Sunday, 11 February 2018

The Reunion by Samantha Hayes

About the book… 

They were all there the day your sister went missing.

Who is lying? Who is next?

THEN – In charge of her little sister at the beach, Claire allowed Eleanor to walk to the shop alone to buy an ice cream. Placing a coin into her hand, Claire told her to be quick, knowing how much she wanted the freedom.

Eleanor never came back.

NOW – The time has finally come to sell the family farm and Claire is organising a reunion of her dearest friends, the same friends who were present the day her sister went missing.

When another girl disappears, long-buried secrets begin to surface. One of the group hides the darkest secret of them all…

If you loved Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, this gripping psychological thriller packed full of twists and turns will be impossible to put down.

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About the author… 
Samantha Hayes grew up in a creative family where her love of writing began as a child. Samantha has written eight thrillers in total, including the bestselling Until You’re Mine. The Independent said “fantastically written and very tense” while Good Housekeeping said “Her believable psychological thrillers are completely gripping.” Samantha’s books are published in 22 languages at the last count.

When not writing, Samantha loves to cook, go to the gym, see friends and drink nice wine. She is also studying for a degree in psychotherapy. She has three grown-up children and lives in Warwickshire.

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My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book by Kim Nash at Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.  This is something I'm more than happy to do.

As soon as I heard Samantha Hayes had a new book out I jumped up and down and said 'yes please' to the blog tour. I didn't know the title, nor had I read the blurb - that is how much I love this author.  The first book I read by Samantha Hayes was 'Until You're Mine' and I was absolutely blown away. I have devoured each of her subsequent books and find them totally captivating and engaging.  Each one an intricate tale that has you guessing right until the final pages.

My expectations for The Reunion were high and Samantha Hayes met them and some. The Reunion is centred around a group of friends and family brought together by Claire to try and bring back happy memories for her dad who is now suffering from Alzheimers.  They are friends that spent more of their weekends and holidays at her parents farm than they did at their own homes. With her mum and dad acting as surrogate parents to them all, that was, until the day they were all at the beach and Leni (Eleanor), Claires sister went to the shops for ice-cream and never came back.

This is a thriller that has a devastating, sad story that appears to be mirrored over twenty yers later. Deliberately or a coincidence?  That was one of my first questions as I submerged myself in the plot. The story is told from several perspectives and from both the past and the present.  

The Reunion is woven with several plot twists and sub plots that originally seem separate with no connections, they had me guessing at possible solutions only to find I was wrong each time.  Samantha has intricately stitched up this story like a patchwork quilt - all of the pieces once put together make for a gut wrenching, heart pounding emotional read. There were so many times I thought I had it all wrapped up only to find I was way off the mark. and when the answers come with the end of the book I sat back open mouthed - words failed me.  This is a book that has an unthinkable storyline running through the heart of it.  Yet, I promise you'll be as hooked as I was, it that will make you sit back and be thankful it was just a book, it's not real - yet it so easily could be!

In case you haven't guessed, I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it - it's a psychological thriller with a plot that is so intricacy woven it will leave you guessing right until the end.  I sat open mouthed, just quietly thinking when I finished and i still have questions a week later - WHY?  I so need to re-read this again!!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Black Heart - (Detective Dan Riley Book 1) - Anna-Lou Weatherley

About the book… 
There’s a letter on the floor covered with blood next to a heart-shaped box of chocolates. The note says: ‘My beautiful darling, I’m sorry, please forgive me.’

When the body of a man is found with his wrists slashed in a London hotel room, it appears at first to be a tragic suicide. But Detective Dan Riley suspects there is more to this case than meets the eye and the pathology report confirms his worst fears – the victim was poisoned and suddenly Dan is dealing with a murder inquiry.

Then he makes a disturbing discovery, uncovering links between the victim and a woman calling herself Goldilocks on an online dating site. Is she seeking revenge or something more?

Still grieving the devastating loss of his girlfriend and unborn child in a car accident two years ago, Dan throws everything he has into the investigation. Yet just as Dan begins to piece together the clues of this complex case, the body of a woman is found in her bed with identical wounds.

Dan is on the trail of a twisted individual who is much closer than he realises. Can he overcome his own demons and stop the killer before it’s too late?

An all-consuming and totally unputdownable read that will have you holding your breath to the very last page. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza and Karin Slaughter.

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About the author… 
Anna-Lou began her career as a dancer but a moped accident in Ibiza put paid to those aspirations and so she went back to her first and one true love – writing! She re-trained as a journalist, specialising mainly in women’s interest and celebrity, becoming the Editor of J-17 and Smash Hits as well as writing for a host of women’s magazines.

Anna-Lou has written three Adult Fiction titles – Vengeful Wives and Wicked Wives, both published by Avon in the UK and Bookouture in the US and Canada and Pleasure Island published by Bookouture

Contact Links:

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book by Kim Nash at Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.  This is something I am more than happy to do.

This is first book in a new detective series by Anna-Lou Wetherley an author I haven't previously read although I believe this is a new genre for her.  

Anna - Lou Weatherley packed so much into the opening chapter of this book I couldn't help but be engrossed. What is quite obviously an elicit, steamy meeting in the penthouse suite of a luxury hotel is turned on its head as 'Goldilocks' as we come to know her commits a murder that had me is nauseatingly transfixed.  I couldn't stomach to read as the story unfolded and yet I couldn't not turn the pages. I got to the end of the chapter and had to take stock. Asking myself the question - could I actually read this book, yet even as I thought it my fingers were turning the page. 

Chapter two and we are introduced to Detective Dan Riley, I really liked him, he had a dogged determination, attention to detail and that good old hunch that is often found in detective novels.  He was sent to the hotel to investigate an apparent suicide and almost instantly he picks up details that are so subtle they are almost invisible.   

Anna - Lou's descriptions of both people and scenario's was superb. The characters both complex and haunting. Dan is almost a shell of a person, he clearly has a bleeding heart, we are privy to his inner voice and thoughts and it's clear he hasn't got over a tragic death that was close to home. He needs something/someone to drag him out of the abyss and has turned to on-line dating and buried himself in his work.

It takes longer to un-ravel the character of Goldilocks - she is beyond cold and calculating and as the story went and her actions played like a cinema reel across my eyes I just wanted to get to the end of the book - he crimes so horrific and pre-meditated my stomach churned constantly.

Black Heart is told from both the killer and the investigative points of view and also from the inner turmoil and voices of the central characters, it is a shockingly brilliant book that I highly recommend. It's one of the fastest reads I have read in a long time, not because the plot moved quickly - that was expertly drawn out to induce panic and fear into the reader. But, because I wanted the book to end before the most horrific crime of all could be enacted.

Huge thanks once again to Kim at Bookouture for her on the mark recommendation.