What would you risk for a complete stranger? When widow Millie Sanger finds injured enemy pilot Lukas Schiller on her farm, the distant war is suddenly at her doorstep. Compassionate Millie knows he’ll be killed… More
The compelling new novel from the author of the bestselling Chocolat.
Vianne Rocher has settled down. Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, the place that once rejected her, has finally become her home. With Rosette, her ‘special’ child, she runs her chocolate shop in the square, talks to her friends on the river, is part of the community. Even Reynaud, the priest, has become a friend.
But when old Narcisse, the florist, dies, leaving a parcel of land to Rosette and a written confession to Reynaud, the life of the sleepy village is once more thrown into disarray. The arrival of Narcisse’s relatives, the departure of an old friend and the opening of a mysterious new shop in the place of the florist’s across the square – one that mirrors the chocolaterie, and has a strange appeal of its own – all seem to herald some kind of change: a confrontation, a turbulence – even, perhaps, a murder…
Published April 4th 2019 by Orion (UK)
~ Review ~
I have to admit to having never read anything by Joanne Harris before. I’ve heard of Chocolat of course, but The Strawberry Thief would be my first novel by this author. I can honestly say that not having read the previous books did not affect my enjoyment and I adored this beautiful book.
I went in with no expectations, but I guess I wasn’t expecting such a magical story. The book is filled with mysticism and hints of magic, light and dark, the setting so richly described and the writing exquisitely lyrical. Each time I sat down to read a bit more, it was almost like slipping into a dreamlike state and I enjoyed every moment.
I also loved the unique cast of characters, falling in love with Rosette – Vianne’s “special child” who doesn’t talk or act like other children. I loved her innocent take on the world. I also really liked reading the story of her benefactor, told posthumously through a confessional document to the local priest, who is also carrying a dark secret of his own.
I don’t know what else I can say without spoiling it for others, but one thing is certain – I’ll be ordering the three previous books to The Strawberry Thief ASAP. Joanne Harris’s writing is everything I love – rich, poetic and with hints of magic. I absolutely adored it.
(I read an advance proof courtesy of the publisher)
WHAT HAPPENED TO JULIA BLAKE?
She was young and beautiful, married to a famous author. They were celebrating their anniversary at their stunning country estate. So why did Julia Blake walk out of her perfect life, apparently leaving no trace?
Seren, a junior reporter for the local paper, can’t believe her luck when she lands an exclusive with Julia’s husband, Max. But as Seren spends more time at the couple’s remote mansion, probing ever deeper into the case, dark questions await.
What was Julia really like, behind closed doors? Was her marriage to this brooding, secretive man as perfect as it seemed? And did she really mean to disappear that night – or was she murdered?
Published March 2019 (E-Book) / July 2019 (Paperback) by Wildfire Books (UK)
~ Review ~
Having really enjoyed Amanda Reynold’s previous books, Close To Me and Lying To You, I couldn’t wait to get started on her latest release, The Hidden Wife. As always, I found myself engrossed in this author’s incredibly compelling writing almost immediately and I was pleasantly surprised by the different feel and mood of this book.
In her previous two books, Amanda Reynolds has used the unreliable narrator to great effect. The Hidden Wife switches things up though, and this time we are firmly on Seren’s side as she attempts to untangle the mystery of famous author, Max Blake’s beautiful and much younger wife while interviewing him for her local newspaper.
There are three main characters in this book – Seren, a somewhat naive and eager to please junior reporter driven by her own tragic loss, Max – a brooding, charming but weirdly creepy and manipulative author (kind of reminiscent of Edward Monkford in J.P Delaney’s The Girl Before in many ways). And Brooke House, Max’s sprawling and remote mansion which was so atmospheric and eerie, lending a gothic hint which I absolutely loved.
I flew through this book, but that doesn’t surprise me – it’s what I’ve come to expect from Amanda’s novels. She really knows how to hook the reader, throwing twists and turns skillfully to keep you on the edge of your seat. I adored the uncertainty cast over missing Julia – had she disappeared of her own accord, or was something more sinister really at play? Mixed with such a well depicted setting which sent chills down my spine, The Hidden Wife has all the ingredients of a fantastic psychological thriller and I loved every second of it.
