#suspense · arc · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller · lifestyle · netgalley · Non Fiction

#SinsOfFathers – Michael Emmett (@MichaelEmmettUK) @HarperInspire #truecrime #review #netgalley

Growing up, Michael wanted nothing more than to follow in his dad’s footsteps and join the family business. Aged 18, he did just that and entered into the glamourous, dangerous world of organised crime. Michael s father, a career criminal and contemporary of the infamous Krays, was a wayward role model. Soon Michael s criminal activities were funding a reckless lifestyle of drugs, sex, and violence. But the high couldn t last.

In 1993 both men were arrested for their involvement in a £13-million smuggling operation. Michael was sentenced to twelve years, serving time in the same prison as his dad. Inside HMP Exeter, Michael found something he had never expected: answers. A chance encounter in the prison chapel led to an experience that would shake the foundations of his life. This is a true story of trauma and transformation, one man s search for redemption, and the struggle to become the father he never had.

*Many thanks to HarperInspire and Netgalley for supplying me with an ARC. All thoughts are written unbiasedly.

TWG’s Thoughts.

As I’ve gotten older, the more the genre ‘true crime’ appeals to me. There’s something quite intriguing about serial killers, prison inmates, and other people who have committed serious crimes. One of the first ‘true crime’ books I read was about the infamous Ted Bundy. I had heard of many others, for example, The Krays and Charles Manson, but Michael Emmett wasn’t a name I had come across before. I wanted to find out who this man was, what drove him to commit a crime that landed him in prison for a substantial amount of time. Thankfully, ‘Sins Of Fathers’ answered those very questions and then some.

Michael Emmett was born into a criminal family. Not that I am defending his actions by any means, but crime was what he grew up to know. Most children when they’re younger learn their alphabet, how to cross a road, manners. However Emmett was taught something completely different. He was taught how to break the law and how to keep it all hush hush without getting caught. Naturally the skills regarding the latter wasn’t exactly perfected as he got caught, but you catch my drift. The differences in upbringings between Joe Bloggs and those in organised crime, are incredible, yet that was all he ever knew. It was a case of survival.

Michael Emmett documents his early life, speaking (from what I could gather), in an honest manner. Or, to put it rather bluntly, he owned his schnitzle. His crimes allowed him to live the life of Riley in terms of materialistic things. They also gave him a sense of superiority when it came to women. I don’t know what it is, but some women seem to find ‘bad boys’ rather exciting, and of course Emmett went along with that and it went in his favour.

Until he got caught, obviously. The book describes Emmett’s life in prison, name dropping a certain Kray prisoner who he befriended. Having read a lot about The Krays, it was so interesting to read a book where they just popped up in it as though it was the norm. A bit of background noise if you were.

I want to clarify again that I do not condone Michael Emmett’s actions, however it wouldn’t be my place to, even if that were to be the case. I’m not sitting here judging what he did as I review his book, 1) because I wasn’t there and didn’t see things with my own eyes, 2) it was his life and his life only, 3) nobody should judge another human without knowing all of the facts. Yes, Emmett is honest in his book, he explains what he did, he owns up to the fact that he shouldn’t have done it and what he lost in the process. But that doesn’t give anyone the right to question his motives. The only person that is entitled to question/judge/whatever you feel suits; is Michael Emmett himself.

Towards the end of the book, Emmett talks about how he found redemption and kudos to him for finding something positive, in his eyes, to hold onto. If it worked for him, who am I to disagree?

I do find it hard, believe it or not, to review autobiographies because it isn’t my place to comment on someones life or the choices they made. I know, as humans, we are quick to comment on such things, but usually that is done in private, in a personal conversation, and not on a public platform for the world and his wife to see.

So yeah, rounding up my wonderful babbles, ‘Sins Of Fathers’ was 100% my cup of tea. It had the drama, the shock factor, the name dropping of other prison inmates, but, most importantly for me, it gave me insight to who Michael Emmett is, and who he was from a psychological point of view. If you’re a fan of true crime, then I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you.

