The Date by Louise Jensen #BlogTour @Bookouture

Today I’m absolutely thrilled to be sharing my review of The Date by Louise Jensen as my stop on the blog tour. Many thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for inviting me!

About this book…

One night can change everything.

‘I know it as soon as I wake up and open my eyes… Something is wrong.’

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her.

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her…

My review…

Louise Jensen is an author that I’m always excited to read and as soon as I got my grubby little hands on The Date, I settled down to immerse myself in her latest creation. And this one absolutely blew my mind!! What a fantastic premise for this psychological thriller!

Imagine waking up one morning unable to remember what happened the night before. Sounds like the hangover from hell doesn’t it? But what if there were more to the memory loss than just alcohol after a big night out? What if you looked in the mirror and couldn’t recognise your own face? That’s the awful predicament facing Ali, a young woman recently separated from her husband, when she awakes the morning after her first date with a new man. Not only does she remember nothing of the date, she is now suffering from prosopagnosia (face blindness) which is scarier than her memory loss! I had heard of this condition before but never seen it used in this way as the main plot point in a psychological thriller. It worked perfectly though!

I always love how much I become involved in Louise Jensens books and I quickly found myself swept along by the storyline here. I had no idea where it was heading so I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns it threw up at me along the way. I really felt for Ali, her fear at discovering she could no longer recognise the people closest to her was palpable and I found myself wondering about how much life revolves around a simple thing such as recognition of friends, loved ones and enemies.

The Date is a wonderfully engrossing and intriguing book. Louise Jensen delivers a beautifully descriptive narrative full of emotional ups and downs, building up a storm of tension ready to come crashing down with the shocking and unexpected denouement.  She is definitely one of my favourite authors around at the moment and continues to both delight and surprise me with her ability to create believable, character driven psychological suspense.

Highly recommended by me!

Meet the author…

Louise Jensen is a Global No.1 Bestselling author of psychological thrillers The Sister, The Gift & The Surrogate. To date Louise has sold approaching a million books and her novels have been sold for translation to nineteen territories, as well as being featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award.

Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction and writing tips.

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The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke #BlogTour #randomthingstours @Wildfirebks @phoebe_locke

Today I’m delighted to be a stop on the blog tour for one of the most talked about books of this summer, The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke. Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me onto to the tour.

About this book…

A SENSELESS MURDER. A TERRIFYING LEGEND. A FAMILY HAUNTED.

1990: In the darkest woods, three girls devote themselves to a sinister figure.

2000: A young mother disappears, leaving behind her husband and baby daughter.

2018: A teenage girl is charged with murder, and her trial will shock the world.

Three chilling events, connected by the shadow he casts.

He is the Tall Man. He can make you special…

My review…

The Tall Man has been one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it was one of the books I took away with me on holiday recently as I knew I would get the peace and quiet I needed to immerse myself completely in its pages. And thankfully, I did! Well, apart from the many questions from other readers around the pool who were intrigued by this gorgeously eye catching cover!

I have to admit to being fascinated by recent media coverage of The Slender Man urbane legend and the real life case surrounding it that shocked the world. So it was with that in mind that I went into The Tall Man rather nervous about how Phoebe Locke would use a similar urbane myth to connect the events in the blurb. And what a brilliant mystery she has crafted! It’s creepy, unpredictable and suspenseful with such an addictive storyline that I didn’t want to put it down-mainly because it scared the **** out of me and I wanted to make sense of the direction of the narrative by following it through to the end as quickly as I possibly could!

What could possibly connect the events of the three timelines that are weaved together here? The legend of the Tall Man that spooks a group of young schoolgirls, a mother walking out on her young baby and a young woman who has recently been tried for murder? As documentary makers start on a fly on the wall “shockumentary” about a teenage girl, the flashbacks throw shadows onto their investigation of her life darkening the background to her story. Throughout most of The Tall Man, I was never really too sure about the exact genre of the book. Was it a supernatural horror or a psychological thriller? What was real and what was imagined? But like all urbane legends, sometimes the truth is more shocking than you could ever imagine.