(I read an advance e-copy courtesy of the publisher and netgalley)
1862 Young widow Eugénie faces an uncertain future in Guernsey when her husband dies at sea. A further tragedy brings her to the attention of Monsieur Victor Hugo, exiled on the island and living in his voluptuous house only yards away from Eugénie. Their meeting changes her life and she begins working for him as a copyist, forming a strong friendship with both Hugo and his mistress, Juliette Drouet.
2012 Doctor Tess Le Prevost, born in Guernsey, now living in Exeter, is shocked to inherit her Great-Aunt’s house on the island. As a child she listened to Aunt Doris’s tales of their ancestor, Eugénie, whose house this once was, and who, according to family myth, was particularly close to Hugo. Was he the father of her child? Tess doubts it, but inheriting the house allows her to make a fresh start in her beloved island.
Will she discover the truth about Eugénie and Hugo? A surprise find may hold the answer as Tess embraces new challenges which test her strength – and her heart.
Published 8th April 2019
~ Review ~
This is the seventh novel in Anne Allen’s Guernsey Novels series and the the second I have read. Last year I enjoyed The Betrayal, but I thought The Inheritance was even better and spent a wonderful cosy afternoon absorbed in it.
The Inheritance is another dual narrative book, this time telling the story of Tess, a busy doctor who inherits a gorgeous house from her great aunt on Guernsey and decides to upsticks and move back to her place of birth. She knew there was an old family connection to the renowned author, Victor Hugo, but when she discovers a hidden cupboard filled with letters and journals, she’s about to find out just how close that connection is. In alternating chapters we, along with Tess, hear the story of Eugenie, rescued from tragedy by Hugo and his kindhearted mistress and her tale of grief, loss, unrequited love and inner strength.
Anne Allen has a beautifully comforting and evocative writing style, meaning that time spent reading her books feel liked being wrapped in a blanket and transported from life for a few hours. I found reading this book so relaxing. I can’t claim to know anything about Victor Hugo, so can’t comment on the authenticity of the author’s depiction of him, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Eugenie’s life as a copywriter, transcribing the famous Les Miserables as he wrote it. I could feel her awe and admiration, and the era was brought vividly to life.
I also enjoyed Tess’s modern day story, which ran some parallels to Eugenie at times. The descriptions of the dilapidated house she inherits and its stunning transformation had me yearning to see it myself.
I really, really enjoyed this book – even more so than the previous. The Guernsey Novels are perfect, relaxing reading, with an effortless writing style and vivid imagery. Pure, enjoyable escapism, which left me content and looking forward to more from this author.
(I read an advance ebook copy courtesy of the author and RaRa Resourses Tour Hosting)
~ About The Author ~
Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children, and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.
By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist, but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, six having been published and the seventh, The Inheritance, is due out in 2018.
Social Media Links – Website: www.anneallen.co.uk
She was racing towards the gorge. The place the locals knew as ‘Dead Girl’s Drop’….
DI Meg Dalton is thrown headlong into her latest case when she finds a 10-year-old girl running barefoot through the woods in a blood-soaked nightdress. In the house nearby, the girl’s father has been brutally stabbed to death.
At first Meg suspects a robbery gone tragically wrong, but something doesn’t add up. Why does the girl have no memory of what happened to her? And why has her behaviour changed so dramatically since her recent heart transplant?
The case takes a chilling turn when evidence points to the girl’s involvement in her own father’s murder. As unsettling family secrets emerge, Meg is forced to question her deepest beliefs to discover the shocking truth, before the killer strikes again….
Published April 4th 2019 by HQ Stories
~ Review ~
Last year I was invited to take part in the blog tour for Roz Watkins debut book, The Devil’s Dice which I absolutely loved. The atmospheric setting, hints at myth and the seemingly unexplainable, coupled with a fantastic female lead, ticked all my boxes. So I was thrilled to take part again in Roz’s second blog tour for Dead Man’s Daughter.
Carrying on with intuitive, spontaneous and at times reckless DI Meg Dalton, Dead Man’s Daughter absolutely blew me away. This is intricate, complex, fascinating, thought provoking, original and utterly gripping reading and I could not tear myself away.
Once again, the atmospheric setting of the Peak District and local myth and history intermingle with a very modern case. This time, the fascinating subject of cellular memory in transplant organs is tackled. I remember watching a program years ago about transplant recipients who believe they have taken on personality traits from the donor of their new organ. It’s such an interesting subject, and Roz Watkins has woven it into her story with great plausibility and skill.
