Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Safe With Me - K L Slater

Safe With Me
by K L Slater
About the book...
Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even … 

Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do. 

Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully … 

First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows… 

But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home? 

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller, perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and The Sister. 

About the Author...
KL Slater went back to university at the age of 40 where she studied for an English & Creative Writing degree and also an MA in Creative Writing.

She lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac, and has one grown-up daughter, Francesca.

Her first psychological thriller, Safe With Me, is published by Bookouture

My thoughts...
I was offered an ecopy of Safe With Me by K L Slater as part of a Blog Tour organised by Kim at Bookouture in exchange for an honest review, something which I'm more than happy to give.

I don't know how they do it but Bookouture keep producing debut authors like rabbits out of a magicians hat - each one more fantastic than the last!

This book was no exception we are introduced to the main character Anna who for reasons we're not sure of straight away has chosen to live a solitary existence, keeping everyone at arms length having no friends to talk of other than her elderly, next door neighbour.

As seems to be the normal at the minute the chapters are spit between the present day and  thirteen years previous - each telling a story of now and then until they collide in the middle in a way that made me want to read with my eyes shut - if that made sense.

Anna witnesses an accident that sets off a train of events that had me running down blind alley's and barking up the wrong tree time and again as she plans the perfect execution of REVENGE against the woman who she holds responsible for ruining her life thirteen years ago.  

This is a story where obsession and revenge are played out in such a way that you find yourself sucked into the moment with Anna as she befriends Liam and his family.  Liam being the victim of an RTA caused by Carla - the woman from Anna's past.  The way she ingratiated herself into his and his families lives was something else.  I kept having to shake my head and tell myself it was just a story.  She really was a smooth operator. How an apparently quiet loner can turn into an unbalanced psychotic nutter whilst appearing normal on the outside was most un-nerving. It was so subtle and gradual I think any of us would have be blinded by her.

A fantastic debut with so many twists it'll keep you guessing til the end - I just loved it- if that's a phrase you can use?  Perhaps hypnotised by the words would be better, thank you so much Kim for suggesting I might love this book, you know me so well I did and some! I shall be looking closely at any approaches from seemingly lovely, quiet people and firmly keeping my distance in the future.

This is a book that readers of psychological thrillers will love, watch this space K L Slater is heading to be one of those must read authors, the ones you just buy the book just because it's written by them - forgetting the cover or the blurb.  A definite debut author with a buzz.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

The Secret - Katerina Diamond

The Secret
by Katerina Diamond

About the book...
When Bridget Reid wakes up in a locked room, terrifying memories come flooding back – of blood, pain, and desperate fear. Her captor knows things she’s never told anyone. How can she escape someone who knows all of her secrets?

As DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles search for Bridget, they uncover a horrifying web of abuse, betrayal and murder right under their noses in Exeter.

And as the past comes back to haunt her, Grey must confront her own demons. Because she knows that it can be those closest to us who hurt us the most…

About the author...

Katerina Diamond was born in Weston in the seventies, and her parents owned a fish and chip shop in the Greek community. She moved to Thessaloniki in Greece and attended Greek school where she learnt Greek in just 6 months. After her parents’ divorce, they relocated to Devon. After school, and working in her uncle’s fish and chip shop, she went (briefly) to university at Derby, where she met her husband and had two children. Katerina now lives in the East Kent Coast with her husband and children. This is her first novel.

Author post...
Songs I Love with a Secret Theme
Being a bit of a vanilla goth I like a lot of dark music and secrets are often at the heart of that darkness: something no one is allowed to know about, a confidence. I like songs that make me feel a bit uncomfortable – much like anything else in life I like to be challenged, particularly with regards to aspects of my own character that I would ordinarily try to deny. Plus, songs about secrets are a bit sexy.

The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret – Queens of the stone age
Well, the whole tone of this song really pulls you in: you listen out for the secret, wait for it, but it never comes. It’s just making sure we know there is a secret to be told and if anyone finds out there will be a problem. Queens of the stone age have a few songs with this general feeling, but another along the same lines is the cracker ‘No One Knows’ – with comes with a great video (and Dave Grohl - Foo Fighters/Nirvana - on drums)

Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
This is more a nostalgic notion of a secret, something shared and personal – something that’s known by two people. It could be a place or it could be a feeling. Whenever I hear this song I think of the children’s book The Secret Garden which was one of my favourite stories as a child. I imagine fingers foraging through walls of ivy to find a hidden latch to a hidden door.

