#BookReview – Friends like These by Sarah Alderson

We all know someone like Becca.

She has the job everyone wants, a designer wardrobe, a hot-shot lawyer boyfriend, holidays to exotic locations. And she flaunts her perfect life all over social media.

It drove her colleague Lizzie mad, but she couldn’t stop looking. They were never really friends – and yet Lizzie knew everything about her.

Or did she?

When chance, and a terrible mistake, pulls Lizzie back into Becca’s orbit years after they lost touch, she’ll realise that you can’t always believe what you see online… and that finding out the truth might be the worst thing you can do.

There’s no such thing as a perfect life. Only a perfect lie.

Published December 2018 by Mulholland Books (UK)

~ Review ~  

I absolutely love a creepy, crazy, twisted character and Friends Like These has two of them. This book was RIGHT up my street. I loved this book and was utterly gripped from beginning to end.

It starts with a 999 transcript, with no indication of who’s making the call. The book then backtracks five days and we discover the events that lead to that terrifying and frantic call. It’s kind of like you know how it will end, but the need to know just how and who really drives this book, making it such a compelling read.

We’ve all searched out someone on social media, just out of curiosity and to have a nosy into their lives – right? Lizzie can’t believe it when one drunken night she finally finds an ex-colleague, Becca, on Facebook. Keen to share her discovery with her friend, Flora, she sends her a message linking the page – along with a few bitchy comments. But the next morning, Lizzie realises she actually sent the message to Becca herself. And Becca isn’t happy about this at all.

Can. You. Imagine? I will NEVER send a Facebook message without triple checking again!

Lizzie’s mistake sets of a roller coaster of twists and turns, where nothing is ever as you expect. It’s impossible to know who you can trust, is Lizzie or Becca the crazy one? The gripping, twisty writing is peppered with subtle dark humour that also really appealed to me, along with a cautionary tale of the perils of social media.

I’m being purposefully vague because I don’t want to give anything away, which is making this a difficult review to write. I just want to tell you how great this book is – hopefully you’ll take my word for it. I read a lot of psychological thrillers and this one really stood out to me. It’s a little bit different, a gripping page turner and well worth a read! I loved it!

(I read an advance proof copy courtesy of The Amazon Vine Program and the Publisher)

#BookReview – The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts

YOU’LL NEVER FORGET THE FLOWER GIRLS

The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.

One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.

Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing.

And The Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again…

Published January 2019 by Raven Books 

~ Review ~

I can’t remember how or when I heard about The Flower Girls, but it jumped straight into my pre-order basket. Months later when it eventually dropped through my letterbox, I abandoned all plans and snuggled down to read it.

“The Flower Girls” are sisters Laurel and Rosie – infamous for a brutal murder when only children themselves. While older sister Laurel has been in prison for many years, Rosie – only six years old at the time of the killing- has spent the last couple of decades living with a new identity and in fear that one day someone will work out who she actually is. And then, another child goes missing from the hotel she is staying at with her parents. A hotel where Rosie (now known as Hazel) is also on the guest list…

Wow, this was an unsettling and dark read. With the past and present eerily twisting and colliding, The Flower Girl’s had me engrossed. I flew through the pages, desperate to unravel the mystery of the missing girl in the present and just what had happened all those years ago to drive two seemingly innocent little girls to commit such an horrific act.

As expected, this is often an uncomfortable and disturbing book which challenges the reader to consider whether a person is shaped by their early experiences or are inherently bad. It prompts us to question whether someone who commits such an atrocious crime at such a young age can ever be rehabilitated and released back into the community. We see the impact on the victim’s family – grief, bitterness and an overwhelming need for justice and revenge. My mind whirred as I read this book, as I was forced to question, then question again.

