The Search Party by Simon Lelic

Today I’m delighted to be sharing my review of The Search Party by Simon Lelic as part of the blog tour. The book was published 14th August by Penguin.

16-year-old Sadie Saunders is missing.

Five friends set out into the woods to find her. 

But they’re not just friends…

THEY’RE SUSPECTS.

You see, this was never a search party. 

It’s a witch hunt. 

And not everyone will make it home alive…

THE CHALK MAN meets THE HUNTING PARTY in this gripping story; witness four suspects as, alongside DI Fleet, you attempt to discover the truth about what happened to Sadie…

The Search Party is a twisty whodunnit told by the suspects themselves as they attempt to explain to DI Fleet what happened when they decide to do what they feel the police can’t, and find their missing friend Sadie Saunders who hasn’t been seen for 6 days. Fleet has his own worries though as he is back in his hometown for this case and it may be difficult for him to keep his personal and professional lives separated, making this case a little bit too close to home for him…

There are multiple narrators here as each of the friends give their own versions of what lead up to their discovery by the police and who’s is the body that they were found beside. Their narratives were often highly chaotic as though you were actually in the disorderly mind of a teenager! And those unreliable narratives keeps the reader guessing until the very end. The last few pages were a whirlwind of information as we finally got to find out what had happened to Sadie and why. I have to say that I didn’t guess, which is always a bonus for me!

It was DI Fleet though who kept me engrossed in this twisty storyline. His sections were my favourite and I became totally invested in his life and his determination to find out the truth about The Search Party. I can’t wait to meet him again in Simon Lelics next book which is already on my radar for next year.

Simon Lelic is the author of The Liar’s Room, The House (a Radio 2 Book Club choice and Observer Thriller of the Month), Rupture (winner of a Betty Trask Award and shortlisted for the John Creasy New Blood Dagger, as well as the Galaxy Book Awards), The Facility and The Child Who (longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2012). The Haven, The Haven: Revolution and The Haven: Deadfall are his first books for young teenagers (11+). His newest novel, The Search Party, will be published in July 2020.

Simon is married, with three children, and lives in Brighton, England. Other than his family, reading is Simon’s biggest passion. He also holds a black belt in karate, in which he trains daily.

You can follow him on Twitter @Simon_Lelic.

Only Human by Diane Chandler @Dchandlerauthor @Blackbird_Bks

Today I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for Only Human by Diane Chandler. The book is published by Blackbird Books on the 8th September and there is a special 99p preorder price at the moment over on Amazon UK.

The Bonds are, seemingly, a tight family unit, until one fateful summer when the temptations of lust and love come for them all

Tiger mum Anna, who gave up her career to build the perfect home life in London’s leafy Chiswick, is shocked to the core when she discovers that her husband of 20 years is having an affair. 

Her daughter meanwhile is transforming into a tricky teen chopping at the apron strings.

Then Jack walks into their lives. Sophie’s first boyfriend is a breath of fresh air for the whole family, and Anna gradually discovers new purpose for herself.

But when more deceit creeps in, tensions soar, and Anna is propelled through a tangled web of secrets and lies towards a devastating climax. 

This tale of love & betrayal, by the winner of the 2016 People’s Book Prize for Fiction and longlisted for The Guardian Not The Booker Prize 2020, is the perfect novel for you if you enjoy intelligent, elegantly-written, novels by authors like Jodi Picoult and Louise Doughty.

There’s probably nothing I can say about Only Human by Diane Chandler that the lovely Anne Williams at Being Anne hasn’t already said! Her review was just perfect and captured everything I wanted to say about this book and more! So make sure you check it out here…

https://beinganne.com/2020/08/review-only-human-by-diane-chandler-dchandlerauthor-blackbird_bks-blogtour-preorder/

