#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

#Simon & Schuster · #suspense · blog tour · book blogger · Crime/thriller · guest spotlight

#NationalStorytellingWeek – Interview with Novelry tutor, Jack Jordan (@thenovelry @midaspr @JackJordanbooks) #YourStoryMyStory

As a huge fan of Jack Jordan and his books, I just had to say yes when I received the email asking me to be involved in the blog tour for National Storytelling Week. For those who don’t already know, Jack Jordan is a tutor at The Novelry. Here is a little bit more about them and what they do:

Offering support for beginner and established authors at any stage of their writing career, The Novelry will take writers from the very kernel of an idea through to a polished manuscript ready for literary agent submission. With mentoring from bestselling authors and editorial advice from leading industry professionals, The Novelry is the writing school recommended by leading literary agents.

Enough of my talking, time to welcome Jack Jordan to TWG!

Picture shows a man with blonde hair, bright smile, wearing a black shirt, standing against a peachy background.
Photo credit: ©Andy Lo Po/ The Novelry

When did you first realise that you were a storyteller?
I’ve had a vivid imagination ever since I can remember, expressing myself through storytelling via various outlets, whether it be writing, acting, or childhood play. Still, it wasn’t until I was seventeen that I first sat down and wrote a full-length novel. I struggled with agoraphobia at the time, and it helped to escape through my old love of writing. It wasn’t until I reached the end of the story and realised that I had written 100k words of a novel that I had the eureka moment: I was a writer.

Do you remember when you came up with the first story idea that would ultimately go on to be published as a novel? How did you know this was the idea that was worth telling?
I believe that story ideas, however creative or outlandish, resonate from something deep within the teller. My debut novel, Anything for Her, is about a mother covering up a tragic accident made by her child, and how far parents will go to protect their children. I’m drawn to these kinds of stories due to the strong bond I have with my mum, who raised me as a single parent. So when people ask me how they might begin to come up with a story idea themselves, I often recommend that they look closer to home and the personal dynamics at play because they so often tell us who we are.

Do you have a story of yours that you are most proud of?
I have to admit, I have two! I love my novel, Do No Harm, which is out 26th May this year, due to the high stakes the hook brings, and how subliminally asks the reader what they would do in Dr Anna Jones’ shoes: a crime ring abducts the child of a leading heart surgeon and gives her an ultimatum: kill a patient on the operating table or never see her son again.

I have a deep personal connection to my novel Night by Night, which is about institutionalised homophobia within the police force, inspired by victims of serial killer Stephen Port. I’m proud to have a novel that centres around LGBTQ+ issues and have it resonate with readers.

Why did you decide to write novels, as opposed to telling stories in another format?
That’s an excellent question. When writing a novel, I find I have so much freedom to explore a character’s inner world, exploring who they are and how they grow when placed in a hostile or precarious environment. I like the long game of this: meeting the character on the first page and then slowly peeling back the layers of their humanity throughout the story, until we meet them at the end, often dramatically changed from who they were when the story started. I find that I get to explore this vividly with novel writing.

Why do you think stories are important?
I think stories are important because they reflect who we are as a society and all the beautiful differences from culture to culture. Stories can educate on a profound level and open people’s eyes to experiences they might never have encountered or people they might never have met. They also serve as an escape from life’s woes and inspire us to grow and change – and dream. I often write novels with moral dilemmas at the heart of them, and I love this because it gives the reader the gift of testing their own moral compass: what would they do in the character’s shoes? It’s like a workout for the soul.

National Storytelling Week is all about the oral tradition of storytelling. Do you think it’s important to keep this tradition alive when we have so many other ways of consuming and telling stories these days?
I believe that storytelling and expression, in whatever form, is the glue that holds us all together. Imagination and empathy bring people closer, especially during times of difficulty, whether it be global pandemics or politically challenging times. Whether it’s diving into a book to get lost in the pages or sitting around a campfire with friends exchanging ghost stories, storytelling brings out the humanity in us. It gives us ways to connect with each other in an often isolating world. I also believe storytelling allows us to explore who we are.