Throughout the book, the author creates a chilling sense of unease with undercurrents of  suspicion and doubt. I never knew quite exactly what to believe or expect as I read The Flower Girls. With some shocking twists thrown in right at the end, this is a book with impact – it will shock and disturb, leaving you thinking about it long after you turn the last page. If I had one complaint, then it would be that I’d like to have known a little more about the sister’s early life and what made them the way they were … this bit felt a little glossed over and I would’ve liked to understand (if ever you could) them more. However, one complaint aside, I felt this was a smart, thought provoking and dark thriller which had me hooked from beginning to end. Recommended!

 

 

 

#BookReview – The Rumour by Lesley Kara

When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back 

Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.

Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.

So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed? 

Published December 2018 by Bantam Press (UK) 

~ Review ~

Lesley Kara’s debut novel, The Rumour, is immediately gripping. It’s one of those books which you start, and then when you next look up a huge chunk of both time and pages have flown by. This is down to both her incredibly catchy and easy writing style and her ability to create remarkably recognisable and relatable characters.

We’ve all been there … said a little more then we meant to, got caught up in a moment. But when Joanna finds herself involved in gossip about the rumours flying around her local community, she has no idea of the danger she will shortly be facing. I thought Joanna was portrayed perfectly and could relate to her feelings of isolation, wanting to fit in and unease with herself. I also thought the tense, simmering anger of the small town was perfectly captured,  as fingers started pointing and revenge is sought. I’ve lived in that small town kind of environment – I’ve seen how quickly rumours can spread, evolve and completely spiral out of control. Lesley Kara’s The Rumour is absolutely on point in that respect and completely believable.

I got completely caught up in this book, desperately wanting to know just who was the notorious child killer and wondered why they seemed so intent on singling out Joanna for her part in the gossip and speculation. Kara throws the reader off scent several times with red herrings, which kept me on my toes and glued to the pages. The first half of the book was excellent, I couldn’t put it down and it was heading towards five star read status. However, I guessed the big twist just before it came, which unfortunately for me dampened the impact a bit. And while I could’ve lived with this, I thought the ending became a little far fetched. Whereas I’d been completely convinced for the majority of the book, the ending just lacked quite as much credibility for me.

The Rumour is still a great read. The writing flows, keeps the reader engaged and the pages turn effortlessly. The themes of small town mentality, gossip, rumour and revenge are a fascinating and compelling combination. It’s a very solid debut and despite feeling some of the impact was lost at the end, I still enjoyed this book very much and will definitely look out for more from the author in the future.

*I read a free advance readers copy courtesy of the Amazon Vine Program and the publisher*

 

 

Book Review – The Dead Ex by Jane Corry (@Janecorryauthor @PenguinUKbooks #TheDeadEx #BookReview )

One man’s disappearance throws four women’s lives into chaos–and not all will survive. . .

Vicki works as an aromatherapist, healing her clients out of her home studio with her special blends of essential oils. She’s just finishing a session when the police arrive on her doorstep–her ex-husband David has gone missing. Vicki insists she last saw him years ago when they divorced, but the police clearly don’t believe her. And her memory’s hardly reliable–what if she didhave something to do with it?

Meanwhile, Scarlet and her mother Zelda are down on their luck, and at eight years old, Scarlet’s not old enough to know that the “game” her mother forces her to play is really just a twisted name for dealing drugs. Soon, Zelda is caught, and Scarlet is forced into years of foster care–an experience that will shape the rest of her life . . .

David’s new wife, Tanya, is the one who reported him missing, but what really happened on the night of David’s disappearance? And how can Vicki prove her innocence, when she’s not even sure of it herself? The answer lies in the connection among these four women–and the one person they can’t escape. 

Published June 28th 2018 by Penguin UK  

~ Review ~

I absolutely loved Jane Corry’s previous novel, Blood Sisters (reviewed here) and was so looking forward to reading her 2018 release, The Dead Ex. But then life got in the way, reading unfortunately got pushed aside as I seemed to roll from one drama of my own to another and I didn’t get around to it. Well, aren’t I kicking myself now after finally picking it up this week? Once again, I was completely sucked in and held captive by Jane’s twisty, compulsive writing as I devoured this addictive book in a couple of days.