Buy now from Amazon.

#psychological · #suspense · book blogger · Book Review

#BlindSpot – Paula Hawkins (#PaulaHawkins) @TransworldBooks @Readingagency #QuickReads2022 #review

‘How can you say things like this? How can you be so blind?’

Since they were kids, Edie, Jake and Ryan have been the closest of friends. It’s been the three of them against the world. Edie thought the bonds between them were unbreakable. So when Jake is brutally murdered and Ryan accused of the crime, her world is shattered.

Edie is alone for the first time in years, living in the remote house that she and Jake shared. She is grief-stricken and afraid – with good reason. Because someone is watching. Someone has been waiting for this moment. Now that Edie is alone, the past she tried so hard to leave behind is about to catch up with her…

TWG’s Thoughts.

I do love picking up a Quick Reads book, they are an ideal bitesize read when you can’t quite choose what to read next, or for when you want to read a book but your brain isn’t quite cut out for a full length novel in that exact moment. The title of Paula Hawkins’ quick read, ‘Blind Spot’, piqued my interest. How was the title going to be brought into the storyline? Was the term ‘blind spot’ used for something that’s unable to be seen in a rearview mirror, or did it have a completely different meaning for this book? I was curious.

It turned out that ‘blind spot’ only came up less than a handful of times and, if I were to be totally honest, I couldn’t quite work out what on Earth it had to do with the overall plot. I do know that background characters, one in particular, had their time in the spotlight after being ignored, which could explain the blind spot a teeny bit. That said, I just was a bit ‘meh….okay’, where that was concerned.

When I first started reading, I was hooked instantly because the opening screamed ‘whodunnit’, and I had so many questions forming in my mind that I just couldn’t wait to be answered. I was excited by the prospect and had high hopes. As it progressed, my excitement waned a bit because I felt as though the rest of the storyline didn’t quite match up to the strength of the beginning. It was as though the concept was being diluted further with each page.

I could definitely appreciate where the author was heading, especially with the uncertain character dynamics and what was portrayed as a possible jealous husband with a wife who had a very close male best friend. I also appreciated, and enjoyed the secretive nature of all of the characters as it gave me something to hold onto. Personally, I felt as though their personality traits and the authors descriptions of her characters was the highlight of the read.

Overall – ‘Blind Spot’ was an okay, three star read which did what it set out to do, just not in a way, for me personally, that created fireworks in the pit of my belly.

Buy now from Amazon

Book Review · book blogger · Crime/thriller · netgalley · #suspense · arc · #psychological · Orion

#TheIsland – Adrian McKinty (@AdrianMcKinty) @OrionBooks @Orion_Crime #review #suspense #TheChain

The brand new unmissable thriller from the award-winning author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Chain.

IT WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE A FAMILY VACATION.

A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT CHANGED EVERYTHING.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF UNTIL THEY COME FOR YOUR FAMILY.


After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.

When they discover a remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.

But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare. 

When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.

Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.

Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

*Many thanks to Orion for providing me with an advanced copy of the book. All of my thoughts are written unbiasedly.

TWG’s Thoughts.

Having read and devoured ‘The Chain’ in what felt like seconds, I had extremely high hopes for ‘The Island’ (not that I was putting pressure on the book, or the author, to deliver….much). In my head I was wishing and praying to the book fairies that this book would be just as good, if not better, than its predecessor. Thankfully the fairies must have thought I was a good little bookworm, (either that or Adrian McKinty wasn’t just a one hit wonder), because ‘The Island’ DID deliver in all its glory – I bloomin’ loved it! I feel so bad saying that I enjoyed reading a book that has death at the forefront of its storyline, as though I was revelling in the fact that these characters were no longer breathing; please say that I am not the only one?