I’ve read Moondance by Diane Chandler and it’s one of my favourite books. Her writing is just so wonderfully engaging that I knew I would enjoy Only Human but I have to say that it totally knocked my socks off! Diane Chandler seems to be able to bring her characters to life so vividly that I felt as though I were reading about a friend, someone I already knew quite well, with only having read a few pages. The storyline centres on and around Anna, wife and “tiger mom”, during the summer her teenage daughter sits her GCSEs and turns 16. And I related to Anna immediately! As a wife and mother of girls myself I understood EXACTLY how she was feeling! Diane Chandler was able to show how a woman heading into middle age can start to wonder where she goes next in her life. When your daughter becomes more sexually attractive than you, her mother, and starts pulling away from her as she becomes an independent woman herself, it can leave women feeling useless and unloved as they try to work out their new “role” in life. This should really then become another honeymoon period for parents as they rediscover each other as individuals and not just “mum and dad” but what if your husband has got his second wind for passion with another woman? That’s the dilemma facing Anna when she discovers her husband is having an affair-what should she do now? She has no job (having given up her career to bring up her daughter and be there for her family) so when her daughter brings home her new boyfriend Jack, he starts off a chain of events that will bring to the surface shocking family secrets and lead Anna to make some rather questionable choices! But I couldn’t judge the direction she went in as she searched for meaning and desire in her life-even though it surprised me that the direction she took wasn’t quite the one I had been expecting!

Only Human has a perfectly balanced storyline as Anna also finds purpose in her life when he befriends an old man called Fred. Their encounters were full of humour and a bittersweet emotion that came to a head with his diagnosis of vascular dementia and a heartbreaking and powerfully emotional plotline. Even Freds dog Dougal was portrayed so realistically that when he went for his “haircut” I went completely nuts on behalf of Anna and Fred! I just hope his coat has grown back now! But seriously, the relationship between Fred and Anna was so emotionally gripping that I didn’t want to read it at times due to the direction I knew it had to take.

I can’t recommend Only Human highly enough. I loved every single page, every ( often thoroughly unlikeable!) character and I didn’t want it to ever end. As with other books I’ve loved, the story will keep going in my head with Anna continuing on with her life-just in a parallel world to this one! Definitely one of my favourite books of 2020!

Diane Chandler was a political lobbyist in Brussels and then worked at the European Commission for several years, where she managed overseas aid programmes in Ukraine just after the fall of communism. Back in London, she joined the Department for International Development (DFID) on the Ukraine and then Africa desks. Her first novel, The Road to Donetsk, draws on her experience of managing overseas aid programmes, and won the People’s Book Prize. Her second, Moondance, tackles the emotional impact of IVF fertility treatment on a loving couple. Only Human, her third novel, is about a woman struggling to find meaning in life after her husband cheats on her and her only daughter is about to fly the nest. Published 8th September 2020. Diane co-runs Creative Writing Workshops London with Stephanie Zia of Blackbird Digital Books, and also coaches aspiring writers. She is the host of chiswickbuzz TV Book Club, Words with Wine in W4

The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon by Sarah Steele

If you love taking a journey with the novels of Kristin Hannah or Kathryn Hughes, this novel is for you.

To unravel that long-lost summer, she had to follow the thread…

Florence Connelly is broken hearted. Her marriage has collapsed under the weight of the loss she shares with her husband, and her beloved grandmother has just died. Even the joy she found in dressmaking is gone.

But things change when Flo opens a box of vintage 1960s dress patterns found inside her grandmother’s wardrobe. Inside each pattern packet is a fabric swatch, a postcard from Europe and a photograph of a mysterious young woman, Nancy Moon, wearing the hand-made dress.

Flo discovers that Nancy was a distant relation who took the boat train to Paris in 1962 and never returned. With no one to stay home for, Flo decides to follow Nancy’s thread. She unravels an untold story of love and loss in her family’s past. And begins to stitch the pieces of her own life back together.

What a wonderfully touching, beautifully written debut novel this is from Sarah Steele! Don’t you just love it when a book takes you by surprise and you embark on an unexpectedly moving journey with characters that you’ve fallen in love with? That’s exactly how I felt when I finished The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon-I adored this book so much that I really slowed down my reading towards the end of this gorgeous tale as I desperately tried to delay that inevitable final page and saying goodbye to Nancy and Flo.

This book takes a dual timeline approach to give its storyline an added mystery. In the present Flo has just had to say goodbye to her beloved Grandmother who has passed away. Whilst clearing through her things she discovers a set of dressmaking patterns from the 1960s that each contain a photo of a woman wearing the completed outfit. Flo doesn’t recognise her and her grandmothers friends are surprisingly tight lipped about the mysterious young woman. Flo is struggling with her marriage which has broken down due to an unresolved grief so when a friend suggests she follow Nancy Moons journey around Europe replicating the outfits she made for the places she visited, she decides to take use the opportunity to get away from all her problems. The reader also follows Nancy as she start her journey by visiting Paris in 1962 as she also tries to escape the devastating after effects of a broken heart. What can Flo learn about the mysterious Nancy and how will her journey end? I couldn’t wait to uncover the truth and those hidden secrets from the past.