What do you think is different about writing a story down on paper as opposed to telling it out loud?
I think there is a real beauty to telling stories aloud because it blends with the art of acting, giving a sense of performance to a story that can really bring it to life. Spoken storytelling also derails any literacy hurdles a story-lover might have and allow a person to enjoy the art in a way that works best for them.

What I like about writing novels is the opportunity to delve into oneself. As the reader reads the story in their mind, they paint an abundance of pictures and ask themselves so many deeply personal questions, and the characters I create can often become deeply personal to them too.

How do you like to consume your stories? (Reading, listening, watching, etc.)
My two favourite methods of consuming stories are reading and watching. I love devouring novels and getting lost in a television series, and I love seeing shows too, whether it be West End shows or stand-up comedy.

What is your favourite story of all time?
The story that changed me as both a reader and a storyteller is Malorie Blackman’s novel Noughts and Crosses. I still remember that profound sense of shock I felt when I reached the last page as the last scene came to an end, and it completely transformed the stories I read and the ideas I had for my own thereafter. Whenever I pick up a book, I hope to have that same feeling, and when I write, I try my hardest to give the reader that same emotional reaction.

What do you hope readers will take away from your novels?
As a reader, there is nothing more enjoyable for me than when I pick up a story I love and never want it to end. It’s that warm feeling in one’s chest, the buzz of excitement in one’s gut as we pick up the book again and think about the story when life draws us away. If I can give at least half of my readers this feeling, I know I’ve done my job well.

If you had one piece of advice for someone wanting to tell a story of their own, what would it be?
Growing up, I had a poor education – I didn’t go to college or university, and I had to teach myself a lot of the basics of the English language. For many years, I subconsciously didn’t allow myself to fathom the career I have now because I didn’t think it was meant for people like me, nor a possibility open to me. Realising that storytelling is for everyone, regardless of education, background, ethnicity, sexuality or gender expression, freed me to tell the stories that would go on to be read by over one hundred thousand readers. So often, we hold ourselves back from what we want to achieve due to being led astray by other people’s ideas of the world and how it’s supposed to work. So I always suggest storytellers analyse the barriers they see before them and ask themselves if they too are partly the reason they are in the way. Storytelling is for everyone, and I think the first hurdle we have to jump is giving ourselves the permission to express ourselves and explore.

Thank you so much to Midas Pr, Jack Jordan and The Novelry for such an honest interview. I think Jack made a wonderful point regarding storytelling being for everyone, regardless of status, and I am so pleased that he found the confidence in himself to put pen to paper – I cannot recommend his books enough! Speaking of which, if you fancy getting your hands on any of Jack Jordan’s novels, check out the following links:

Anything For Her

Night By Night

Pre-order ‘Do No Harm”

Also, for more information on his work as a tutor for The Novelry, click here.

#Harpercollins · #psychological · #Simon & Schuster · #suspense · arc · aria fiction · blog tour · bonnier zaffre · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · BOTBSPublicity · childrens books · ChocLitUK · contemporary fiction · Crime/thriller · Faber Books · HarperImpulse · headline books · historical fiction · HQ · HQDigitalUK · humour · lifestyle · Little Brown Books · medical · mills and boon · netgalley · Non Fiction · orenda · Orion · Panmacmillan · Police procedural · Quercus · real life · RNA · romance · Transworld/Penguin · Trapeze · womens fiction

The Writing Garnet turns 5! Happy birthday TWG! #blogger #blogbirthday #TWGTurns5 #Awardwinningblogger

The Writing Garnet is officially 5 years old TODAY! When I started my blog back in 2016, I never envisioned it turning out the way that it has. It never even crossed my mind that my blog could turn into a multi award winning blog (yes, multi), nor did it cross my mind that my review quotes would make their way into physical copies of books or even on the cover of some. Without blowing my own trumpet, I am unbelievably proud of all of that. At the very beginning, my blog was created as my way of saying thank you to authors for writing their books which has allowed me to escape via their words, when things in my personal life have been difficult. It wasn’t created as a popularity tool (because clearly I wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes had that have been the case), nor was it created merely to get free things because, in all honesty, I had no idea that that was even a thing when I first started.

