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Crooked Heart
Crooked Heart
by Lissa Evans
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful funny tale of friendship, love and loss., 19 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Crooked Heart (Paperback)
Crooked Heart is a novel that has been on my wish list for almost a year now, but unfortunately I just hadn't gotten around to buying it for myself.

When offered me the chance to read a review copy prior to the paperback release, I (almost literally) jumped at the chance.

Crooked Heart is the tale of an unlikely friendship between wartime evacuee Noel Bostock and single mother Vee Sedge.

Noel has been plucked from his unhappy home with his smothering Aunt and Uncle in London and sent to St.Albans as a evacuee.

Vee Sedge, always looking to make money, sees an opportunity in Noel when she sees him limping along with the other evacuees looking for residence.

She agrees to take him in and at first their relationship is strained.

Noel is unhappy, and misses his previous guardian his Godmother Mattie. In time he begins to warm to Vee and her money making escapades and begins to help her.

Meanwhile her son Donald, is up to all sorts, following in his Mothers money making footsteps.

Crooked Heart is a wonderful, funny, tale of friendship, love and loss and never shys away from the brutality of war.

Huge thanks to lovereading-

The Widow
The Widow
by Fiona Barton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.49

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars, 14 Jan. 2016
This review is from: The Widow (Hardcover)
The Widow is Fiona Barton's debut novel, but you wouldn't know...

Jean (or Jeanie) Taylor is a widow, her husband recently run over by a bus on a busy main road. But that isn't why she has reporters camped outside her door...

Jean's late husband, Glen Taylor was under the scrutiny of the police for the disappearance and suspected murder of Bella Elliott. Detective Bob Sparkes was about to re-arrest Glen when he learned of his death.

Jean has to decide whether she wants to tell her side of the story and get rid of the reporters once and for all.

The Widow is told through the perspective of several narrators, The Widow - Jean Taylor, The Husband - Glen Taylor, The Reporter - Kate Waters, The Detective - Bob Sparkes and The Mother - Dawn Elliott.

This novel is a fascinating insight into the woman behind the accused.

We've all seen those women on TV standing beside or just behind their men outside the court when they are accused of hideous crimes. You often wonder if they knew? How could they not? Fiona Barton has really explored this and written an interesting novel.

From the beginning I was waiting for a big twist, possibly because the book is being described as a psychological thriller, as an avid reader of such novels.

I'm not sure it fits this description.

There is plenty explored from the psychological perspective, but it isn't a fast faced thriller. More of an in-depth exploration of the ultimate dysfunctional marriage, people's obsessions and how this affects those around them.

The Widow is sure to be a big hit and I look forward to Fiona Barton's next.

The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells
The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells
by Virginia Macgregor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.87

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely warm novel with wonderful characters, 14 Jan. 2016
I loved Virginia Macgregor's first novel, What Milo Saw, so I was excited to read her newest, the Astonishing Return of Norah Wells, and I wasn't disappointed.

Norah Wells walked out on her family one ordinary morning, leaving her eldest daughter Ella bereft, and her youngest, Willa, unable to remember her.

When she returns six years later she finds her eldest daughter all grown up, her best friend, Fay, living with her husband Adam (who she could barely be in the same room with when Norah left) and Willa calling Fay 'Mummy'.

Ella is delighted by her Mothers sudden return. She has spent the last six years desperately trying to find her Mother and has longed for the day she returns.

But just why is she back?

And why on earth did she leave in the first place?

These are just a few of the questions that the Wells family would like Norah to answer.

But Norah has some questions of her own.

Just when did her husband and her best friend actually start liking each other?

And what will they do when they discover the real reason that Norah fled?

The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells is a lovely warm novel with some wonderful characters and I really look forward to seeing what this author has up her sleeve next!

The Darkest Secret
The Darkest Secret
by Alex Marwood
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.25

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars, 14 Jan. 2016
This review is from: The Darkest Secret (Paperback)
Sean Jackson is a Multi-millionaire, with a group of friends that are very questionable indeed.

Already on his second wife when we meet him at the beginning of the novel, and on his fourth by its end, he could be a thoroughly unlikable character, but there is something about Sean that almost made me feel sorry for him.

His friends however are a different story entirely; spoilt, driven by money and entirely used to getting their own way, they are selfish, manipulative and pretty vile individuals.

As a group they are poisonous.

Sean's world is torn apart when one of his twin daughters, Coco goes missing during the night at his Fiftieth birthday celebrations, being held at a property he has been renovating in the wealthy Sandbanks area of Bouremouth.