I loved the idea behind The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon. Combining a love of dressmaking and travel in an uplifting and compelling story of friendship, family and forgiveness worked perfectly and both Flo and Nancy were likeable and relatable characters. I became completely enchanted by Nancy especially, she was such an engaging young woman and I just wanted her to live her best life and be loved as she deserved to be.

The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon is a memorable debut and I absolutely adored it. And throughout the month of September it’s only 99p for the ebook edition which, as the paperback isn’t out till June 2021, is a fantastic opportunity to discover Nancy Moon for yourself.

Highly recommended!

Sarah Steele was the director of Wordfest at Gloucester Cathedral in 2018, which culminated in a suffragette march led by Helen Pankhurst. After training in London as a classical pianist and violinist, Sarah joined the world of publishing as assistant at Hodder and Stoughton. She was for many years a freelance editor. She lives in Stroud. THE MISSING PIECES OF NANCY MOON is her debut novel.

The Diver and the Lover by Jeremy Vine

Today I am sharing my review of The Diver and the Lover as part of the blog tour. The book will be published on Thursday 3rd September.

Soaked in sunlight, love and the mysteries surrounding a famous artist The Diver and the Lover is a novel inspired by true events.
It is 1951 and sisters Ginny and Meredith have travelled from England to Spain in search of distraction and respite. The two wars have wreaked loss and deprivation upon the family and the spectre of Meredith’s troubled childhood continues to haunt them. Their journey to the rugged peninsula of Catalonia promises hope and renewal.

While there they discover the artist Salvador Dali is staying in nearby Port Lligat. Meredith is fascinated by modern art and longs to meet the famous surrealist.

Dali is embarking on an ambitious new work, but his headstrong male model has refused to pose. A replacement is found, a young American waiter with whom Ginny has struck up a tentative acquaintance. 

The lives of the characters become entangled as family secrets, ego and the dangerous politics of Franco’s Spain threaten to undo the fragile bonds that have been forged.

A powerful story of love, sacrifice and the lengths we will go to for who – or what – we love.

The Diver and the Lover has the most beautiful cover that draws you inside to an equally gorgeous storyline within. If you’re a fan of having your historical fiction woven around real events, people and places then this book will be one you need to put on your preorder list. I loved how the author explains at the front of the book, rather than the back, the seed that sprouted into his own version of events surrounding the painting of Christ of Saint John of The Cross in 1951 by Salvador Dali. And what follows is an emotional story of love, obsession and tragedy that will become your own personal obsession whilst reading it.

The relationship between the two sisters Meredith and Ginny lies at the heart of this novel but the real star is the painting itself. If you’ve never heard of it or seen it yourself (I used to live near Glasgow so often went along to admire its strength and beauty at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum) then make sure you google it so you can have it in your mind throughout your reading. I hadn’t really looked any further into its history so The Diver and The Lover was an interesting read for me from that point of view. And to have it as the point of focus in both of the timelines worked particularly well as I tried to work out what happened back in 1950s Spain and how it related to the incident that has just happened in the Kelvingrove Gallery. The two sisters are both very different characters and it was difficult to imagine that they would have anything in common due to those differences but it also became obvious that the secrets they both held onto would quickly resonate throughout their encounters in Catalonia.

Jeremy Vines has shown me a completely different side to his talents here and the tv presenter has written a beautifully evocative and intriguing storyline. The plot is easy to follow and his characters were brought perfectly to life. It is his love letter to a stunning piece of artwork that has now, hopefully, gathered new admirers from far and wide. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have already sent my copy to my Mum as I know she will love it too.


Jeremy Vine is one of the UK’s best-known broadcasters. He presents a weekday show on Radio 2, radio’s most popular news programme. He also presents Jeremy Vine on Channel 5, a daily current affairs programme, and he fronts Eggheads, one of the longest-running quiz shows in British TV history.
Jeremy is an accomplished journalist and writer and has previously published two works of non-fiction.
He lives in Chiswick with his wife and their two daughters

Follow the rest of the tour here…

A Ruined Girl by Kate Simants #aruinedgirl

I’m delighted to be on the blog tour today for A Ruined Girl by Kate Simants.


TWO BOYS LOVED HER.

BUT WHICH ONE KILLED HER?