Anyway, my morals aside, Adrian McKinty certainly is NOT a one hit wonder! He most definitely knows how to hook his readers, leave them gasping for air, and putting such fear up them that, when they’re so invested in a nitty gritty part of the storyline and their dog suddenly decides to bark, that they ever so nearly (but not quite) defecate ones underwear and jump as though they’re on a trampoline. Speaking from experience with this one! I was HOOKED on what was happening with Heather and the children, hoping their truths would set them free, that I was ignoring the fact that a leaf blew across the other side of the carpark and my dog spotted it from their slumber on the sofa, so much so that they barked and nearly made me cack myself. Hell, I would go as far as saying that that is a compliment to the author. (Just for clarification, I mean their ability to hook their readers, not the fact that I was a wimp and jumped at a ‘little’ noise).

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Heather at first. She seemed quite up herself in all honesty, and it came across as though she was afraid to be true to herself in case it didn’t match up to what Tom and his children wanted. I suppose walking into a ‘ready made’ family, so to speak, must be hard, especially dealing with three different levels of grief. Perhaps that may have been why Heather could have come across a bit guarded.

I took an instant dislike to Tom, I’m not going to lie. He was such a jumped up, arrogant, -insert bad word here-. It was as though he thought that he was better than everyone else, that his word was law. Erm, no, how about looking further than your nose and seeing that, oh I don’t know, other peoples opinions matter too? What a novel idea…..no pun intended.

What started off as such an uncertain tale, ended up becoming such an eye-opening, well rounded, cleverly written novel. It’s not often that I read a book where I feel as though all the loose ends were tidied up, but in this instance that was exactly the case. I would be lying if I said that the storyline wasn’t dark, because it really is, but I thought it added even more character to an already shady novel. I cannot wait to see what Adrian McKinty has up his sleeve for his next novel – one to watch indeed!!

Buy now from Amazon.

#suspense · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · Transworld/Penguin

#LessonsInChemistry – Bonnie Garmus (@BonnieGarmus) @AlisonBarrow @TransworldBooks #review #booktwt

Your ability to change everything – including yourself – starts here

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.

But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans, the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with – of all things – her mind. True chemistry results.

Like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later, Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (‘combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride’) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.

TWG’s Thoughts.

‘Lessons In Chemistry’ ironically, was my treat to myself after donating blood one Sunday afternoon. I had seen the periodical beauty in the hands of multiple bloggers, authors, and other readers on social media, and, to be perfectly honest, I felt a bit left out. That’s a good enough reason to buy yourself a copy of a recent release, in hardback, alongside your weekly purchase of red grapes and gala apples, right?

Well, that’s my reasoning and I am sticking to it! Can I just say how BEAUTIFUL the cover of the book is? If you have the hardback, do yourself a favour and carefully look beneath the dust cover if you haven’t already. Isn’t it a thing of beauty? I’m no A+ student when it comes to science by any means (I mean, I’m 32 years old, a bit beyond that but STILL), but I can still appreciate a bit of O2 and h2o!

‘Lessons In Chemistry’ IS about science….without stating the obvious. If you’re thinking that you need to have a degree in chemistry to read the book, take a deep breath and calm yourself because that isn’t the case. In my opinion, all you really need to have is an open mind and the ability to see the good in those who are flawed. Elizabeth Zott is one of the most wholesome, well rounded characters I think I have ever come across in my history of reading. Yes, she is stubborn. Yes, she knows her own mind. Yes, she can seem a bit argumentative. Yes, she has the ability to overcomplicate matters instead of simplifying things. But since when has all of that been seen as a bad thing? If a male was like that, would he be treated the same as his female counterpart? No. And that is EXACTLY what Bonnie Garmus delves into within ‘Lessons In Chemistry’.

