Mini Catch Up Reviews

Over the last few weeks my reading kind of went right out the window. A load of personal stuff got right in the way and to be honest, my life became eat, sleep, work and sort the daughter out. That’s all I could manage! Things are back on track and looking positive now. I did squeeze a few books in though – unfortunately I’m a review now or never kind of blogger so I thought a round up of mini “what I’ve been reading” reviews would be a good idea.

The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst  

the foster childWhen child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous.

Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced she’s just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss.

But Ellie’s foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger… 

Published November 16th 2017 by Headline 

 

WOW I was absolutely gripped to this book! I’ve really enjoyed Jenny’s previous books, but this is her best yet.  Creepy, twisty and unnerving – this is the only book I’ve read in one sitting for a while. I just couldn’t put it down!

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Warm Bodies by Jane Robins White Bodies

Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless façade, not everything is as it seems.

Callie, Tilda’s unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix’s domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash. She knows about Felix’s uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister’s arms.

Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgment when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies—or was he murdered? 

Published 28th December 2017 by HQ 

Sisters have been huge in psychological thrillers this year, White Bodies takes it further with disturbingly unhinged twin sisters, Tilda and Callie. Man, was this twisted at times! I LOVED it, although it wasn’t as fast paced as I expected, the complexity of the relationship between these twins was gripping.

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The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan 

the doll houseYou never know who’s watching…

Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign.

But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house…

How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…? 

Published September 14th 2017 by HQ Digital 

I remember reading a book about a creepy doll’s house as a child, and instantly becoming uneasy of the huge Sindy house looming in the corner of my bedroom. That memory has lasted. and to this day, the idea of Doll Houses make me shudder a little. So, i really loved the idea behind Phoebe Morgan’s chilling debut. Yes, this was full of twists and turns and impending unease, but what I really liked was how well drawn the character’s were, with complexities, hopes and flaws that made them and their actions completely believable. And the ending was jawdroppingly good!

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Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris  behind closed doors

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace’s friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn’t Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie? 

Published February 2016 by Mira 

Late to the B.A Paris party, I’m not going to lie. I was a bit disappointed in this one. I can see why it was so popular – the writing is compelling, it’s very, very readable and can be swallowed in one or two gulps. However, I had problems with some of the characters and how believable they were. I thought Grace acted pretty stupidly and felt frustrated by her, her husband was a bit pantomime villain and I felt uncomfortable at some of the portrayal of Millie, who has down syndrome. I’m still looking forward to reading more by this author, as I think they’re writing style really suits my taste – I just wasn’t a big fan of this plot.

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The Child by Fiona Barton 

32054078the child‘An engrossing, irresistible story about the coming to light of a long-buried secret.

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.  

Published July 2017 by Transworld 

Oh. My. God. This was GOOD. Switching narrative between four women to reveal the secret of a baby found buried after decades, this was not only taught and chilling, but emotionally fraught and involving as well. Throughout the book, I felt I got to know all the women – though I particularly liked Kate, a seasoned but ethical journalist. The first to pick up on the story, I liked how involved she became with the other women in this book, driving the narrative forward and allowing us to get to know them with empathy and sincerity. I kind of worked out the plot twist pages before it was revealed, but even then it came as a punch to the stomach and took my breath away. The Child isn’t just a thriller with a shocking secret, it’s about the long lasting effects of trauma on a person and their relationships. I thought it was fantastic.

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So there you go, some mini thought’s on recent books I’ve read. Apologies for the lack of posts recently – but you can be assured that normal service will now resume!

Book Review: How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst

They told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied? 

I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor and the police tell you, don’t you?

 My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago I was Susan Webster, and I murdered my twelve-week-old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my tattered life. This morning, I received an envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside it was a photograph of a toddler called Dylan. Now I am questioning everything I believe because if I have no memory of the event, how can I truly believe he’s dead?

 If there was the smallest chance your son was alive, what would you do to get him back? (from Goodreads.com)

Published by Headline (UK) April 2015 

Wow. Talk about being sucked into a book from the very first page! Jenny Blackhurst certainly knows how to grab her reader and hang on to them until the very last page. I was hooked to this book, spurred on by the small chapters, sometimes only a couple of pages long but always leaving me needing to read ‘just one more’.

How I Lost You tells the story of Emma/Susan,who after being convicted for the murder of her newborn son has just been released with a new identity. Still unable to remember that fateful day, she sets about starting over her life. But then strange things begin to happen and the doubts she’s always had about the incident three years ago resurface.Susan is convinced she didn’t kill her son. More so, she’s sure he’s still alive.

This is an edge of your seat, gripping read which will refuse to let you go. I was fascinated by Susan’s story, horrified at the possibilities and suspicious of every character-never quite trusting anyone. Jenny Blackhurst twists her story in a number of unexpected ways, I never knew exactly how it was going to go and was extremely surprised by it’s eventual direction. I had to know what had happened and read this book in two sittings.

How I Lost You takes on some dark and disturbing subjects. There’s obsession, revenge, control and manipulation…creating a thrilling emotional mix. The book takes an even dark and sinister turn around two thirds through, and wasn’t always comfortable to read, but it’s a twist I hadn’t been expecting and is something I haven’t come across before. I did feel the character of Susan was at times a little too naive, considering the things she’d gone through, but that would be my only criticism. For the most part, this book is exactly what a reader of psychological thrillers wants; a twisty plot, fast paced and addictive writing and an explosive ending. Recommended!

I read an advanced proof copy courtesy of the publishers

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Recently Added To My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish 

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday topic is books recently added to my TBR list. These are the books that have most recently landed on that ever growing, almost toppling over tower of books to read.  

(Clicking on the images will take you to Goodreads for a description)

 








   

There’s a theme running there…and a LOT of black! I’m loving psychological thrillers with no sign of getting tired yet, but I still like mixing it up with some contemporary fiction and YA. 

These are books I’ve recently become the owner of, either through the Amazon Vine Program, Publishers, Netgalley or bought.