On a dark night two years ago, teenagers Rob and Paige broke into a house. They beat and traumatised the occupants, then left, taking only a bracelet. No one knows why, not even Luke, Rob’s younger brother and Paige’s confidant. Paige disappeared after that night. And having spent her life in children’s homes and the foster system, no one cared enough to look for her.

Now Rob is out of prison, and probation officer Wren Reynolds has been tasked with his rehabilitation. But Wren has her own reasons for taking on Rob as a client. Convinced that Rob knows what happened to Paige, and hiding a lifetime of secrets from her heavily pregnant wife, Wren’s obsession with finding a missing girl may tear her family apart…

Lock Me In, the debut novel by Kate Simants was one of my favourite books last year and so I was thrilled when I got a review copy of A Ruined Girl. To begin with I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it as much as Lock Me In (which has a fabulous premise!) as the storyline was very different but gradually this book became a gripping addiction for me and I found myself completely immersed in its cleverly crafted characters and their lives.

There is a very sad, but unfortunately all too realistic, background to A Ruined Girl. The care system contributed greatly towards what happens to Paige, a young girl who goes missing after she commits a burglary. This child has been moved around the system and is desperate for love and attention after being removed from her abusive home. But what happened to her? Her partner in crime from the burglary has recently been released from jail and Wren Reynolds is in charge of his rehabilitation which involves talking to the victims of his crime. But with a heavily pregnant partner and secrets of her own to maintain, can Wren remain true to herself and keep her own family safe from harm?

I found Wren to be a complex character, one I wasn’t sure whether or not I liked to begin with as something felt “off” with her. As with any good protagonist, work seemed to come before her personal life and I just wanted to scream at her at times! But as the threads of the plot started to come together I found myself cheering her on to do the right thing for the young girl that no one seemed to care had gone missing. There’s some distressing themes under the spotlight here but Kate Simants handled them with sensitivity whilst never shirking away from the horror of the storyline.

A Ruined Girl was a twisty and unexpectedly emotional read that kept me guessing until the very end. I loved it!

Kate Simants is a writer of psychological thrillers and crime fiction. 

After a decade working in the UK television industry, specialising in investigative documentaries, police shows and undercover work, Kate relocated from London to Bristol to concentrate on writing. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Brunel Univeristy (2007) and another in Crime Fiction from the University of East Anglia (2018), where she was the recipient of the UEA Literary Festival Scholarship. Her novel LOCK ME IN was shortlisted for the 2015 Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger, and is published by HarperCollins. 

Kate won the 2019 Bath Novel Award with her second novel A RUINED GIRL, which is published by Viper/Serpent’s Tail in August 2020. 

Kate’s agent is Veronique Baxter at David Higham Associates.

Imperfect Women by Araminta Hall

I’m delighted to be sharing my review today of Imperfect Women by Araminta Hall as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Francesca Pearce for my blog tour invite and review copy of the book.

YOU’D DO ANYTHING FOR YOUR FRIENDS. BUT WOULD YOU TELL THEM THE TRUTH?

‘Love this book’ Elisabeth Moss
‘Rare and complex’ Marian Keyes
‘A dark, delicious thriller’ Louise O’Neill
‘Immersive and unsettling.’ Sarah Vaughn
‘An excellent twist.‘ Dorothy Koomson
‘Beautifully written’ Samantha Downing
‘A masterclass’ Simon Lelic
‘Immersive, intelligent and gripping’ S.E. Lynes

Nancy, Eleanor and Mary met at college and have been friends ever since, through marriages, children and love affairs. 

Eleanor is calm and driven, with a deep sense of responsibility, a brilliant career and a love of being single and free – despite her soft spot for her best friend’s husband.

Mary is deeply intelligent with a love of learning, derailed by three children and a mean, demanding husband – she is now unrecognisable to herself and her friends.

Nancy is seemingly perfect: bright, beautiful and rich with an adoring husband and daughter – but beneath the surface her discontent is going to affect them all in terrible ways. 