Set in a time where every.little.thing was governed by males, Bonnie Garmus has written a story in a bid to give women a voice. I’m sure most of you have heard of the Suffragettes – Elizabeth Zott would have been the ideal candidate to join in with them! People didn’t like Zott because she was different. She made cooking out to be a scientific experiment which, if you were to sit and think about it, baking a cake is scientific. However, people didn’t like that she didn’t fit the norm. She didn’t fit into the box that society was trying to tell her to sit in. Instead, she took that box and shoved it right up their backsides. By golly I hope that those people received a ton load of paper cuts at the same time!

I devoured ‘Lessons In Chemistry’ and I was absolutely gutted when it came to an end because it was just absolutely SPOT ON! I mean, who wouldn’t want to read a book that teaches you to be yourself, that shows you your flaws and opinions are part of you and people should accept you exactly who you are. People should be accepted for who they are, whether they are male or female. Gender doesn’t make you more important. Who you are, your morals, your experiences, to name but a few, is what makes you stand taller than the rest.

I would read ‘Lessons In Chemistry’ again in a heartbeat, and I urge you all to buy yourself a copy, put the phones on silent, bribe the children with everything they’re not supposed to have, and lose yourself in the charm that is Elizabeth Zott and ‘Lessons in Chemistry’. This is, without a doubt, one of my most favourite books I have ever read, and it taught me so much in what felt like a short space of time. Timeless, inspirational, touching, relatable, and absolutely perfect, this is, ‘Lessons In Chemistry’.

Buy now from Amazon.

#Harpercollins · arc · book blogger · Book Review

#WithThisKiss – Carrie Hope Fletcher (@CarrieHFletcher) @HQStories #review #magic #booktwt

If you knew how your love story ends, would you dare to begin?

From the outside, Lorelai is an ordinary young woman with a normal life. She loves reading, she works at the local cinema and she adores living with her best friend. But she carries a painful burden, something she’s kept hidden for years; whenever she kisses someone on the lips, she sees how they are going to die.

Lorelai has never known if she’s seeing what was always meant to be, or if her kiss is the thing that decides their destiny. And so, she hasn’t kissed anyone since she was eighteen.

Then she meets Grayson. Sweet, clever, funny Grayson. And for the first time in years she yearns for a man’s kiss. But she can’t…or can she? And if she does, should she try to intervene and change what she sees?

Spellbinding, magical and utterly original, With This Kiss is one love story you will never forget.

Many thanks to HQ Stories for providing me with an ARC of the book. All thoughts are written unbiasedly.


TWG’s Thoughts

The blurb has a really good question right at the top; ‘If you knew how your love story ends, would you dare to begin?’

Would YOU? In all honesty, I hadn’t really thought about it before. I mean, I didn’t really have a reason to sit down and ponder whether my life choices would be different if I knew what the repercussions were for every decision made. I guess it’s like people asking whether you would read the ending of a book if it was written about your life. But what if you could change the course of those events?

That is the scary thing with life I suppose. You have to make decisions, sometimes really BIG decisions, completely oblivious to whether they will end positively or negatively, or whether they are indeed the right decision. It wasn’t until I read ‘With This Kiss’, that those thoughts started to swirl around my head. Lorelai was afraid of finding the one, afraid that once she locked lips with them their life would flash right before her eyes (literally) and she would know exactly how their life would end. No wonder she didn’t want to start a relationship with Grayson, especially once she realised that there was more to it than harmless flirting. But as I’ve just rambled, would it be worth it to take the chance?

Even though the storyline had quite a deep storyline to it, I actually found it to be quite uplifting and touching. I’m not saying that I found it entertaining reading about how characters reached their demise, however what I am saying is that, despite all of the uncertainty, the storyline was strong enough to stand on its own two feet and give the reader food for thought, even without the main prospect of death.

I wasn’t sure at all what to think when I first started reading, in fact I thought ‘With This Kiss’ was so far away from my usual reads, that I wouldn’t like it, as though it was a bit away with the fairies. Oh how wrong was I! ‘With This Kiss’ was my kind of read big time, and it wasn’t away with the fairies in the slightest, in fact I thought it was such a well rounded, life affirming, tender read and yes, I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it.