The Dead Ex begins with alternating chapters told from the perspective of Vicki, a reclusive, seemingly timid aromatherapist who definitely has something to hide in the present, and Scarlett, ten years previously, an eight year old child who’s caught up in her chaotic mother’s criminal activities. Both narrators where fascinating and gripping, but what really intrigued me was trying to work out just what connected the two of them together. There is absolutely no way I could have guessed, and loved the turn the book took!

There’s a LOT of theme’s running through this book – child neglect and family loyalty, Female relationships and bonds, a need for a sense of belonging, ambition, power, loss of identity…it goes on. Vicki is a fascinating character with so many layers that even by the end I’m not sure I’d seen them all. Jane Corry writes each aspect of her so convincingly, I completely believed in her. I also absolutely loved the references to aromatherapy oils and uses, which I find fascinating and felt really complimented the book.

I flew through this book, despite reading it over a couple of busy days, grabbing any moment I could to read a bit more. With fascinating and complex characters and a plot that left me second guessing at every turn, this is compulsive reading at it’s best. An absolute page turner that manages to surprise and shock over and over again.

(I read proof copy courtesy of the publishers and Netgally)

 

#BookReview – The Woman In The Window by A.J Finn (@Fictionpubteam)

the woman in the windowWhat did she see?

It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.

Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.

But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself? 

Published 25th January 2018 by HarperCollins (UK)  

The Woman In The Window was put firmly my on my most anticipated reads list of 2018 list months ago, drawn in by both the synopsis and that atmospheric cover. And boy, when I picked it up last weekend I was not disappointed – right from the start I was gripped by this intensely addictive read, struggling to put it down and staying up way later than I should to finish it.

Agoraphobia sufferer Anna Fox hasn’t been out of her house for almost a year. Alone and reclusive, she fills her days with online activities, watching old thrillers and spying on her neighbours with only occasional and brief conversations with her husband and daughter who are no longer around.  But when new neighbours, the Russell’s, move into the house across from Anna, things begin to change. After Ethan and Jane Russell both call on Anna, she becomes convinced there’s something dark and dangerous going on within the family, lapping up hints of a controlling husband and domineering father. Then when she see’s something shocking through her window, she tries to help. But with no evidence of a crime, Anna has a fight on her hands to make herself believed, eventually even to convince her own fragile mind that she knows what she saw.

Immediately, Anna is a fascinating character – a former child psychologist now struggling with her own mental health, she is shrouded in mystery and doubt. What happened to make her this way? Why aren’t her husband and Daughter around anymore? How reliable is she? Or is everything just a figment of her disturbed imagination? I thought the author conveyed Anna’s fragility very, very well meaning I could feel her panic and sense the suffocating loneliness and despair she felt. I was torn between doubt at Anna’s reliability about what she saw – she drinks too much and double doses on the many pills she takes to control her crippling anxiety, and frustration and pity that no-one believed her and dismissed her as crazy.

The pacing of the book is perfect, with a tense and atmospheric prose drip feeding information about Anna’s past and creating an increasingly desperate need in me to know the truth. Even when I realised before one of the reveals what was going on, it didn’t matter, it still sent chills down my spine and had me turning pages at lightening speed.  And with plenty of other twists and turns, it managed to keep me guessing right until the end, continuing to surprise and shock me along the way.

The Woman In The Window is exactly the type of psychological thriller I love to read – twisty, intense, shocking, conflicting and utterly gripping, leaving me unable to look away.  A fantastic debut from A.J Finn – I’ll be sure to watch out for more from this author in the future – and a great start to this years thrillers. I’ve got a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more about this book.

( I read an advance proof courtesy of the Amazon Vine Program)

 

#BookReview – Final Girls by Riley Sager

final girlsTen years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.
 
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past. 
 