Over the last 5 years I have met a wide variety of authors, met fellow bloggers, other like minded bookish folk, and found myself involved in a world that went beyond just loving books. I had never really had that before. I had never been able to sit and discuss books with people who had read the same book as I, nor would I have ever found the confidence to cart myself off to events such as Edinburgh Book Festival, Aye Write in Glasgow, or even more intimate events such as meeting the Orenda gang in Edinburgh (to name a few), if it wasn’t for a select few of people who, after ‘meeting’ through the online book world, have gone on to becoming real life friends (Jen, Mandie, Kelly, Joanne, Lainy, DC to name a few). Not only that, despite not having met them in real life yet, I have come to know even more people who I consider to be friends now, who one day I would love to be able to give them a hug (COVID permitting, obvs – special shout out to Liz B for being as true as they come). If I named each and every one of the people who I called friends and who I would do anything for, I would be here a while and would no doubt miss someone off so, to put it simply, if we talk, I adore you. Simple as, and I thank you for your kindness and support over the last 5 years.

For me, the highlight so far has got to be meeting Sue Perkins and Tom Fletcher as those were the times where I unintentionally embarrassed my little girl with my high pitched squealing and trampoline bounces. I think I was fair excited……. Would I have been able to meet them had it not been for my blog? Honestly? Probably not as I never knew events like that existed until I became a blogger. I have so many other authors, bloggers, publicists etc, that I would love to meet and I have everything crossed that that will become a reality.

I know blogging isn’t all about stats, but for the first time in ages I had a quick nose at the stats of TWG. In the last 5 years TWG has had:

160,424 views.
84,689 visitors.
1837 blog posts have been posted.


Also, I even worked out roughly how many books I have read over that time…..1270!!! Ermmmmmmmm, say what?

As I may have mentioned previously, 2020 for TWG wasn’t the greatest as, putting it quite bluntly, I was treated like dirt via the bookish community (not all of you, just to clarify), and it hurt me so much that I ended up retreating because I didn’t know what else to do because, as I have also said many times, I’m not the most popular of people and I don’t fit into the tight knit groups. I suppose my face doesn’t fit, so I knew that regardless of what I said and what I did, I wouldn’t have been believed which is unfair and incredibly hurtful. Because of that, my posts within the last year have been few and far between, however I still have been ‘here’ from afar and still able to keep my feet in the door so to speak. Again, I want to thank those who have stood by me, supported me, and been true friends during that time and continue to do so. I see you.

I am super shocked that my little, multi award winning blog turns 5 today. Yes there have been some ups and downs and confidence knocks along the way, and yes, at times I bit off more than I can chew and left myself over stretched. However the joys of anything in life is that you can learn from your mistakes and realise where you went wrong or what needs to change. There is only me running this blog and, even though I like to think that I can do everything, I physically can’t….I just wish it hadn’t taken me 5 years to realise that! Well, in all fairness it’s probably taken me over 20 years to realise that as I recently turned 31 but y’know, semantics.

Creating The Writing Garnet was probably one of the best, on the spur decisions I have ever made and I just want to thank every single author, publisher and publicist who have sent me countless books over the years and trusted me to review your books. I want to thank the organisers of book events of their hard work and dedication in bringing likeminded bookish folk together. I also want to thank each and every person I have come to know and admire for being true to themselves and becoming good friends of mine. I have your backs – you are all awesome. Major shout out to my fellow bloggers, and anyone who is thinking about starting a blog – you’ve got this! Just remember it’s okay to say no….

On that note, happy birthday to TWG! Heres to another year full of weird and wonderful books, intriguing debuts, and a truck load of reviews.

TWG x

#psychological · #suspense · arc · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller · medical · Transworld/Penguin

#Mine – Susi Fox (@writerdrfox) @MichaelJBooks #Review #bookblogger

After waking from an emergency caesarean, you’re dying to see your new baby. But when you’re introduced something is wrong.

This is not your child.

The nurses assure you that the baby is yours. 

Your husband believes them. And so does your father. 

But how can you be wrong? You’re a doctor. You know how easily mistakes are made.