Phoebe Locke had me in her powerful grasp from the very start of this utterly terrifying tale. I had to read it in the daylight hours though as, like all good creepy commentaries, the legend of The Tall Man felt very real and I wasn’t taking any chances!

I loved the fact that I didn’t have a clue as to where this one was heading and as those last few pages had me completely enthralled, I forgot to hide behind my cushion when the tension cranked itself up to levels much higher than I had been expecting. This book promises a high quality storyline with its intriguing premise and I have to say that it really delivers and the execution is spot on! Really recommend this one!

The Tall Man: A page-turning thriller for the summer is available to purchase from Amazon UK (affiliates link)

Meet the author…

Phoebe Locke is the pseudonym of full-time writer Nicci Cloke. She previously worked at the Faber Academy, and hosted London literary salon Speakeasy. She lives and writes in London.

THE TALL MAN is Phoebe Locke’s debut thriller and will be published in summer 2018.

After He’s Gone by Jane Isaac #BlogTour

I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour today for After He’s Gone by Jane Isaac!

About this book…

‘The safety catch on the Glock snapped as it was released. Her stomach curdled as she watched the face of death stretch and curve. Listened to the words drip from his mouth, ‘Right. Let’s begin, shall we?’

When Cameron Swift is gunned down outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer: a dual role that requires her to support the family, and also investigate them.

As the case unfolds and the body count climbs, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets.

Even the dead…

My review…

I was so excited when I heard there was a new Jane Isaac book coming out but then I saw that it wasn’t a DI Will Jackman novel! Now I am a big fan of that fictional detective so wasn’t sure what to think when I realised he wasn’t in this book! But I do love Jane Isaacs writing so went in with an open mind to meet her new character, DC Beth Chamberlain who is a family liaison officer. She is sent in to support families who have been affected by crime but by being in their homes, she is also in the best place to investigate internally any suspicious behaviour from within. And she is about to become involved in a case where everyone has secrets and some of those secrets could be about to lead to some very disturbing revelations indeed!

I’m so pleased to be able to say that I LOVED DC Beth Chamberlain! She is a great character and I became more impressed by her attitude and personality the more I found out about her. She’s a strong minded and independent woman who’s bloody good at her job! Beth is one of those people that you definitely want there for you in times of crisis and with her calm manner and quick thinking she’s perfect in her role here. She attempts to keep her personal life separate from her professional career and with good reason you will come to realise.

The plot itself flowed perfectly as the murder was investigated at a realistically steady speed with the police working through the clues provided with good old fashioned investigative skills. This is a crime thriller that feels like a lifelike representation of the police procedures that it follows. I thoroughly enjoyed following the investigation into the murder of Cameron Swift and found it impossible to put this book down, always promising myself just one more chapter until I ended up finishing After He’s Gone in one sitting!

This is a very promising start to this new series and I’m thrilled that I didn’t miss Will Jackman half as much as I had expected to! And that’s down to the skill of Jane Isaac in being able to create a new sympathetic and amenable heroine in Beth Chamberlain and I can’t wait to meet her again!

You can buy the book HERE

Meet the author…

Jane Isaac lives with her detective husband (very helpful for research!) and her daughter in rural Northamptonshire, UK where she can often be found trudging over the fields with her Labrador, Bollo. Her debut, An Unfamiliar Murder, was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’ The follow up, The Truth Will Out, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by E-Thriller.com.

After He’s Gone is Jane’s sixth novel and the first in a new series featuring Family Liaison Officer, DC Beth Chamberlain. The second DC Beth Chamberlain novel will be released later in 2018.

Connect with Jane at www.janeisaac.co.uk .

Mad by Chloé Esposito #BlogTour @ChloeJEsposito @MichaelJBooks

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour to celebrate the paperback edition publication of Mad by Chloé Esposito, the first book in the Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know trilogy.

About this book…

What if you could take the life you’d always wanted?