That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished. 

Published July 2017 (HB), 25th January (PB) by Ebury (UK)  

Well, as far as psychological thrillers go, this one certainly has an original plot! We’ve all seen those teen horror movies, where from a group of friends, only one survives a horrific massacre. Riley Sager’s Final Girls takes this concept and adds a new twist, by revisiting Quincy, survivor of an horrific holiday cottage massacre years after her ordeal. She’s doing her best to put the past behind her – she’s avoided the media, has a successful career and a fantastic fiance. To all intents and purposes, she got it together and isn’t letting the past hold her back. But inside, she’s still struggling to come to terms with that awful night, and the guilt of being one of three “Final Girls” – a small group sharing a similar traumatic experience. But when fellow final girl, Lisa, is found dead in an apparent suicide and Sam, mysterious and enigmatic third sole survivor turns up apparently seeking support from Quincy, it would seem her ordeal isn’t quite over just yet.

I loved the concept of this book, and thought it started really well. Quincy is clearly just about holding it together and with most of that terrible night a blank, I was intrigued to know what had happened. When Lisa is killed and Sam shows up, the tension builds and it’s clear Sam isn’t exactly who she seems. There’s a creepy, unsettling feeling about her, and my hackles where raised where she was concerned right from the start.

I did feel the book dipped in pace and lost some tension a little after the first fifty pages, although the interspersing of flashbacks to Pine Cottage kept me interested enough to carry on and find out just what had happened all those years ago and how it was connected to the death of one of the other Final Girls. Then around the half way mark, boy did it pick up again! As I raced towards the dramatic climax, I was surprised by some twists I hadn’t seen coming, and even though I knew something was amiss, I hadn’t expected it to turn out as unexpectedly as it did.

I mostly thought the character of Quincy was very well written, and the turmoil, guilt and need to not be a victim came across convincingly. However, I didn’t connect with her as much as I felt I should have, possibly because the author lead the reader to question Quincy’s reliability as a character too, which unfortunately left me feeling slightly detached.

Overall, I thought this was a good read. A unique and fascinating plot, some unexpected twists and turns and enough tension and intrigue to keep me reading. Although I found the pace a little slow going at times, I was glad I kept reading and felt the second half of the book redeemed it, with me reading it in one breathless chunk. If you’re looking for a new twist on your psychological thrillers with a hint of horror, then this may be the book for you.

(I read an advance ecopy courtesy of the publishers and Netgalley)

#BookReview Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

And then she was goneTHEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. 

NOW 
It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up 
hope of finding her daughter. And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet. 
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away. 

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. 

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? 
Who still has secrets to hide? 

Published 27th July 2017 by Cornerstone, Random House (UK)  

I’m a HUGE Lisa Jewell fan. She’s the most reviewed author on this site and I’ve loved every single book I’ve read of hers. I started reading her books when I was bought One Hit Wonder for Christmas fifteen years ago, and up until a couple of years ago, had read every single book she’d written. Lisa’s writing seemed to grow with my own tastes and age through my twenties and thirties. However, I missed out on her new direction of writing domestic thrillers, simply because I was so caught up and busy with life and I barely read a thing in that time. It was definitely time to change that, but would Then She Was Gone live up to all my expectations

In short … YES! From the first line, I slipped straight back into Lisa’s wonderfully engaging writing style and was hooked. Then She Was Gone tells the story of fifty something, Laurel. Ten years ago Laurel’s daughter went out to the library and never returned. Now, Laurel is coming to terms with the knowledge she won’t ever see Ellie again, that it’s time for her to move on and heal the rifts in her family following the fall out of the devastating loss of her child. When she meets Floyd, she thinks it’s time to put herself first and begin enjoying life again. But when Floyd introduces her to his nine year old daughter, Poppy, there’s something eerily familiar about her.