When everyone is against you, do you trust your instincts? 

You know only one thing . . . 

You must find your baby.

(Many thanks to the publisher for the copy of ‘Mine’ received from Netgalley)

Time to catch up with a bit of blogmin! This book has been sitting on my ‘to review’ shelf for a very longer while, and it’s time I actually sat down to review it – enjoy!

What does TWG think?

Gosh, this was one of my biggest fears when I was pregnant with my little girl – that my baby would be taken somewhere and the wrong one delivered back to me. That sentence makes it sound as though something like this happens often, which I don’t think it does. However, it shouldn’t really be happening at all though should it? You put your faith into the system and the people who are there, in their field, delivering your baby, to give you the correct one back. I wouldn’t sound so judgey if I had gone into Argos to pick up my click and collect order, as those mistakes are easily made; two Holloways, or a similar looking address, you know, simple things. I would me a bit miffed if a stranger got my Russell Hobbs kettle instead of myself, a little mistake that is easily rectified. But my baby? My baby is no Russell Hobbs kettle, that’s for sure!

I’m going off kilter here, apologies. If you haven’t guessed already, the main theme surrounding ‘Mine’ is a new mother being adamant that she was given back the incorrect baby. She has a strong gut feeling that the baby in her arms is not the one she birthed, yet nobody believes her. Everybody thinks she’s going crazy, being unrealistic, causing problems for nothing. Is she right though? Has she been given the incorrect baby and, if so, where on Earth is her baby….and who on Earth has them?

It was pretty evident that the author had a medical history as the storyline contained a lot of medical words and situations which would only ring true if one had experienced them first hand. I think that Susi Fox’s history helped her in creating the suspenseful undertone to the storyline, and I felt that it gave the book the strength that a thriller would need to stand on its own.

There were a lot of moments where my eyebrows received very good workouts throughout the story, and I felt a little bit disheartened by just how outlandish the storyline seemed at times. I felt as though the author had veered a bit too far left at times which diminished a sense of credibility overall. That said, I enjoy novels that push the boundaries as long as they make them as realistic as humanly possible (unless it’s a genre that is known for its outlandish, unrealistic stories), and I think that ‘Mine’ does push the boundaries on several occasions rather well. I just think that at times it went a bit too far and left me thinking ‘ermmmmm, you what?’.

The undertone of the storyline is definitely thrilling and intense, and I couldn’t help but second guess things myself as I was reading the book which I truly grabbed with two hands.

Whilst my overall opinion on ‘Mine’ is on the fence, I did appreciate the attention to detail on the medical point of view, and the memorable, chilling events of the majority of the novel. This is definitely a unique read, one that was executed cleverly at times.

Purchase from Amazon.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · Crime/thriller · netgalley · Police procedural

#PromisesInTheDark by @DKHood_Author @Bookouture #review

Happy publication day to D.K.Hood and ‘Promises In The Dark’! I am delighted to be kicking of the blog tour today – many thanks to Bookouture for having me.

The young girl pushes against the backseat of the family sedan, fighting to free herself from the crude ties restricting her hands and feet. As the car speeds towards the edge of town, she looks back at her family home, and watches in horror as it is suddenly engulfed in a mass of flames. Trembling with fear, she turns towards the driver and hears only laughter. She knows that the worst is yet to come…

Detective Jenna Alton surveys the charred remains of the large suburban home, stopping to pause at the three lifeless bodies of the Woods family. Jenna knows she’s looking for a serial killer, but her priority is finding the missing teenage daughter last seen on the night of the inferno.

Days later, Sophie Wood’s body is discovered floating in a shallow pool of crystal-clear water—known locally as Dead Man’s Drop—but Jenna still doesn’t know who would target the quiet family in such a brutal attack.

Delving into the family’s past, she makes a shocking discovery—a link between the killer and someone connected to her deputy David Kane. If Jenna is right and the killer is back and seeking revenge, then she must act fast to keep her deputy safe.

When another girl is taken, Jenna and David follow the trail into a network of underground caves on the outskirts of town. With little time before the killer claims his next victim, they race into the pitch-black tunnels, unsure whether they have just walked into the killer’s trap. Can they find the girl in time and escape the caves without the killer chasing them down?