‘With This Kiss’ is guaranteed to give you hope in life, especially when life is one of the most uncertain things in the world.

Purchase now from Amazon

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · lifestyle

#ALittleHope by Ethan Joella #BlogTour (@joellawriting @muswellpress @brownlee_donald #review #booktwitter

Many thanks to Fiona and Muswell Press for the review copy of ‘A Little Hope’, and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

In the small city of Wharton, Connecticut, lives are beginning to unravel. A husband betrays his wife. A son struggles with addiction. A widow misses her late spouse. At the heart of these interlinking stories is one couple: Freddie and Greg Tyler.

Greg has just been diagnosed with a brutal form of cancer. He intends to handle this the way he has faced everything else: through grit and determination. But can he successfully overcome his illness? How will the Freddie and their daughter cope if he doesn’t? How do the other residents of Wharton learn to live with loss and find happiness again?

Celebrating the grace in everyday life, this powerful debut immerses the reader in a community of friends, family, and neighbours and identifies the ways that love and forgiveness can help us survive even the most difficult of life’s challenges.

TWG’s Thoughts.

There were a lot of situations in ‘A Little Hope’ to sink your teeth into, such as family drama, friendship issues, declining health and unforgiveable betrayal. Personally, at times, I thought that it was a lot of things to keep track of, which lowered my enjoyment of the storyline a touch. I’m all for jam packed storyline, don’t get me wrong, but there is a fine line between just enough, and too much.

That said, I take my hat off to the author for being able to write about such delicate and heartbreaking situations without minimalising the validity of each individual circumstance. I thought that that was very impressive and very well done.

It’s safe to say that my feelings of ‘A Little Hope’ are a bit mixed, and I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. The novel was memorable in terms of the authors writing style, characterisation, and their ability to put soul and life into their characters heartbreak.

Overall, ‘A Little Hope’ was indeed, full of hope. A soul searching, heartwarming novel.

Buy from Amazon now

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller

Happy publication day, Will Dean and #FirstBorn! Check out my #nospoiler review here! (@willrdean @jennyplatt90 @hodderbooks) #review #blogtour #suspense

Hugest of thanks to Jenny Platt and Hodder for asking me to be involved in the blog tour today, and for the ARC.

Molly lives a quiet, contained life in London. Naturally risk averse, she gains comfort from security and structure. Every day the same.

Her identical twin Katie is her exact opposite: gregarious and spontaneous. They used to be inseparable, until Katie moved to New York a year ago. Molly still speaks to her daily without fail.

But when Molly learns that Katie has died suddenly in New York, she is thrown into unfamiliar territory. Katie is part of her DNA. As terrifying as it is, she must go there and find out what happened. As she tracks her twin’s last movements, cracks begin to emerge. Nothing is what it seems. And a web of deceit is closing around her.

TWG’s Thoughts.

Erm…….say whatttttttttttttt?!

Where do I even begin writing this review!

You would have thought identical twins would know each other inside out, wouldn’t you? You would also have thought that they would be able to trust and rely on each other more than anyone else in the world. Sadly, that wasn’t the case for Molly and Katie. Whilst one twin was an extrovert who lived life to the full, grabbing adventures by the who-ha’s, the other twin was an introvert, fiercely afraid of her own shadow and worrying about what could happen….about anything.

I wasn’t expecting the storyline to unfold the way that it did, not at all. When it got to the half way point of the book, loose ends were becoming tighter and I couldn’t understand why. Had I missed something? I hadn’t missed a thing because what came next completely caught me off guard. I think the thought of ‘what the actual f……’ went through my head like a conveyor belt for 10 minutes straight.

Now I know you’re probably wondering what on earth am I going on about, but I can’t give too much away!

I didn’t want to put ‘First Born’ down, although I had to once or twice feed my child…and the dogs. Let’s just say that it wasn’t my choice to stop reading the book! I was hooked on ‘First Born’ like a little kid in a sweet shop! I have no idea how Will Dean managed to keep the timeline so iron clad throughout the entire thing without giving anything away. I was bloody impressed!