When Nancy is murdered, Eleanor and Mary must align themselves to uncover her killer. And as each of their stories unfold, they realise that there are many different truths to find, and many different ways to bring justice for those we love…

Everyone wants a perfect life. But there is no such thing…

Oh this book is just gorgeous! I loved everything about it! From the stunning cover to the exquisite writing and the absorbing storyline, Imperfect Women sets a high standard amongst its competitors on the bookstore shelves. I was gripped by the story of these three very different friends and the ties that kept them together-the silk ribbons of friendship that no matter how frayed they got, remained in place. That is until one of them was murdered…

Eleanor, Mary and Nancy have been friends since university. They all have very different lives but have remained close to each other and their families. But when Nancy is found dead it leads Eleanor and Mary to look deeper into her life. Nancy seemed to have it all-the looks, the gorgeous husband who adored her, intelligent and wealthy-so she was living the perfect life, right? WRONG! Envied by those who knew her, Nancy should have been the happiest woman alive but even if you have it all, you always seem to want more. Perfection just keeps on needing to be fed. This book gives a brilliant insight into how, as women, we see what we want to see even in those women we are closest to.

I loved how the author understood the friendships that get us through the toughest times in our lives as there’s often still a barrier as though we can’t let anyone see into the very depths of who we truly are. Mary was my favourite character and the one that I identified with the most as she felt like someone I would like to know and be friends with. I wanted to offer her the support I felt she was lacking from her friendship group.

For me it wasn’t so much about finding out the secrets in Nancy’s life but uncovering what it is that draws women to each other and how that changes and adapts throughout their lives. And how we are all carrying around guilt about something when we should be able to let it all go and just…be!!

Imperfect Women is darkly inspired and insightful, beautifully crafted and deliciously compelling. Araminta Hall has exceeded all my expectations for this book. I loved it.

Araminta Hall has worked as a writer, journalist and teacher. Her first novel, Everything & Nothing, was published in 2011 and became a Richard & Judy read that year. Her second, Dot, was published in 2013, and her third, Our Kind of Cruelty, in 2018.

She has taught creative writing for many years at a variety of places, including New Writing South in Brighton, where she lives with her husband and three children. 

Contact Araminta on Twitter at @aramintahall

Innocent by Erin Kinsley @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour today for Innocent by Erin Kinsley. Many thanks to Anne Cater for my blog tour invite and to Headline for my review copy of the book.

A MURDER TEARS A SMALL TOWN APART. BUT WHO DID IT?

‘Brilliant, compelling, heart-wrenching writing.’
PETER JAMES

The pretty market town of Sterndale is a close-knit community where everyone thinks they know everyone else. But at a lavish summer wedding a local celebrity is discovered slumped in the gardens, the victim of a violent assault that leads to a murder investigation.

As the police search for answers, suspicion and paranoia build – and the lives of the locals are turned upside down. Secrets that lurk beneath the pristine façade of Sterndale come to light as detectives close in on the truth…

A gripping and moving thriller with the emotional drama of series like BROADCHURCH and LIAR this is the perfect read for fans of Cara Hunter, Heidi Perks and Claire Douglas.

I loved Found by Erin Kinsley last year and so was really keen to read Innocent! I love the emotions that this author brings to her writing and by the end of Innocent my heart was breaking! The final few pages were just so full of feeling that tears were rolling down my face as I read slower and slower so as not to end the experience. And I’m so glad that I stuck with it as at the beginning I actually struggled and had thoughts of abandoning it! So if you feel the same then please don’t worry, persevere and it will all be worth it.

One of the reasons I struggled at the beginning of Innocent was the amount of characters that we are introduced to. The main focus is Tristan, Izzy and their daughter Flora who are attending a local wedding. Tristan is the local celebrity in this market town and is well known and well loved. But maybe not, as after Tristan disappears at the wedding party, he is found unconscious after an attempt on his life. What follows is a gripping crime thriller with lots of suspects who all have a connection to Tristan and may not be as fond of him as they appear. The police investigation was my favourite part as I loved the relationships between the individual police officers and how they worked together to get their result-good old fashioned police work and no last minute revelations with an “out there” motive…the clues are there for us all to follow. That’s not to say there aren’t a few red herrings along the way though!

Innocent is a intricately plotted, moving crime story that felt like it could happen to anyone. The market town where it was set reminded me of a market town very near to where I live and I felt connected to the neighbourhood and the community who lived there. The small town mentality stood out for me as the gossip wagons rolled out following the attack on Tristan and the following investigation. So yes there are a lot of characters at the start to get used to but that’s what happens in a busy town.

After a wobbly start, I ended up not being able to put this book down until I found out what had really happened to Tristan that night and why. So definitely recommend this one if you like your crime to be a little more distinctive. Enjoy!

Erin Kinsley is a full-time writer. She grew up in Yorkshire and currently lives in East Anglia.

Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi


All murder mysteries follow a simple set of rules.