I love, love, LOVE Lisa Jewell’s fantastically accurate and vivid characterisation. It’s a skill I think sets her writing apart and is no less apparent in Then She Was Gone. I have no idea how she does it, but when I’m reading, her characters become so absolutely real and solid to me. I hear them distinctly and clearly- Noelle’s up and down at times naive/ at times menacing voice, Poppy’s precocious, disconcertingly arrogant personality with hints of vulnerability. It’s like audio in written form! And it’s not just the voices, Jewell manages to add nuance to every movement, look and reaction, meaning her character’s are animated and incredibly believable. The result is that shifts in tension and emotions are picked up effortlessly by the reader and I became fully involved in this story.

The plot is certainly intriguing and different! I had no idea how twisted it was actually going to be- it’s shockingly sinister and disturbing. I did guess some of the twists fairly early on, but it’s the journey the characters themselves take which make this book so unputdownable. It’s layered and complex, so you become conflicted and switch from sympathy to deep dislike while being completely horrified as the past unfurls in alternating chapters.

I read Then She Was Gone in one greedy, obsessive gulp. I couldn’t go to bed until I’d read every last word, and believe me I’m not one to easily keep awake (usually falling asleep with my glasses on and a book over my face despite my best efforts!) Lisa Jewell continues to be my very favourite of authors – I know I can rely on her every time and there’s just something so intensely personal about her writing that I absolutely love. I can’t wait to catch up on the books I’ve missed out on, I Found You and The Girls, and continue to recommend Lisa’s books to all.

(I read an advance e-copy courtesy of the publisher and netgalley)

 

#BookReview – Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath @HQStories

give me the childAn unexpected visitor.

Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child, despite the psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. So when Ruby Winter, a small girl in need of help, arrives in the middle of the night, it seems like fate.

A devastating secret.

But as the events behind Ruby’s arrival emerge – her mother’s death, her connection to Cat – Cat questions whether her decision to help Ruby has put her own daughter at risk.

Do we get the children we deserve?

Cat’s research tells her there’s no such thing as evil. Her history tells her she’s paranoid. But her instincts tell her different. And as the police fight to control a sudden spate of riots raging across the capital, Cat faces a race against time of her own… 

Published 27th July 2017 by HQ (UK) 

Give Me The Child is certainly a gripping read! Is there anything quite as sinister as an evil child? I was intrigued by the synopsis and some fab reviews, so was looking forward to reading this book. And for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It starts when, in the middle of the night, there’s a knock at the door. The police and social services have brought an eleven year old child to the house, and claim she is Cat’s husband’s daughter. He admits to a one night stand many years ago, denying any knowledge of the strange and eerie looking Ruby Winter, who has just lost her mother in a terrible accident and needs a family to care for her. Cat tries to welcome the child into her home, but as her own daughter begins to turn against her and worrying things begin to happen, Cat is convinced there’s more to Ruby Winter than there seems. But is Cat right? Or is the psychosis which blighted her own pregnancy rearing its head again? Who exactly in this family is the dangerous one?

Mel McGrath paints a terrifyingly chilling portrait of Ruby through her tense and descriptive writing, right down to using her full title, Ruby Winter, whenever she’s mentioned – giving the reader an image of an aloof, otherworldly, cold and distant child who sent shivers up my spine. Mixing naivety and malice, innocence and darkness through the relationship between Ruby and Cat’s biological daughter Freya, there’s a real sinister edge seeping through the pages of this book and I had no idea where it was leading to.

I thought Cat’s portrayal as a somewhat unreliable narrator was good. Is she being manipulated or is she in fact loosing a grip on reality again? Mel McGrath explores mental illness and the continuing stigma attached to a person – it’s all to easy for those around Cat to write her concerns off as delusional, and I felt her frustration as she struggled to make herself believed. I did feel that she perhaps allowed people to belittle and brush her aside a bit too easily at times, and thought a woman of Cat’s intelligence and experience wouldn’t have allowed herself to be manipulated quite so easily which made her a little less believable than she could have been.