Alvie has always been in the shadow of her glamorous sister Beth.

So when she’s invited to her identical twin’s luxurious Sicilian villa, Alvie accepts.

Who wouldn’t want seven days in the sun?

With Beth’s hot husband, the cute baby, the fast car and of course, the money.

The thing is it’s all too good to let go . . . and her sister Beth isn’t the golden girl she appears.

It’s Alvie’s chance to steal the life that she deserves.

If she can get away with it.

My review…

I’m sure you all know what attracted me to this book! Yes it’s a TWIN BOOK!! But I have to start by saying that, this is NOTHING like any twin book that I have ever read before! And thankfully my twin daughters are nothing like Alvie and Beth the identical twins in Mad. Actually, Alvie and Beth are mirror image twins who have an extreme case of mirroring as their internal organs are also mirrored. But that’s not the only difference between them as personality wise these girls are poles apart! Beth is the golden girl, living the life in Sicily with the rich, gorgeous husband and the perfect child. Alvie is living in a flat share London in a job she hates and who’s closest relationship is with her favourite sex toy! When she’s sacked from her job for watching porn she decides to accept her sisters seemingly generous invitation to visit her in Sicily. But it looks like Beth has an ulterior motive for the invite and Alvie is about to have all her dreams come true…if only she can just stay ahead of the game!

Alvie is the antithesis of her twin sister and I think she is a character that you will either love or hate! Thankfully I adored her from the moment I met her! She’s uncouth and self centred with no volume control but I couldn’t help but take to her! She also has a very open attitude to sex so be prepared for some very adult scenes and mature themes. This black comedy had me laughing out loud in so many places, so much so that my hubby banned me from reading it in bed as I kept waking him up with my snorts! But I just couldn’t help but cheer Alvie on, especially once the real reason for her requested presence becomes clear. Yes she’s a liability but when the flashbacks show how her relationships with her mother and twin sister have developed then I was able to understand exactly why she behaved in the way she did.  As a twin mum myself I got really ANGRY about the differences between the twins upbringing! Yes, my emotions were running very high as I read some of those rather distressing scenes and it was a real shock after the hilarity of the early stages of this book.

Chloe Esposito is a real find for me! And her debut novel Mad is exactly that….MAD!! It’s a crazy and addictive romp that triumphs over the nature versus nurture debate with plenty of unexpected turns and a heroine who should be unlikable but whom you just can’t help but cheer on. This is the first book in the Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know trilogy and I’m full of excited anticipation to read the next in the series. Mad is the ultimate beach read and I guarantee that if you see anyone reading it on your holiday this summer, they will be laughing out loud at the outrageous adventures of the irrepressible Alvie.

Very highly recommended by me.

UPDATE…..

I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Bad which I took to Italy with me recently. It was the perfect location to read it and so look out for my review which will be coming shortly! I will give you a little hint though….it’s just as good as it’s predecessor and possibly even funnier!

Meet the author…

Chloé Esposito is from Cheltenham and now lives in London. She has a BA and MA in English from Oxford University, where her dissertation focused on 19th-century feminist writers. She has been a senior management consultant, an English teacher at two of the UK’s top private schools and a fashion stylist at Condé Nast. She is 32, a graduate of the Faber Academy and is now writing full-time.

Lazy Sunday Catch Up on My Chestnut Reading Tree

I’m back!!! Did you miss me?! I bet you didn’t even notice I was gone but I’ve not posted any reviews for over 10 days now which has been very strange but I have thoroughly enjoyed my little break! If you don’t know, it was my wedding anniversary last week meaning that The Grumpy Scotsman and I have been married for 30 YEARS!! I can’t believe it’s been 30 years since we had our lovely little wedding on an unusually hot and sunny June day in Scotland but unfortunately when you see the photos you can tell!!!

And this is us celebrating in Italy last week…30 years, 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren later!!

We had an amazing time but I still managed to read a book a day! Here’s what I read on our Italian getaway.

