw Grandads ashes ? Because they seem to have vanished.

Why are they being followed across three states by the black pickup truck that ran them off the road days ago ? Suddenly everybody starts to see it everywhere they go …

Will anyone live to claim the inheritance …. ?

This story is narrated by Beth, The chapters are a count down to the end of the trip, starting with the first day of travel (Day 13) there is also pages from a journal (maybe Beths ?) that tell the story about what happened on the original trip.

It was very interesting to see the siblings relationships play out and how they reacted to the things that are happening. I was also very intrigued to find out what had exactly happened on that first trip !

I found this book a little tense and claustrophobic in places, but I was gripped from the first page. It was certainly very dark in places and there was moments when I actually did gasp out loud about what I’d just read !

Lots of secrets get revealed along the way, and of course there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you right on the edge of your seat. And OMG !! that ending !! I really wasn’t expecting that, it really turned the story right on its head !!

I really enjoyed this book and give it a really well-earned 9/10. (5 Stars)

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Published on 30/04/2020 by Penguin (Michael Joseph)

As always the biggest Thank you to Sriya Varadharajan at Penguin for the review copy of the book in return for a honest review.



He Started It blog tour graphic


Today is my SIX year Blogerversary !

How can it be six whole years since I started reading and reviewing books ? Wow !

I’ve always loved to read books, I could read before I went to school. I can remember devouring any book that was around. Although my brothers war/army books and magazines really didn’t hold much for me !! I discovered romance novels quite soon afterwards and in the last few years it’s a good old crime thriller that holds my attention !!

I have so many books waiting for me to read, it’s got to the point where my husband has been heard muttering ‘surely she’s got enough books now’ in answer to the question husband dear is YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH BOOKS !!!

In these really uncertain times reading has become my saviour and if I hadn’t had a book to escape into I think I would probably gone slowly mad.

Anyway, I know I’ve been a bit quiet lately with reviews but let me assure you I have been reading just as much as always and have a couple of blog tours coming up at the end of this week so look out for those reviews 😊

So here’s to the next Six years and all those wonderful books 😊

That’s all for now folks,

Happy Reading 😊📚

Candy xxx

Strangers – C.L.Taylor *Blog Tour*

Back of the book :

Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.
Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.
And Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.

Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

What I think :

Three Strangers ….

Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met, but they’re about to …

Gareth is a security Guard at The Meads shopping centre. He sees Alice every morning and every evening opening and closing the shop where she works. They’ve never spoken. At home Gareth’s mum Joan has dementia, she sits in her chair all day watching the TV and reminiscing about her husband (Gareth’s dad) only trouble is that he disappeared twenty years ago, presumed dead. So when Gareth starts getting postcards from his dad he wonders what on earth is going on. Could his dad still be alive ?

Alice is the manager at Mirage Fashions in The Meads shopping centre. She loves her job. It’s a shame she can’t say the same about her love life, her husband ran off with a younger woman so she’s trying her luck with on-line dating. The latest date she has doesn’t go to plan, she ends up getting physically attacked by her date and saved by the lovely Simon. But, is Simon who he says he is ? And then Alice starts getting odd Facebook messages, has she got a stalker ?

Ursula has a problem, a theft problem. She steals things from Mirage Fashions in The Meads Shopping Centre. Alice and her colleague Lynne are aware of her but haven’t yet been able to catch her. This problem has also led her to being evicted from the flat she was living in for stealing her housemates belongings. She managed to find a room in a house with the very strange Edward. Ursula has to follow a long list of rules and is, under no circumstances allowed to go in the basement. What is Edward up to ?

Whilst all this is going on three men have gone missing on nights out, down by the harbour area. The newspapers think that there is a ‘Harbourside Murder’ at large or is there another reason why these men haven’t been since since ?

Then one night, Gareth, Ursula and Alice are brought together in a dramatic and terrifying way, it’ll be a night they’ll never forget ….

WOW !! What a read !

You know you’re on to a winner when the opening chapter starts with one of the main characters standing over a dead body, and the last sentence of that chapter is “We say it was self defence” I couldn’t put it down !!

I always get very excited when I hear that Cally has a new novel being published. Then I cross everything, hoping and praying that I will get an invite for the blog tour. (I also do a happy dance when I get that invite !)

I love Cally’s books and this one is brilliant, her best yet I think.

I loved the way that each character has their own chapters, going about their everyday lives with all the ups and down that that entails and then suddenly their stories collide so brilliantly and shockingly that it knocks your socks off. There are so many twists and turns that you have to read it in one sitting.

Again Cally has written a brilliantly absorbing thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I also need to mention that I wasn’t expecting that last chapter, it was excellent, what a twist !!

I really can’t praise this book enough and give it a very well earned 10/10 (5 stars)

Published on 02/04/2020 by Avon Books (Harper Collins)

The biggest Thank you, as always to the lovely Sanjana Cunniah from Avon Books for the review copy of the book in return for a honest review.