Dirty Little Secret – All American Rejects
It’s worth looking for this video if you haven’t seen it. A group of people have written their secrets on notecards and are holding them in front of their face. Some of the secrets there I can really identify with, things I wouldn’t necessarily even think to admit about myself. I think it’s fascinating the things people are ashamed to admit about themselves.

Just – Radiohead
Well, the song itself isn’t about secrets but the video is just brilliant. A man walking down the street stops and lies down, people walk past, each demanding to know what’s wrong with him and why he is lying down, he says he can’t tell them, but they push and push until eventually he does. Then more and more people lie down as they find out the secret; it leaves them debilitated and unwilling to carry on and people keep asking, knowing that they might also lie down if they find out the answer – even knowing that, they still ask. I think it demonstrated perfectly the need to know secrets and answers, even if we know the truth will hurt us.

My thoughts...
First off I received some interesting book post - a cup cake with a severed finger and then the book - The Secret by Katerina Diamond.  My first thoughts were how cool, brilliant marketing I can't wait to read the book, closely followed by I'm a bit freaked out - I know it's not a real finger - least I hope it's not but..... So when Helena at Avon asked if I'd like to be part of a very 'secret' blog tour for The Secret I jumped at the chance.

This was one of those books that took only pages to sink into.  Within eight pages there was three brutal murders and the tension was palpable.  The story beginning in a brothel with one prostitute escaping murder but quite quickly it's apparent it was her the killers were looking for and now she's on the run.

The Secret is fast paced, gritty and a breathe holding read. Based around an undercover police investigation in Exeter with links to another case and the the Plymouth police force. An undercover officer has gone missing and the clock is ticking for Inspectors Imogen Grey and partner Adrian Miles to find DS Bridget Reid.  They need  to infiltrate the gang responsible for some of the most serious crime in the area.  We're talking serious bad boys, drugs, weapons, prostitution, human trafficking and money laundering headed by the most corrupt villains in the UK.  The story is told from many angles and swings back and forth between the present day and Plymouth two years earlier. The advantage with this is that we glean some back history about Imogen and the reasons behind her transfer to Exeter along with some cross over of characters.  People she thought she had left behind appear here as if to taunt her and remind her of some of her darkest times and the reason she spent a year on the sick! 

This was one of those stories that I was glad I read in the daytime - scenes so graphic and gory I wanted to close the book, but the story was such I couldn't leave it alone.  Katerina Diamond doesn't waste time padding out and fluffing up the story she just dives straight getting to the point and leaving nothing to the imagination - her descriptions are graphic and to the point and will leave you open mouthed and 'Oh My Godding' every other page.

This book is a like a game of cat and mouse, with the protagonist changing with each chapter.  My thoughts and feelings changed more times than in any other book I've read. I worked things out in my own head only to have my opinions changed in the next chapter - knowing who to trust was difficult to decide, made more difficult by some of the police working under cover - what was real and what was not became blurred.

Life should be about discovering new things, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and trying different things.  I liked the synopsis for this book and really wanted to read it yet I sit here now a couple of weeks after finishing it and I'm still trying to process my thoughts. The content was definitely more graphic than I usually read but was so compelling I just had to read on.

Would I recommend it? - absolutely.  It has to be one of the best written books I've read in a long time. It's darker than most of my friends would read, and when asked if I enjoyed it I'm almost hesitant to say yes, it feels wrong for so many reasons - anyone who has read it will know what I'm talking about. 

I'd urge anyone who enjoys a really good book, that'll make you think, is happy to be shifted outside of their comfort zone to give it a go.  It'll stay with you long after the final page but that's a good thing.  The best kind of book in my opinion is a book that makes you think, that keeps you guessing and Katerina did this with panache.  There are several twists in virtually every chapter that had me virtually talking to myself, silently praying and almost too scared to read on in case I didn't like the outcome, I'm so glad I did and urge you all to read it too.

Follow the tour and see if you can guess who is hosting tomorrow!