Never Greener by Ruth Jones

I’ve had my eye on this book since it came out and I saw all the wonderful reviews. I have to say that it exceeded all my expectations and had a beautifully written, unexpectedly poignant narrative with a main character who wasn’t always likeable but who I found to be relatable and intriguing. Absolutely loved this and felt rather sad when it finally came to an end. I do hope Ruth Jones has just started her fictional writing journey as I would love to read more from her.

The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke

Review to follow this week for the blog tour!

The River Road by Carol Goodman

I can’t believe I’d never heard of this author before but the first thing I did when I finished The River Road was to buy two more of her books. She writes so poetically, really bringing a sense of place to her story and although I figured out what was going on in the mystery side of this gripping thriller, it was an involving journey that I took alongside the characters and which literally took my breath away!

Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan

Review to follow next month for the blog tour!

Bad by Chloe Esposito

I’m on the blog tour for Mad, which is the first in this new trilogy, tomorrow and will post a full review for Bad later on this week. Safe to say that this has been one of my most favourite series this year-far superior to anything I was expecting!!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I’ve been meaning to read this for years and I finally took the plunge! It’s wonderful and I fell totally in love with Jamie Fraser.

And that was my holiday reading! It was a wonderfully relaxing week and I even got to read in our massive jacuzzi bath each day while The Grumpy Scotsman watched The Dukes of Hazzard dubbed into Italian. Yep, I’ve no idea why either!!!

So it’s back down to earth for me now and back to work tomorrow. But I’m on some fabulous blog tours this week so keep an eye out for some more reviews coming your way!

Happy Sunday everyone!

My Husband’s Lies by Caroline England #BlogTour

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for My Husband’s Lies by Caroline England. Many thanks to Sabah at Avon for inviting me.

About this book…

On the afternoon of Nick and Lisa’s wedding, their close friend is found poised on a hotel window ledge, ready to jump.

As the shock hits their friendship group, they soon realise that none of them are being as honest with themselves – or with each other – as they think.

And there are secrets lurking that could destroy everything.
Tense, disturbing and clever, My Husband’s Lies is a breath-taking read, perfect for fans of Lucy Clarke and Erin Kelly.

My review…

It’s wonderful when a local author “does good” so I’m overjoyed that Manchester ex-lawyer Caroline England continues her successful writing career with another best selling domestic noir. After the wonderful Beneath The Skin, here is another slice of deliciously dark and intensely voyeuristic look into the lives of a group of friends. If you’re one of those people who looks at their neighbours and acquaintances wondering if their rosy life is as perfect behind closed doors then this is the book for you!

At the very start of My Husband’s Lies, there is a rather shocking turn of events when a woman is discovered on the ledge of a hotel window on Nick and Lisa’s wedding day. Why is she there and what were her true intentions? We soon get to dig deeper into the true feelings of these supposedly happy couples to see that beneath the surface there are many secrets and lies, some of which are about to be uncovered. And no one will be able to escape unscathed.

What Caroline England does so well in her books is to really bring her characters to life. This is definitely a slow burner of a plot but it’s the characterisation that keeps you pushing through the narrative, desperate to uncover the life stories of her protagonists. The characters aren’t always very likeable and sometimes you will be despairing of the choices that they are making, but in the end you just want to be able to see them happy. Dan especially was a favourite of mine and the relationships he had were painfully breathtaking to go through with him.

Although this is a much darker book than Beneath The Surface, it isn’t depressing due to an unexpected humour and a real depth of feeling for the characters from the authors writing skills. The ending completely blindsided me as I wasn’t expecting the turns that the last few pages took. And once I did see where it was going, I wanted to desperately backtrack so that it didn’t!!

It did take me a while to get into My Husband’s Lies and work out in my mind who was who and who was with whom, as there were a lot of characters to remember within the first few chapters, but if you’re also struggling then do be aware that it does get easier to distinguish the relationships the more you read. This is a compelling insight into married life that will have you comparing notes with your girlfriends! Caroline England has a great future ahead of her!

