Archive | June 2020

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.

download (4)

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.

 

LIAR Blog Tour Banner

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.