Grant McAllister, an author of crime fiction and professor of mathematics, once sat down and worked them all out.

But that was thirty years ago. Now he’s living a life of seclusion on a quiet Mediterranean island – until Julia Hart, a sharp, ambitious editor, knocks on his door. His early work is being republished and together the two of them must revisit those old stories.

An author, hiding from his past, and an editor, probing inside it.

But as she reads the stories, Julia is unsettled to realise that there are parts that don’t make sense. Intricate clues that seem to reference a real murder.

One that’s remained unsolved for thirty years . . .

If Julia wants answers, she must triumph in a battle of wits with a dangerously clever adversary.

But she must tread carefully: she knows there’s a mystery, but she doesn’t yet realise there’s already been a murder . . .

There is a huge buzz around this book at the moment and it’s certainly a well deserved one! Eight Detectives is a wonderfully unique and enjoyable book that is unlike anything I’ve read before whilst still being a brilliant homage to the crime novels of old. You will recognise the nods to the best crime writers of the past so if you are a fan of Christie, Highsmith etc then you are going to absolutely love this book.

The plot takes place on an island in the Mediterranean where editor Julia has gone to meet Grant McAllister, the man who says he worked out the mathematical pattern of all murder mysteries and has previously written a book containing all the elements needed to commit the perfect crime. The book is to be republished but as Julia goes through each individual story with Grant in preparation for this, something appears very out of place…

I thoroughly enjoyed the different short stories that Julia was reading through with Grant, whilst all the while wondering how they were connected and why. This is such a clever concept for a book and I bow down to the genius of Alex Pavesi who has managed to deliver his idea perfectly with a stylish narrative and intriguing storyline. I was looking for clues throughout but really I should have just sat back and enjoyed the journey as the finish line was an absolute joy to reach. That was when everything came together and I had to give a little excited round of applause to say “Bravo!” I had that same feeling I had at the end of my first experience of The Mousetrap at the theatre-thrilled to see how everything had come together but with an added smug satisfaction that now I knew the secrets that others were still to uncover.

Eight Detectives is a gripping tale of love, loss and murder. I loved it’s originality and it’s theatrical confidence whilst still maintaining its conventional roots. Definitely one of the books of 2020.

Alex Pavesi lives in London, where he writes full time. He previously worked as a software engineer and before that studied mathematics to PhD level, during which time he worked as a part-time bookseller. Eight Detectives is his first novel.

Say No More (Sacramento Series #2) by Karen Rose @KarenRoseBooks @headlinepg @damppebbles #saynomore #giveaway

I’m delighted to be closing down the Say No More blog tour today with not only my review but a fantastic giveaway as well! Thanks so much to Emma Welton of damppebbles blog tours for my tour invite and my review copy of the book.

If they ever catch you, say nothing. Admit nothing. Never tell.

Mercy Callahan never thought she’d be able to talk about her past. When she arrives in Sacramento to make peace with her brother Gideon, and to help find the brutal cult that took away her childhood, she is finally ready to talk. But when Ephraim Burton – the man who made her life a living hell – follows her there, she realises she might never be safe. 

Rafe Sokolov would do anything to have Mercy back in his life and would go to any length to protect her. But when it becomes apparent that Ephraim is more determined than ever to get Mercy back, even Rafe might not be able to stop the trail of destruction he leaves in his wake. As Ephraim draws near, it’s clear it’s not just Mercy who is in danger; those closest to her are firmly in his sights.

Will Mercy sacrifice herself to help bring Ephraim down? Or will he finally get what he’s always wanted…

Don’t worry if you’ve not read book one in the series, there aren’t any “spoilers” in Say No More although it is a bit of a continuation of Say You’re Sorry, which is the first book in the Sacramento series, so I would probably recommend reading book one before book 2 (and if you check out further down my page you get a chance to win BOTH books!). I’ve been a Karen Rose fan now for more years than I care to remember and she is still an author I get very excited about when I know she has a new book out and Say No More was high on my anticipated reads of 2020. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint!