What does TWG think?

One of, if not THE most disturbing book of the series so far! Which is saying something considering the things that Kane and Alton have come across in the 9 previous books.

A story that starts off with young children being the bait, indirectly speaking, always puts the fear of christ up me. Not that I’m saying should a child be used as bait later on in the book then I’ll be okay with it, not at all. I just find themes like that enough to make my jaw drop further, and a nervous energy crawl up my body far quicker than if I had read it in the middle. That’s exactly what happened here. The prologue plants the seed and ties the roots of the storyline in knots, making it hard for the reader to leave it alone regardless of how nervy you have begun to feel. Honestly, it was brilliantly written and definitely set the scene for the rest of the book.

Once again Kane and Alton have their work cut out for them. Their murderer hasn’t made things very easy for them, despite leaving a ‘trail’ of dead bodies in his wake. Whoever this person is is clearly dangerous and doesn’t think much of other living things. Just another thing that kept me hooked!

I was very disturbed by the storyline, but without sounding weird, I didnt find that a negative thing because what else would you expect from a thriller? Teddy bears and picnics? No. D.K.Hood may have her characters having picnics, but she would also have a dead body stuffed in the bear! (Just to clarify, that isn’t what happens in this book!)

As I may have said once or twice, I was truly glued to this novel and the way the characters developed over time. It may be the tenth book in the series, yet Kane and Alton never fail to surprise me.

Yet another dark, devious, and utterly transfixing novel from an author who is outstanding at holding her readers hostage with her words.

Buy now.

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

#ARuinedGirl – Kate Simants @katesboat @viperbooks #bookreview

Many thanks to Viper for the blog tour invite and review copy – here is my review for ‘A Ruined Girl’ by Kate Simants.

TWO BOYS LOVED HER.

BUT WHICH ONE KILLED HER?

On a dark night two years ago, teenagers Rob and Paige broke into a house. They beat and traumatised the occupants, then left, taking only a bracelet. No one knows why, not even Luke, Rob’s younger brother and Paige’s confidant. Paige disappeared after that night. And having spent her life in children’s homes and the foster system, no one cared enough to look for her.

Now Rob is out of prison, and probation officer Wren Reynolds has been tasked with his rehabilitation. But Wren has her own reasons for taking on Rob as a client. Convinced that Rob knows what happened to Paige, and hiding a lifetime of secrets from her heavily pregnant wife, Wren’s obsession with finding a missing girl may tear her family apart…

What does TWG think?

Oooooo this is dark!!! Complex relationships, complex storyline, and conflicting emotions made for one dark and disturbing read. Well, that and the fact that someone died but let’s not split hairs, shall we?

‘A Ruined Girl’ is definitely a case of ‘whodunnit’, as well as being the case of whether anyone is going to own up to their misdemeanours. That would be too easy though, so thankfully Wren Reynolds was on hand to try and slot all of the puzzle pieces together. Naturally a case as complex as Paige’s, ends up having a detrimental effect on Wren’s well being and her mental state becomes compromised as her obsession with finding out the truth explodes.

Like I said; dark! There is a lot of ooomph to ‘A Ruined Girl’ and I really appreciated the fact that Simants makes her readers work hard for the truth. She doesn’t hand it to us on a plate by making things obvious early on. Some things are definitely worth waiting for, and this was one of them!

A carefully constructed, complex, devious novel which made me catch my breath more than once. Uber impressed!

Buy now.

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

#SaveHerSoul @LisaLRegan @Bookouture #review

Thank you, as always, to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Lisa Regan’s blog tour for ‘Save Her Soul’, and for supplying me with an ARC.

Josie flinches as she takes in the faded blue sports jacket wrapped around the girl they just pulled from the water. Josie knew someone who’d once owned that jacket. He had died in her arms five years ago.

Heavy rain pours on the small town of Denton causing the riverbanks to break and the body of a young girl to float quietly to the surface. With no crime scene to examine, the odds are against Detective Josie Quinn and her team. Mercifully, the victim’s body is perfectly preserved, right down to the baseball patch on the jacket she was wearing. Josie can’t hide her devastation—her dead ex-husband, Ray, owned one just like it.