There are so many layers to this book, it’s impossible to go into them all without spoiling it for other readers. But the worth and value of a human life and ethics, both medical and personal, are at its core. While this book is fast paced and suspenseful, I found it incredibly thought provoking too. I couldn’t have predicted in a million years where this book was going to go and was fascinated throughout by this highly original story.
DI Meg Dalton remains a favourite character – I love her impulsiveness and spontaneity, which admittedly lands her in trouble occasionally. Her personal circumstances are a great influence on her actions, meaning she’s not always perfect but incredibly relatable. While the first book in the series does cover a lot of her back story, Dead Man’s Daughter can absolutely be read as a stand alone.
Roz Watkins hasn’t just done it again with Dead Man’s Daughter – she’s done even better and cemented her place as a must read author for crime fans everywhere. However, I think this book will appeal to a wider audience, who may not read a lot of crime but enjoy a complex, thought provoking and fascinating story.
( I read an advance readers copy courtesy of the publisher)
Today I’m welcoming author Celia Moore as part of the blog tour for her latest book, Culmfield Cuckoo with a guest post on writing a second novel. Over to you Celia …
‘How hard was it to write a second novel?’
I was worried when I started the Culmfield Cuckoo that I would find it hard to recapture the joy I felt from writing my debut novel. Fox Halt Farm came to me in a dream one night. I was enraptured by the characters I imagined and desperate to tell their stories. I stayed up until the early hours and got up early to continue writing.
My poor husband found I’d left home to live at the fictional Fox Halt Farm totally lost in creating the story. I decided I really wanted to write, so determined to concentrate on it that I took 3 months off my normal day job and committed to completing my novel in that time.
I was driven to my goal which kept me focussed on my writing and when I duly typed the end a couple of days before my deadline, I was wholly pleased with myself. At this point, I had no idea how much editing and rewriting would be required. I published my book eleven months from the day it was conceived. In hindsight, I was as naïve as Billy, the naïve eighteen old in the opening of Fox Halt Farm, unaware of all the chapters I needed to experience before I learnt where I was heading and how the future could be.
With writing the sequel I still felt all the same energy and enthusiasm for the story. I had the benefit of feedback on my initial novel and learnt more about how to convey a story, keeping the readers interest piqued. With all this, I was able to avoid some of the pitfalls I fell into with my debut. I set off on my new journey, writing my second novel much better equipped. I was more self-critical second time around, still determined to make this second book the best it can be.
I think of Fox Halt Farm as a family saga but Culmfield Cuckoo is more of a mystery or even a cosy crime?
I have no more fantasies about how publishing this book will change my life, I have written Culmfield Cuckoo because I love writing and learning new things. I feel I am growing as I develop new skills. I know there will be days when I click on my Amazon account to discover that not a single copy has been sold but I know too, that people have been asking me when this sequel will be available for them to read, and that means the world to me.
Celia Moore (1967-now) grew up on a small farm near Exeter. She had a successful career as a Chartered Surveyor working in the City of London before working her way back to Devon. In 2000, she left the office to start a new adventure as an outdoor instructor, teaching rock climbing and mountaineering. Today she gardens for a few lovely customers, runs and writes (accompanied at all times by a border terrier x jack russell called Tizzy). She is running the London Marathon in April 2019 for three cancer charities.
When Billy reaches out to help, her kindness brings many changes which threaten hopes, homes, and even the people she loves the most.
Who is the Culmfield Cuckoo?
Will they help Billy get her life back? Or is the Cuckoo the cause of everything that is going wrong?
Who is telling the truth?
A new home can be a happy ending. Or a fresh start. Or a hiding place…
Of all the emotions single mother Kate Jones feels as she walks into her brand new house on Parkview Road, hope is the most unexpected. She has changed her name and her daughter’s, and moved across the country to escape the single mistake that destroyed their lives.
Kate isn’t the only woman on the street starting afresh. Warm, whirlwind Gisela with her busy life and confident children, and sharp, composed Sally, with her spontaneous marriage and high-flying career, are the first new friends Kate has allowed herself in years. While she can’t help but envy their seemingly perfect lives, their friendship might help her leave her guilt behind.
Until one day, everything changes. Kate is called to the scene of a devastating car accident, the consequences of which will test everything the women thought they knew about each other, and themselves.
Can Kate stop her own secrets from unravelling, or was her hope for a new life in vain?
From the bestselling author of The Silent Wife, The Woman I Was Before is a book about the things we hide from those closest to us – and the terrible consequences that keeping those secrets can have. Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain.