Mercy hasn’t had the best start in life and it hasn’t been easy for her recently either with misunderstandings sending her running away from the brother she has only recently been reconciled with. But now she’s back with Gideon which also means she has returned to the man with whom she has incredible chemistry-his best friend Rafe. The reason behind her brave return is that they are trying to find Eden, the cult from which Mercy and Gideon both escaped from as children. But someone is determined to take Mercy back and they don’t care who they kill to get her…

As usual, Karen Rose mixes her own special blend of action and romance with great expertise and a genuine love for her characters. I adored Rafe and his family-especially his parents who remained true to their background and beliefs, raising their children to put family first. When Mercy became part of this large family they immediately took her under their wing and welcomed her like they did Gideon previously. But Mercy could be very difficult to like at times, which was probably due to her upbringing, so I was thrilled that she was accepted so readily and without judgement.

It was fascinating to have an insight into an alternative lifestyle especially one so toxic and rigid as Eden where there was a vicious hierarchy that terrified everyone, including me! There were so many horrible murders committed by the man seeking Mercy that I had to stop and ask myself why at one point. What was it about Mercy that was so important that so many were losing their lives because of it? Karen Rose has put plenty of detail into this storyline so it feels as though you’re really involved in the action as it progresses. And I guarantee that your heart will be stolen by Amos and his daughter Abigail!

The ending ties up most ends but it is left on a little bit of a cliffhanger, leaving the way open for book 3. I hope to meet some of the characters from Say No More when the series continues-I was sad to say goodbye to them after the epilogue so fingers crossed!

Say No More is a big book with a big heart. It’s gripping, although sometimes disturbing in its content, but the theme of family ran through the pages like words through a stick of rock and gave it a heartwarming message of love, forgiveness and understanding.

Definitely recommend for fans old and new! And if you’re new to Karen Rose then check out my giveaway for a fantastic start to your Karen Rose obsession!

Karen Rose was introduced to suspense and horror at the tender age of eight when she accidentally read Poe’s ‘The Pit and The Pendulum’ and was afraid to go to sleep for years. She now enjoys writing books that make other people afraid to go to sleep.
Karen lives in Florida with her husband of twenty years and their children. When she’s not writing, she enjoys travelling, karate and, though not a popular Florida pastime, skiing.

Now for the exciting bit! Headline and Karen Rose in connection with damppebbles blog tours are offering the chance to win, not just one, but TWO Karen Rose books! One winner will have the chance to win a paperback copy of the first book in the Sacramento series Say You’re Sorry AND a hardback copy of Say No More. All you need to do is to retweet my pinned tweet over on Twitter (it’s @jocatrobertson if you don’t already follow me there) and follow @KarenRoseBooks and a winner will be picked at random by the publisher. Open to U.K. residents only sorry.

Nowhere To Be Found by Louisa De Lange

Today I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for Nowhere To Be Found by Louisa De Lange. Huge thank you to the lovely Alainna at Orion for the blog tour invite and for sending a review copy of the book.

LUCY IS MISSING
Her husband Scott claims to have no idea where she is. But his behaviour suggests otherwise, and rumours begin to swirl about the seemingly perfect couple…

A BODY IS FOUND
DS Kate Munro is already investigating another murder, when she learns that it was Lucy who first reported the body of the victim floating in a lake.

AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT
But with Lucy still missing and both investigations leading Kate into dangerous waters, she must quickly piece together the link between the two crimes. Before it’s too late…

I am thoroughly enjoying this crime series featuring DS Kate Monroe by Louisa de Lange and was really looking forward to this second book. Kate is a wonderfully complex character and we see her both at work and at “play” and I always find her personal life just as intriguing as the cases she is in charge of. If you’ve read the first book then you will know about her relationship dilemma and book two continues that thread.

The opening scenes in Nowhere to be Found were truly shocking as a woman swimming outdoors finds herself entangled quite literally in a murder case when she finds a body. When it comes to Kate’s attention that the woman has now been reported missing by her husband, she comes to the conclusion that there is no such thing as coincidences when it comes to murder and ties the two cases together. It’s a complex case but the author unravels it slowly and steadily, raising the tension as the clues all come together. There were a few little twists that I hadn’t been expecting, especially those surrounding Kate and when one of the characters puts themself in serous danger I could hardly breathe as I awaited their fate.

Nowhere to be Found is a gripping thriller with lots of tense, action packed moments towards the end. Kate does tend to barge ahead thinking she knows best and it often gets her into trouble but ultimately she does it to get the job done. She could come across as quite unlikeable because of this and other little foibles in her personality but I like her and can’t wait to see what she does next!

Louisa de Lange studied Psychology at the University of Southampton and has lived in and around the city ever since. She works as a freelance copywriter and editor, and when she’s not writing, she can be found pounding the streets in running shoes or swimming in muddy lakes.