Following the trail back to her high school, Josie identifies the girl as Beverly Urban, a troubled student rumored to have been dating Ray before she left town for good. It looks like a tragic accident until the autopsy reveals a bullet in her head and the heart-breaking secret she was keeping.

Josie visits the salon where Beverly’s mother used to work, believing she was at the heart of a terrible scandal around the time her daughter’s life was taken. With the Denton wives remaining tight-lipped, Josie’s only hope is a secret meet-up with a terrified woman willing to talk. But she is murdered moments before giving Josie crucial information. It’s clear that someone is prepared to keep on killing to stop the truth from getting out.

Digging deep into memories of her own past with Ray is the only advantage Josie has on this twisted killer… but at what cost?

What does TWG think?

Josie has been dealing with the loss of ex husband, Ray, for the last five years and, just when she thought that she was able to process the grief a lot easier than before, memories of Ray as a living human being come back to slap her in the face with a vengeance. Its crazy how one item of clothing can open the flood gates, isn’t it?

Josie Quinn, when will you finally get some good luck?! I do feel like this character was born with a short straw, as bad luck seems to find its way to her quicker than anyone else. That said, if she did have good luck, then there wouldn’t be much of a story! Not that I’m relishing in her misfortunes of course!

I did enjoy ‘Save Her Soul’ and the way in which the storyline kept me on my toes. I couldnt help but think of many questions relating to Ray and the body that was found. It took a little while things to make sense, naturally, but i was so intrigued I just wanted to find out straight away!

Whilst I understand the need to bring up previous books in the series to ensure that the series remained seamless, i did feel as though the rehashing was a bit too frequent and seemed to take up a large portion of the story which should have been kept for the new storyline.

Just like other Lisa Regan novels, the suspense is second to none and the character development was very well thought out. As a huge Regan fan, ‘Save Her Soul’ definitely ticked my boxes – I really cannot complain.

Buy now

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

#TheNightSwim by Megan Goldin @MeganGoldin @TheMirrorBooks #blogtour

I cannot believe that I get to kick off Megan Goldin’s blog tour today! Thank you so much to Mirror Books for asking me to be involved in the tour, and for supplying the ARC. Here is my review:

In The Night Swim, a new thriller from Megan Goldin, author of the “gripping and unforgettable” (Harlen Coben) The Escape Room, a true-crime podcast host covering a controversial trial finds herself drawn deep into a small town’s dark past and a brutal crime that took place there years before.

Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name – and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognised for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The new season of Rachel’s podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation – but the mysterious letters keep coming. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago.

Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered – and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases – and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

What does TWG think?

With Megan Goldin’s debut novel, ‘The Escape Room’ being one of my top reads of 2019, I was so excited to get stuck into her newest book, ‘The Night Swim’ – and what a book it is!

Rachel has gone from zero to hero in a short space of time due to her true crime podcast, with many people finding her voice familiar in public, but not her looks. Until now. Given the nature of her podcast and the fact that she has been face to face with serial killers, the prospect of being recognised in public filled her with dread. How did they know what she looked like? How did they know where she would be at that precise moment when even she didn’t have a clue until the last minute?

Just like crimes and the trials that go with them, there was clearly a lot more to the situation than Rachel had anticipated. Was she going to end up being a crime in her own true crime podcast?

Megan Goldin nails suspense like nobody’s business. She knows how to create drama that is unique to the storyline, and she knows how to keep it consistent throughout the entire book. For me, those elements were the highlight of the book because, whilst they showcased the authors fantastic way with words, they also gave the storyline its intricate layers that ended up holding me hostage.

I would be genuinely surprised if this novel didn’t make it onto the big screen at some point because it just screams to be televised!

If you’re after a storyline that has you hooked from page one, with characters who manage to unnerve you and intrigue you at the same time, as well as a read that is full to the brim of dramatic events, suspense and stomach churning intensity, then I highly recommend that you put ‘The Night Swim’ on your ‘to read’ pile – you will not regret it.

Buy now.