More than a decade later Sean's body is found alone in a hotel and Sean's daughter Mila (or Camilla as she was formerly known) from his first marriage is persuaded into taking Ruby, Coco's surviving twin sister to his funeral.

Ruby like Mila has unanswered questions about the past, and as the novel spans back and forth between 'then' and 'now' we slowly begin to understand the shocking details of the night that Coco went missing.

The Darkest Secret is ultimately about the disappearance of Sean's twin daughter Coco, age three from Sandbanks.

In reality it is about so much more.

From its first pages which detail witness statements to its final pages with its shocking revelations, the Darkest Secret will have you shocked, disturbed and gripped.

Beside Myself
Beside Myself
by Ann Morgan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping psychological thriller- like no other, 14 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Beside Myself (Hardcover)
Beside Myself by Ann Morgan is a gripping novel, unlike any psychological thriller I have read before (and I've read my fair share!)

Helen and Eleanor (Ellie) Sallis are identical twins. Ellie has always lived in Helen's shadow. Helen has always been the "good" twin whilst Ellie is prone to accidents, general clumsiness and some slight behavioural issues.

Helen is clearly the leader and at the beginning of the novel she even bullies Ellie slightly into doing what she wants. It is her idea for the girls to "swap" identities in a childish game just for a time to see if anyone can tell the difference.

When the girls arrive home that afternoon they find their Mother distracted and seemingly unable to tell that they are not who they say they are. Helen isn't bothered, she knows that her Mother will see the difference, Ellie will somehow trip herself up and reveal the truth.

Only she doesn't, and then she refuses to swap back.

As the girls grow up Ellie (Helen) is treated appallingly by her family, whilst Helen (Ellie) is treated like a perfect little princess. One day, a tragic accident finally tears the sisters apart and Ellie is forced to live a tragic existence whilst her sister flourishes.

The storyline is split between present day and the twins growing up. I found it a difficult read at first, not only did I not know who to believe, or who to trust but at times it really makes for some uncomfortable reading.

The characters in this novel are unbelievably flawed and treat each other horribly, but it only makes the story more interesting in my opinion.

Beside Myself is sure to be one of 2016's books to watch and I can't wait to read the next from this author.

Follow Me: A chilling, thrilling, addictive crime novel
Follow Me: A chilling, thrilling, addictive crime novel
Price: £0.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable contemporary crime novel, 3 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Freddie Venton is trying to break her way into journalism and not having an awful lot of luck. That is until she stumbles upon a crime scene after following an old school friend, Nasreen Cudmore.

Naz has done remarkably better for herself than Freddie, and is a sergeant in the Police force. The two of them were laregly inseperable growing up, until a falling out that had them lose contact with each other.

As a budding reporter Freddie spends a lot of her time on social media, particularly Twitter, always hunting down the next lead for a story. She is the first to see a tweet of the crime scene presumably from the perpetrator soon to be dubbed, the #Hashtag Murderer.

After being arrested for the crime that she clearly did not commit, to avoid a charge, Freddie reluctantly agrees to become social media adviser to the case.

As the suspect continues tweeting it is clear that the crime scene Freddie chanced upon, is not a one off. Twitter has a serial killer…

Follow Me really showcases the fact that we do not know who anyone is online, and even the most prolific of social media users have the ability to be surprised by others activities.

Follow Me is a real edge of the seat thriller and its conclusion for me at least, was a surprising one.

In a world where crime, thriller and suspense novels grow ever more popular it is no mean feat for an author keep the reader gripped and then surprise them as Angela Clarke does.

Follow Me is a highly enjoyable novel that will make you think twice before your next social media posting....

Every Fifteen Minutes
Every Fifteen Minutes
by Lisa Scottoline
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A scary emotional roller-coaster ride of a novel, 19 Nov. 2015
This review is from: Every Fifteen Minutes (Paperback)
Every Fifteen Minutes is a scary emotional roller-coaster ride of a novel. And I think Lisa Scottoline's best to date.

Dr Eric Parrish is a renowned and well respected psychologist, recently separated from his wife, his personal life isn't perfect, but his employment almost certainly is. As 'Chief' of a busy psychiatry ward at his local hospital, people look up to and admire Parrish and the work he does.

When he gets involved in the case of a young man caring for his Grandmother who has terminal cancer, Parrish sees only the vulnerability of Max and the closeness of his relationship with his Grandmother, whilst those around him see Max as a potential threat - of what or to who no one seems sure.