Meet the author…

Caroline England
 
Born Yorkshire lass, Caroline studied Law at the University of Manchester and stayed over the border. Caroline was a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer and instigated her jottings when she deserted the law to bring up her three lovely daughters. In addition to the publication of her short story collection, Watching Horsepats Feed the Roses by ACHUKAbooks, Caroline has had short stories and poems published in a variety of literary publications and anthologies. She was shortlisted for the Impress Prize 2015, in the Pulp Idol 2016 finals and long listed for the UK Novel Writing Competition 2017.

Her debut novel, Beneath the Skin, was published by Avon HarperCollins on 5 October 2017. Her second novel My Husband’s Lies will be published by Avon HarperCollins on 17 May 2018.

Rubicon by Ian Patrick #BlogTour @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles

Today I’m on the blog tour for Rubicon by Ian Patrick with an extract for you to enjoy. Many thanks to Emma Welton for inviting me onto the tour!

About this book…

Two cops, both on different sides of the law – both with the same gangland boss in their sights.

Sam Batford is an undercover officer with the Metropolitan Police who will stop at nothing to get his hands on fearsome crime-lord Vincenzo Guardino’s drug supply.

DCI Klara Winter runs a team on the National Crime Agency, she’s also chasing down Guardino, but unlike Sam Batford she’s determined to bring the gangster to justice and get his drugs off the streets.

Set in a time of austerity and police cuts where opportunities for corruption are rife, Rubicon is a tense, dark thriller that is definitely not for the faint hearted.

Extract…

Never wear slippers to a shoeing. Ben Hamer should have listened to this advice but he didn’t.

Big H is down two million. Now, Hamer is no fool. He’s a Yank and works with money. The only issue is, he should have invested in property as Big H had requested. But he hadn’t. That’s where I come in.

I’m not affiliated to the big man but I have been subcontracted, on a few occasions, to rectify business transactions that have gone awry. It’s quite a simple contract; whatever you borrow you must give back with the agreed interest. Hamer is Big H’s accountant. He’d done good work until he decided to work both ends of the chain and start talking to the old bill about Big H’s money. You see, even amongst criminals there’s a code of conduct. Hamer has breached that line.

I have nothing to do with either of them but I do have my own set of morals. Morals are the Velcro of society. I see myself as a twenty-first century bounty hunter. In my work the first law of survival is to stay alive. The first rule of any hunt: Don’t be seen. This applies to the hunted as well as the hunter, that’s why I’ve been so successful. I’ve never met Big H but he knows how to get hold of me.

In the end it’s about discipline and Hamer lacks it. I was raised on discipline; something my old man was keen on. I’ve the buckle scars on my back to prove it. My mum also took her fair share. She shouldn’t have intervened. Childhood prepared me for the army. When I left the service, I was educated for life. Her Majesty also prepared me to kill; another bonus. Second rule: Know your target. The army was keen on this message as friendly fire is frowned upon.

When you’re getting paid to do a job, do it properly. Now this wasn’t too difficult with Hamer.

He’d met me but wouldn’t remember me. I knew Big H didn’t want this done as a knock on the door.

This isn’t an Ikea self-build. The instructions must be clear.

Following him was a piece of piss. He’s an accountant, not a villain. Hamer is slower than an amputeed sloth and this made following him simple. His portly frame exuded an odour that was distinguishable in crowds. He would stop frequently. This is easy to combat on a foot follow but tougher by vehicle. Hamer was often looking over his shoulder when he was out on the capital’s streets, but then, who isn’t in London? Hamer wasn’t aware of me.

Meet the author…

Educated in Nottingham, Ian left school at sixteen. After three years in the Civil Service he moved to London for a career in the Metropolitan Police.

He spent twenty-seven years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command. A career in policing is a career in writing. Ian has been used to carrying a book and pen and making notes.

Now retired, the need to write didn’t leave and evolved into fiction.

Ian’s Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IPatrick_Author

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ian-Patrick/e/B075VB1MP4/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Buy Rubicon direct from Fahrenheit Press:

http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_rubicon.html