Published 22nd March 2019 by Bookoutre
~ Review ~
I seem to be making a habit of reading new to me authors recently and so far not one has been a disappointment. In fact I loved this book so much, Kerry Fisher has gone straight onto my must read authors list.
The Woman I Was Before tells the story of three different women, who all move into a new housing developement around the same time. Kate is a single mother to teen Daisy, and running from her past. Sally has an extremely successful career , but feels something is missing in her marriage. Gisele seems to have the perfect life – a happy marriage, two teenagers with promising futures and enough money to fund her taste for luxurious shopping – but behind the perfect family image she portrays on social media things are unraveling.
What I absolutely loved about the this book was that despite the three women all being very different, from each other and myself, I found them so utterly relatable. This is a very honest depiction of family life from three different view points, referencing the image we portray on social media and the truth behind that image. I know I’m not alone to have felt jealousy and inadequacy when looking at posts on facebook – and I’m guilty myself of presenting the one photo where everyone is smiling between the arguments and general drudgery of daily life. Who hasn’t? Kerry Fisher expertly uses this obsession we have with perfection and self doubt created by social media to tell the story of these women.
Each has a secret they’re hiding, and all were fascinating, relevant and believable. I was drawn to Kate the most, whose secret remains a mystery for most of the book. I desperately wanted to know what she was running from, what she had done that was so bad. Her story is the most heartbreaking, yet hopeful and inspiring and I loved seeing how she developed throughout the book.
I also really enjoyed the fact that the woman where all a similar age to myself (between late thirties and early forties) meaning that their problems, feelings and insecurities where ones I also recognised. Again, the author captured this perfectly and by the end of the book I felt these characters where people I knew, could be living on my own street – even seeing myself once or twice.
There’s some heavy themes in this book, which Kerry Fisher deals with sensitively, but there’s also dashes of wit and humour at times which I really enjoyed. I had absolutely no expectations when I went into this book, but after spending a few hours in the company of her characters, I know I’ll be looking out for more from this author in the future. Written with empathy, warmth and searing honesty, The Woman I Read Before is a fantastic book which will make you cry and smile in equal measures. Perfect.
I read an advance ebook courtesy of the publisher and netgalley
Catching a killer is dangerous—especially if he lives next door
From the hugely talented author of The Kind Worth Killing comes an exquisitely chilling tale of a young suburban wife with a history of psychological instability whose fears about her new neighbor could lead them both to murder . . .
Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.
But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder—an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.
Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?
The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face to face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him. And that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape. . .
Published March 7th 2019 by Faber & Faber (UK)
This is the first book by Peter Swanson I’ve read, and so had no idea what to expect. I did however really like the sound of it. I’m so glad I did though and it most certainly won’t be the last.
Before She Knew Him tells the story of Hen, an artist with a history of mental health problems manifesting in over imagination, suspicion and obsession. When she and husband Lloyd move into a quiet suburb it’s a new start and a chance to put a difficult episode behind them. But when their new next door neighbours, Mira and Matthew, invite them to dinner and Hen spots an item she believes links Matthew to a violent murder, it looks like Hen may be spiralling into ill health again. With her history, no-one is prepared to believe her. Is Hen loosing her grip on reality or is she really living next door to a serial killer?
I absolutely loved the style of writing in this book … it’s very distinct, with chapters alternating between Hen and Matthew. The tone struck an incredibly sinister atmosphere and had me turning pages furiously as it was so engaging and compulsive.
I loved the sense of conflict Peter Swanson creates in the character of Hen. There’s a vulnerability and honesty that has the reader completely on her side, yet all the while there’s an uncertainty whether she is right or is indeed gripped by a psychotic episode. Matthew is a masterclass in cold, clever and creepy. My skin actually crawled at some points.
This is a dark and disturbing story, exploring the impact of domestic violence, sexual abuse and childhood abuse on an individuals mental health and personality. It is shocking in it’s believability – I could almost feel sorry at times where I most certainly shouldn’t have. As thrilling as this book is, it also gives the reader lots to think about.
The book ends with a great twist I really didn’t see coming – and as a seasoned psychological thriller reader I’m not often this taken in by a twist. Though it left me feeling as if I should have spotted it – it’s clever and completely believable. I raced through this book, I loved the creepy, sinister atmosphere and the conflict and uncertainty it provoked. An excellent read, and an author I’ll be making sure I read a lot more of in the future.