On the whole though, Give Me The Child is a fast paced page turner, with multiple layers of emotional and domestic abuse, manipulation, fractured family dynamics, resentment, cover ups, ethics and the age old debate of nature vs nurture – asking Do we get the child we deserve? There’s a lot to think about and a lot of themes covered during this complex, intense thriller and apart from my niggle about Cat’s lack of fight to begin with, I was absolutely hooked by the second half, right up to the explosive climax which left me reeling. Mel McGrath is a writer who knows how to keep a reader gripped with intricate and original plotting, and I’ll certainly be looking out for more of her books in the future.

(I read an advance proof courtesy of the Amazon Vine Program)

 

Six In Six – A Look Back At Some Of My Top Books Of 2017 So Far…

6 I saw this over at Cleopatra Loves Books, and thought it was a great idea to look back at books read so far in 2017. Hosted by Jo’s Book Journey, the idea is sharing 6 books, in 6 categories from the first half of the year. So here’s my choices:

6 Books I Have Enjoyed The Most 

 

 

6 Psychological Thrillers I Have Read & Enjoyed 

 

 

6 New To Me Authors 

 

 

6 Covers I’ve Loved

 

 

6 Books Which Took Me To The Past 

 

 

Six Books I Own & Can’t Believe I Haven’t Managed To Read Yet 

 

#BookReview – They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen @TransworldBooks

they all fall downShe knows there’s a killer on the loose.
But no-one believes her.
Will she be next?

Hannah had a normal life – a loving husband, a good job. Until she did something shocking. Now she’s in a psychiatric clinic. It should be a safe place. But patients keep dying.

The doctors say it’s suicide. Hannah knows they’re lying. Can she make anyone believe her before the killer strikes again?  

Published 13th July by Transworld (UK)  

I loved the sound of this book the second I heard about it. The old stereotypes of dangerous psychiatric patients being turned on their head and a book that shows them as the vulnerable victims – I was convinced. There was something unsettlingly sinister about this book and I wanted to know what it was!

Hannah is a patient in a private psychiatric hospital. Something happened with her baby, Emily, but the reader is left in the dark for a lot of the book. However, when two of her fellow patients apparently commit suicide, Hannah is convinced that there’s something murderous going on, not believing they’ve both took their own lives. Hannah’s mum, Corrine, is at first dismayed that she seems to have taken a backwards step into delusion after making good progress. But what if Hannah is telling the truth? Could there really be danger where Hannah should be safest?

They All Fall Down is told in alternating chapters from Hannah and Corrine mainly, with a couple of chapters told from other characters. I absolutely loved how Hannah and Corrine’s narratives complimented each other, drawing the reader ever further into the mystery of the hospital, as secrets are exposed and suspicions aroused at every turn. I think the relationship between mother and daughter was beautifully crafted and it’s strength radiated from from the page, I could feel Corrine’s uncertainty and fear for her daughter and Hannah’s desperation to be believed, and the connection they had spilled from chapter to chapter as the narrative alternated.

This is more of an unfurling story, rather than a fast paced twist and turning thriller, and encapsulates the intensity and uncertainty of a good psychological thriller. Subtle hints and tricks shed light and detract attention, meaning the reader can never be sure that people are what they seem as they rely on an unreliable cast of characters to paint a picture. I did guess some of what was going on – I recognised very early  on the who but had no idea why or how.  Yet right at the very end, Tammy Cohen chucks in a massive bombshell of a reveal that I would never have seen coming, which made me think how cleverly intricate this story actually is.

They All Fall Down is a compelling, tense read with a cast of complex characters who aren’t what or who they seem. The pace is perfect, sucking the reader into the suspense and never dipping once. I haven’t read any of Tammy Cohen’s books before – though I won’t be missing out in future! If you enjoy a real psychologically twisted book, then this one’s definitely for you.

(I read an advanced proof courtesy of the publisher)