When a girl of similar age to Max is murdered, the suspicion immediately falls on him. Particularly as it coincides with the night his Grandmother passes away. But Eric is so certain that Max didn't commit the crime, that he is determined to find out who did against the wishes of the police - who are beginning to think that Eric has manipulated Max, and that he himself is the murderer.

What follows is a gripping yet complex hunt for both Max (who goes missing immediately after his Grandmothers death) and the murderer, assuming of course as Eric does that they are not the same person..

Every Fifteen Minutes is told largely from Eric's point of view, with a chapter every know and then from an unidentified Sociopath. But are they out to get Max, Eric or someone else entirely?

Throughout Every Fifteen Minutes I had my suspicions of who the unidentified Sociopath might be, but then two separate incidents near the novel's end left me shocked, and make the novel even better in my opinion.

Every Fifteen Minutes is one of Scottoline's best, and should not be missed.

After Anna
After Anna
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves the title 'unable to put down', 19 Nov. 2015
This review is from: After Anna (Kindle Edition)
After Anna is a novel that had me gripped from its opening paragraph. It’s not pleasant reading, for it explores the abduction of a Five year old girl from the abductor's point of view, but it certainly had me wanting more.

And so it continues; this novel really deserves the sentence 'unable to put down'.

Five year old Anna is taken from outside her school. Her mother Julia was late picking her up, and unable to call ahead. The school assume Anna has been collected, despite their strict policy.

Julia is devastated, and not only has her own guilt to deal with, but is immediately blamed by her estranged husband, Brian (he’s bitter because Julia initiated a divorce he didn't want) and his mother, Edna.

The Police are clueless, but little girls don't just disappear, and they’re certain she’ll return. After her first night missing, fears for Anna's safety deepen. The families history is delved into, but what the investigation will uncover, no one is certain.

When Anna returns virtually unharmed a week after her disappearance, her parents are overjoyed, but Julia can't help but wonder if this is this end? Now that Anna has returned safely, is there someone out there that wants something?

It doesn't take long to realise her fears are justified, and her worst nightmare has not yet begun...

I’ve no idea who the author is (the novel is written under a pseudonym) but whoever they are they know how to write an excellent novel.

(Thank you to lovereading for my review copy of this novel)

Bloodstream (Di Murphy & Ds Rossi 3)
Bloodstream (Di Murphy & Ds Rossi 3)
by Luca Veste
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Murphy & Rossi yet!, 9 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bloodstream is Luca Veste's third novel, his third in the DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi series, and in my opinion his best novel in the series so far.

It's opening, is brutal, Chloe Morrison watches her boyfriend Joe Hooper die at the hands of an unidentified killer before being murdered herself. The perpetrator we learn is all about exposing the secrets and lies that couples hide from and tell each other.

Although their lives played out on reality TV, away from the cameras Chloe and Joe we no different.

As Murphy and Rossi begin their investigation fears grow for a local missing girl, Amy Maguire. It seems unclear whether any potential suspect would have kidnapped her as they seem to be targeting couples, but the detectives fear for her life nonetheless.

A media frenzy soon surrounds the investigation, for Chloe and Joe were not the perpetrators first victims, and it seems unlikely that they will be his/her last.

As pressure mounts on the case, Murphy encourages Laura to spend some time away from work with her new boyfriend, whilst he remains and tries to think outside the box. What he discovers shocks him to the core and he begins to worry for his colleagues safety.

But should he be worrying for his own safety more?

Murphy and Rossi must get to the killer before he strikes again, that much is clear, but what if they are already too late?

Bloodstream is a fast-paced thriller which you will not be able to put down!

The Girl With No Past: A gripping psychological thriller
The Girl With No Past: A gripping psychological thriller
by Kathryn Croft
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a superbly written thriller, 1 Nov. 2015
Leah Mills doesn't have much of a life. She lives alone in a sparsely furnished flat with no pets, husbands or any real friends to speak of. But then she meets Julian online and slowly believes that things could change for her.

If she can allow herself to look towards a future with someone?

For Leah is harbouring a past that had has led her to believe that she doesn't deserve to be happy.

And Leah isn't the only one harbouring that opinion...

When Leah receives a card from an anonymous source, she tries not to dwell on it too much. But then the emails start and he threats against her life begin, and Leah doesn't know where to turn or who to turn to. She has so very few friends that everyone around her brings her suspicion.

Just who can she trust?

Told from Leah's point of view throughout, with flashbacks to the past, the Girl with No Past is a superbly written thriller, that will have even the most prolific psychological thriller readers guessing until the very end.

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