I read a free copy of this book courtesy of the Publisher
“SAM! AVA! Get downstairs, NOW. Have you done your TEETH? HAIR? SHOES? Come on, come on, come on, we’re going to be bastarding late again. No, I haven’t seen Lego Optimus Prime, and nor do I give a shit about his whereabouts. Sam, will you stop winding your sister up and take this model of the Shard that I painstakingly sat up and created for you last night so that I wouldn’t be in trouble with your teacher. I mean, so that you wouldn’t be in trouble with your teacher. No, it doesn’t smell of ‘dirty wine’. Well, maybe it does a little bit. Look, Sam, I haven’t got time to argue. Just hold your nose and get in the car, okay? AVA! TEETH! HAIR! SHOES!”
Gemma is only just holding it together – she’s a single parent, she’s turning 40 and her seven-year-old daughter has drawn a cruelly accurate picture which locates Gemma’s boobs somewhere around her knees. So when her new next-door neighbour, Becky, suggests that Gemma should start dating again, it takes a lot of self-control not to laugh in her face.
But Becky is very persuasive and before long Gemma finds herself juggling a full-time job, the increasingly insane demands of the school mums’ Facebook group and the tricky etiquette of a new dating world. Not only that, but Gemma has to manage her attraction to her daughter’s teacher, Tom, who has swapped his life in the City for teaching thirty six to seven year olds spelling, grammar, basic fractions – and why it’s not ok to call your classmate a stinky poo-bum…
It’s going to be a long year – and one in which Gemma and Becky will learn a really crucial lesson: that in the end, being a good parent is just about being good enough.
Published 7 March 2019 by Sphere (UK)
~ Review ~
I’ve read some emotional and heartbreaking books recently, loving every single word of them, but definitely ready for something a bit lighter. So Absolutely Smashing It was a timely read for me, being one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time.
I’m well known for loving a good old sob, and to be honest, it doesn’t take much to make me cry. But laughing is another matter – maybe I’m just waaaay too serious, but it’s rare for a book that promises to have me laughing out loud to actually achieve that. But Kathryn Wallace’s debut did just that within the first few pages. Warm, witty and genuinely comedic (while being scarily true!), her depictions of the chaos in the life of working single mum, Gemma’s, less than perfect life were at once funny and scarily recognisable!
I connected with this lovable, scatty character immediately, having been a single parent to two myself for a good few years. The book begins with Gemma preparing for back to school after the summer holidays, having left everything until the last minute. YES! this is me, despite my best intentions, somehow six weeks rush by in the blink of an eye. Last year we had the great school skirt disaster, where there was literally nothing that would be in anyway decent left ANYWHERE. I was also giggling in recognition at a sleepless night spent constructing the model set as homework while a forgetful child slept peacefully.
i also loved the relationship between Gemma and Becky, which devolpes when Becky moves in next door. Where Gemma is struggling to balance work and raise a family, Becky is finding life as a stay at home mum and wife difficult and is desperate to get back to work. The two characters bounce of each other, and despite the humour, the author manages to capture the challenges and pressures of raising children and being a mother whether you work or stay home, or whether you’re a single or married.
Kathryn Wallace has created some very endearing characters, and I defy anyone not to fall in love with Gemma’s crazy and unique daughter Ava or wish for a Mr Jones as their own child’s teacher. Absolutely Smashing It is a fun, thoroughly enjoyable book, effortless to read and perfect for those times when you just want sheer entertainment and a book to make you laugh out loud. I absolutely LOVED it.
(I read an advance proof copy courtesy of the publisher)
What has happened to Cornelia Blackwood?
She has a loving marriage. But she has no friends.
Everyone knows her name. But no one will speak to her now.
Cornelia Blackwood has unravelled once before. Can she stop it from happening again?
From a supremely talented storyteller, The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood is a powerful novel of motherhood, loss and loneliness and how we can make damaging choices when pushed to our emotional edge. A paperback bestseller with her debut novel, The Things We Never Said, and nominated for an RNA Award in 2014, Susan Elliot Wright has written a truly important novel that explores the dark depths of psychosis with honesty and sensitivity.