Stories such as this, is exactly why Will Dean is one of my most favourite authors of all time. The suspense levels were flawless, the attention to detail was absolutely spot on, and the gritty nature was enough to rival a sandy beach! If Will Dean isn’t on your radar, he really needs to be. I cannot wait to find out what he’s got up his sleeve next!

Brilliantly written with such a clever and gripping storyline – a belter of a book and then some.

Buy ‘First Born’ now from Amazon.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller · Nordic Noir

Wow, what a book! Time to review #AQuestionOfGuilt by Jørn Lier Horst (@lierhorst) @MichaelJBooks #Wisting #NordicCrime #review #blogtour

Apologies for the day late review, I hadn’t quite finished reading it yesterday! Huge thanks to Penguin Michael J Books for the tour invite, and for supplying me with a copy of the book to read and review.

In 1999, seventeen-year-old Tone Vaterland was killed on her way home from work.

Desperate for a conviction the police deemed the investigation an open-and-shut case and sent her spurned boyfriend, Danny Momrak, down for murder.

But twenty years later William Wisting receives a puzzling letter. It suggests the wrong man was convicted for Tone’s death.

And the real murderer is still out there.

Wisting is quickly thrown into a terrifying race against time where he must find the sender, decipher this mysterious letter and catch the real killer – before they strike again . . .

TWG’s thoughts.

I’m just going to put this out there, straight to the point – WHAT A BLOODY BOOK! It’s very rare for me to not even finish reading a book before I purchase another book from the series, but that is exactly what happened here.

‘A Question of Guilt’ is the fourth book in Wistings ‘Cold Case’ quartet, so if you’re one for reading books in order, then you might want to stary with ‘The Katharina Code’, however, I thought this installment read perfectly well on its own. Saying that, like I said above, I had purchased another book from the series before I had even finished reading ‘A Question of Guilt’. Honestly, it really was THAT good.

The storyline tells the tale of William Wisting, a Norwegian police detective, who ends up delving into a cold case or two, after being put onto their radar from an anonymous tip off. Because the book is about cold cases, the timeline does switch between years such as 1999, when the investigation was started originally, the present time, and other subsequent years in order to keep the flow of the book. Personally I found it easy to follow and pretty seamless.

I really didn’t know what to make of ‘A Question of Guilt’ to begin with, but it wasn’t long before I was sucked into the gritty storyline, the unanswered ‘whodunnit’, and the excitement of wondering what was waiting for me when I turned the page. I honestly thought this was a brilliant, brilliant novel, full of suspense, high energy moments, and a storyline that just kept on giving.

Without sounding too macabre, seeing as this book was in fact, a Nordic crime novel, I was gutted when ‘A Question of Guilt’ came to an end. I just wanted more! I recommend you put Jørn Lier Horst on your reading list PRONTO. I’m going to go and spend more money by buying the rest of the books!

FAN-BLOOMING-TASTIC.

Buy now in all formats – Amazon

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller

It’s e-book publication day for #TheShadowHouse by Anna Downes (@whatannawrote) #HodderBooks #socialsblast #publicationday

Many thanks to the Hodder team for inviting me to take part in today’s social blast, and for providing me with a copy to review on my own free will.

THE BONES COME FIRST…
When single mother Alex arrives at her new home with her two children, she can finally breathe easy. Pine Ridge, a rural community near the Australian coast, is beautiful, peaceful and most importantly, far away from the trauma she left behind.

NEXT, A DOLL…
Then unexplained boxes start arriving at the house, and Alex’s teenage son begins to retreat into himself more than ever. As rumours and legends swirl through the community, Alex realises that Pine Ridge is guarding long-held secrets of its own.

