Summer Holiday Reads

I usually pack a book a day for my summer hols but this year there was no lounging around the pool drinking cocktails. Instead we took DGD #1 off to a glamping pod on the West Coast of Scotland for a week of walks, wild swimming (not me!) and some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. The weather was glorious too-even better than at home-so we did get some beach time. The fresh air and exercise meant by early evening I was too shattered to read but I did get 3 books finished whilst away and they were pretty decent ones too!


Marissa Irvine arrives at 14 Tudor Grove, expecting to pick up her young son Milo from his first playdate with a boy at his new school. But the woman who answers the door isn’t a mother she recognises. She isn’t the nanny. She doesn’t have Milo. And so begins every parent’s worst nightmare.


As news of the disappearance filters through the quiet Dublin suburb and an unexpected suspect is named, whispers start to spread about the women most closely connected to the shocking event. Because only one of them may have taken Milo – but they could all be blamed . . .


It’s not often that books in this genre really surprise me but All Her Fault really did deliver shock after unexpected shock for me! A brilliant hook to grab your attention is then followed by a gripping storyline where nothing is ever quite as it seems. I wanted to kick myself at the end that I hadn’t spotted all the clues!

All Her Fault is a wonderfully crafted psychological thriller, written with an understanding of the emotions that being a parent comes with and it delivers the worst nightmare imaginable in a new and exciting way. The minute I finished it I was on Amazon ordering every other book Andrea Mara has written and if that’s not the sign of a blooming good read then I don’t know what is!

A compelling storyline that kept me enthralled until the very last page-absolutely brilliant!

‘Mum, there’s some people here from college, they asked me back to theirs. Just for an hour or so. Is that OK?’

Midsummer 2017: teenage mum Tallulah heads out on a date, leaving her baby son at home with her mother, Kim.

At 11 p.m. she sends her mum a text message. At 4.30 a.m. Kim awakens to discover that Tallulah has not come home.

Friends tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a pool party at a house in the woods nearby called Dark Place.

Tallulah never returns.

2018: walking in the woods behind the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started as a head teacher, Sophie sees a sign nailed to a fence.

A sign that says: DIG HERE . . .

A cold case. An abandoned mansion. A family hiding a terrible secret.

Prepare to be hooked. Lisa Jewell’s latest thriller is her best yet.

Lisa Jewell has delivered one of her best books EVER here, with an emotionally twisty psychological thriller that didn’t leave my hands from start to finish! It was a stunning read that slowly unraveled its beautifully written secrets with a heartbreaking story of motherhood, loss and identity. The female characters especially were relatable and likeable and I loved the contrast between Kim and Sophie and how, despite their very different family situations, these very different women complimented each other as they sort a mutual goal.

The Night She Disappeared delivered so much more than I had been expecting. It was a mystery first and foremost but the backstory was so much more as we meet Tallulah in the days and weeks leading up to her disappearance. A teenage mum who adored her baby but who wanted so much more from her life, little realising that her dreams were going to lead her to make some very questionable decisions…

Emotionally draining to read at times but I was totally engrossed in each and every timeline of The Night She Disappeared. Insightful, powerful and haunting with a twisty plot that will have your jaw dropping-I loved it!

How can a woman who never existed come back to haunt you?

Gerry Anderson has been having trouble sleeping. He’s unwell – bed-bound – and has only his night nurse and his personal assistant for company. But what’s really troubling him are the phone calls. Phone calls from a woman claiming to be the ‘real’ Aubrey.

But that can’t be. Aubrey’s just a character Gerry made up in a book, years ago.

Can Gerry see past the ever-blurring lines of fact and fiction and figure out who is threatening him, or has his long-overdue moment of reckoning finally arrived?

Dream Girl is very much a product of the #metoo movement but crossed with a hefty dose of “Misery” via “Rear Window”. Laura Lippmann has written a literary horror story, a shockingly powerful and horrific psychological thriller, delivering a nightmarish plot and characters that you will love to hate!

Author Gerry Anderson has injured himself and it bedbound. With only his PA and night nurse for company, he is bored and drugged up for the pain. He starts to get phone calls from Audrey but no one else seems to hear the phone ring and that’s probably due to the fact that Audrey doesn’t really exist! So why is a character from Gerrys book seemingly trying to contact him? As Gerry floats between fantasy and reality, past and present, his life is played out as though on a cinema screen for us all to watch…and judge.

I’ve been a huge Laura Lippman fan for many years and, although I don’t think this is one of her better books, it feels like a very personal homage to the horror genre that worked really well with her style of writing. Gerry gave me creeps and felt so much older than he actually was so I struggled to relate to him and the world he inhabited. But by the time the shocking revelations came towards the end, I did actually feel more of a connection with him. In fact the ending was probably my most favourite part of the book as everything finally came together with a satisfying conclusion.

A different vibe for Laura Lippman but compelling and intense throughout.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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