Published February 2019 by Simon and Schuster UK
~ Review ~
Sometimes you just know, after only a couple of sentences, that you are reading something special that’s going to stay with you a long time. The Flight Of Cornelia Blackwood was one such book, and by the end of the first page I was in love with Susan Elliot Wright’s writing and emotionally entangled in the life of it’s lead character, Leah (Cornelia)
It begins with a scene of a broken woman, shunned by neighbours and her local community and struggling with obvious physical health complaints and hints at a deeper psychological trauma. It then shifts to a few years previous where Leah’s life is very different – she’s young, in love and about to embark on creating the family she and her soulmate husband so desire. I was immediately drawn in – what had happened to Leah to make her the person she was now and what had she done to ostracise herself from the people around her? As chapters switch from Then and Now, we learn the tragic story of Leah’s recent past while watching her car crash present lead to unavoidable catastrophe.
This is a dark tale, and Leah is a tragic character whose story is truely heartbreaking. Yet the compassion and empathy she is written with is so acute, that the reader is with her every step of the way, sympathising and understanding her, crying for her and hoping for her. Even when her choices are bad and clearly doomed, I got it. Leah really did get right under my skin.
Postpartum psychosis is a topic that isn’t really talked about. I’ve had two children myself, yet can’t remember ever hearing about it during anti or pre-natal care. In The Flight Of Cornelia Blackwood, the author tackles the subject with sensitivity and care, while drawing attention to a little discussed condition that could effect any woman who gives birth. The same level of care and dignity is afforded to Leah’s tragic losses and grief. This is an incredibly emotional and moving book, I defy anyone not to be moved to tears.
Yet there are some outstandingly beautiful and uplifting moments in this book – in Leah’s early days with her husband, in her love for a small child she befriends. it’s pure and tender and written so eloquently, I could feel Leah’s joy at those moments. This is a book that will make you feel many, many emotions. I couldn’t stop thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it and once I’d finished it stayed in my mind for days after. It is, without doubt, up there among one of the best books I’ve read in the last few years and I’ll be reading more from this author very soon. I can’t recommend this book enough.
I read an early proof copy courtesy of the publisher.
A murder that shocks a city…
Shots ring out on one of Savannah’s most famous streets. A beautiful law student lies dead.
A case full of secrets and lies…
Three men close to the victim are questioned. All of them claim to love her. All of them say they are innocent of her murder.
An investigation that could prove deadly…
As crime reporter Harper McClain unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy, the killer focuses on her. He’s already killed one woman. Will he kill another?
Published: E-Book – 4 March 2019 / Paperback – 4 April 2019 by Harper Collins UK
~ Review ~
Hurrah, Harper McClain is back! Last year I read and raved about The Echo Killing, the first book in the feisty crime reporter’s series (you can read that review right HERE) and I was very excited to catch up with her again. Boy, I was NOT disappointed.
Harper McClain is a crime journalist for her local Savannah rag, investigating and exposing murderers and villains in the name of public interest. This time, the city is shocked when a pretty law student is shot. With her boyfriend appearing as the obvious culprit, surely this is an open and shut case? But he claims he’s innocent, and the victim’s father believes him. With the police keen to shut the case down, convinced they have their man, it’s down to Harper to investigate and search out the truth.
Once again, Christi Daugherty had me gripped from the very first page and I sped through this book in a couple of huge, breathless sittings. This is super fast paced reading, with one more chapter quickly leading to half a book and a complete inability to look away. There’s action, twists, suspicion and doubt which, along with the heat of the Savannah setting and yes, a bit of will they/won’t they love interest in the form of dashing Detective Luke Walker, makes for an tense and exciting edge-of-your-seat ride.
I particularly loved how this book flowed on so easily from the first in the series, despite it being a year since I’d read it. It felt like I was just picking up where I’d left off and straight away I was familiar and comfy with it. While it probably could be read as a standalone, I think you’d probably benefit most if you read The Echo Killing, in particular for a lot of background on Harper (who has an intriguing backstory). She’s a fascinating character, firmly cemented now as a personal favourite. I love her strength, sense of justice, empathy and feisty-ness, splashed with a raw vulnerability which makes her both likable and relatable. I want her as a pal!
A Beautiful Corpse is a compelling, unputdownable read, which manages to maintain the high standard set in the first book more than matching my high expectations. This is a series which mixes a sublime blend of brilliant characterization and pitch perfect pacing – I really can’t recommend it enough. With the book ending on a bit of a cliff hanger, I’m now waiting eagerly for the next in the series and hoping it isn’t long before once again I’m engrossed in Harper McClain’s world.
(I read an advance EBook courtesy of the publisher and netgalley)