AND THEN THE BLOOD.
Something is lurking in the shadows, and Alex and her family are in grave danger. She must protect her children from the darkness at all costs – before it engulfs them whole…

TWG’s thoughts.

The Shadow House intrigued me. From the get go there were questions being raised, such as why did they move, why did Pine Ridge have a ‘cult’ like feel to it, why were the other residents acting as though they were under some sort of spell.

Maybe that was just me who thought that, but it certainly gave me food for thought.

I have read many suspense/thrillers that have been slow burners, and I would have to say that The Shadow House falls under that category for sure. It took me a good while to get into the throws of the storyline as, even though the questions at the beginning gave me that all important hook, I found it a bit tricky to really grab the book by its horns. I’m not sure whether that was because I was a bit impatient, or whether the storylines full potential was a bit delayed.

With all that in mind, I enjoyed the concept of the novel, the drip feeding of eery moments, and the authors way of creating her characters. A thumbs up from me!

The Shadow House by Anna Downes, is published today in e-book/audio and can be purchased now from Amazon

#suspense · book blogger · Book Review

Here is #TWGs review of #TheLightBetweenOceans by #MLStedman ** #review @transworldbooks #bookblogger #booktwitter #lovebooks

Picture shows a silhouette of a lighthouse on a blue sky background with the text ‘The Light Between Oceans’ on the lighthouse. At the top of the picture it has ‘Now a major motion picture’ in yellow text, alongside two quotes from newspapers. At the bottom of the picture it has the authors name in gold text, ‘M.L.Stedman’.

A boat washes up on the shore of a remote lighthouse keeper’s island. It holds a dead man – and a crying baby. The only two islanders, Tom and his wife Izzy, are about to make a devastating decision.

They break the rules and follow their hearts. What happens next will break yours.
____________________


What does TWG think?

If I were to describe this novel in laymen’s terms, I would say that it’s about a young girl who has an infatuation on a man who is nearly ten years her senior, and one who works on lighthouses on a secluded island, on his own, for a living. The young girl and the man build a life together which ends up breaking their hearts as well as the heart of someone they don’t even know exists…yet.

I will be extremely careful as to not spoil this book for anyone, so please forgive me if anything I say comes across like I am speaking in riddles!

I was blown away by the simplicity of the story in regards to Tom and Izzy’s relationship and where they built their life together, and I found the shell of the novel to be incredibly magnetic. Some may say that the novel was addictive, charming….words like that, and I would agree because it was. I couldn’t put it down, even though I knew in my heart of hearts that the storyline was going to end in a certain way. I saw it coming. The storyline gave hints that it was going to end in that way, however I had all my fingers crossed because I just wished it wouldn’t. Or did I?

I spoke about the shell of the story and how much I was drawn to that in particular. Now if I delve into the nitty gritty details, I had several dislikes. One of them being Izzy. Her immaturity really annoyed me. She never seemed to grow up, nor did she ever want to take ownership of her actions. I understand that things had happened to her which had made her view life differently, however, I felt as though she didn’t do herself any favours at all.

My second dislike was Tom’s ignorance. His job was to report anything that was wrong, right, or indifferent. He chose not to do that and wondered why things came crumbling down around him. Now I know that his relationship with Izzy was more important than his job, that said, I felt that it was quite selfish of Izzy to put Tom in the situation that she did. Also, if Tom felt so wrong about it, why didn’t he just go with his gut anyway? There were times where he couldn’t see further than his nose and it was a shame as, later in the story, his personality seemed to settle and I felt like I was seeing the real Tom. Too little too late perhaps.

For me personally, those dislikes weren’t make or break ones, because after all, it made the characters who they were, and the author clearly did a good job in creating them otherwise I wouldn’t have spent most of this review talking about two fictional people…but whatever!

It takes a lot to make me cry, however ‘The Light Between Oceans’ had me curled up in a ball sobbing my heart out because of what could have been and what was lost. This, in my eyes, was a life affirming, haunting, and tragically beautiful read.


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