The Summer Trip by Isabelle Broom

What if your life worked out perfectly . . . for someone else?

It’s been 18 years since Ava spent the summer on the Greek island of Corfu, but she has never forgotten what happened during those months – or who she left behind.

Now single, estranged from her family, and preparing to wave her daughter off to university, Ava’s life seems a million miles away from the one she dreamed about as a teenager – a life now being lived by her sister instead.

When Ava decides to return to Corfu for the summer, she knows she must finally face the place and the people that broke her heart. But with old resentments festering, long-buried secrets lurking, and familiar feelings resurfacing, it looks set to be a holiday that will change all their lives forever. . .

Isabelle Broom has swept me up from the cold English summertime and deposited me on the island of Corfu for her latest sumptuous book The Summer Trip. I love Greece, especially Corfu which has a very special place in my heart as we honeymooned there 34 years ago and have been frequenting it as a favourite holiday destination ever since. But Covid brought our Greek love affair to an abrupt halt and this will be our third summer without a visit to our spiritual home from home. So I was thrilled to receive a review copy of The Summer Trip and return to Corfu-if only between the pages of this fictional escape.

Ava and her daughter Rosie are looking forward to a summer spent in the Grecian sunshine-a place that evokes very emotional memories for Ava. Her sister Mattie is living on the island and living the life that Ava wishes had been hers. But their arrival doesn’t go as planned when Ava realises she has been the victim of her mother’s interference…

This is a beautifully written book with strong and relatable female characters facing each other and themselves in an enviable environment. If I closed my eyes I could practically smell the souvlaki cooking on the grill and feel the sun gently crisping up my skin! But Ava couldn’t look beyond the envy she felt about her own circumstances and what might have been. I actually really liked her and could see and understand her actions in a way that others couldn’t due to her lack of honesty about the past.

The Summer Trip is the perfect holiday read for those escaping to the sunshine abroad this summer but for those of us not leaving our UK shores, it will transport you to the stunning island paradise of Corfu. This is escapism at its very best and I found myself not wanting to leave the characters even after the book had finished-I wanted to stay with Ava and make sure she got the life she deserved.

Highly recommended!

Isabelle Broom was born in Cambridge nine days before the 1980s began and studied Media Arts in London before a 12-year stint at heat, the UK”s top celebrity magazine. Always happiest when she’s off on an adventure, Isabelle travels all over the world seeking out settings for her escapist fiction novels. Currently based in Suffolk, where she shares a home with two dogs and approximately 467 spiders, Isabelle fits her writing around a busy freelance career and tries her best not to be crushed to oblivion under her ever-growing pile of to-be-read books.

Find Isabelle on Twitter @Isabelle_Broom, Instagram @Isabelle_Broom_Author, Facebook/IsabelleBroomAuthor and on YouTube/IsabelleBroomAuthor, where she hosts a weekly author interview series called Hello (Again). To learn more about her books, view location galleries, read excerpts and sign up to her monthly newsletter, visit her website http://www.isabellebroom.com

Fatal Witness by Robert Bryndza

Detective Erika Foster is back in FATAL WITNESS – with a chilling new serial killer case in Robert Bryndza’s multi-million bestselling crime thriller series!

How do you find a killer who has destroyed all the evidence?

Detective Erika Foster is on a late-night walk near her new house in Blackheath when she stumbles upon the brutal murder of Vicky Clarke, a true-crime podcaster.

Erika is assigned to the case and discovers that Vicky had been working on a new podcast episode about a sexual predator who preys on young female students around South London, staking out his victims in their halls of residence before breaking in at the dead of night.

When Erika discovers that Vicky’s notes and sound recordings were stolen from her flat at the time of her murder, it leads her to believe that Vicky was close to unmasking the attacker, and she was killed to guarantee her silence.

The case takes on a disturbing twist when the body of a young Bulgarian student doctor is discovered in the same building, and this makes Erika question everything she thought she knew about Vicky. With very little evidence, the clock is ticking to find the killer before he strikes again.

I was so excited when I heard that Robert Bryndza was bringing back one of my favourite detectives of all time-Erika Foster. And in Fatal Witness she makes a spectacular return with a twisty and compelling new case.

Erika has now moved into her new home but she doesn’t get much time to do any home improvements or even get any new furniture due to stumbling across a murder case whilst out walking near her new house. This leads her to a prime suspect very quickly when one of the victims neighbours is stopped after displaying some very suspicious behaviour. But Erika is going to find out that not all is as it seems…

It was wonderful being back in the company of such a familiar character and within only a few pages it was like she’d never been away-rather like seeing friends again after lockdown finished and being back in that friendship zone again before you know it! She’s such an intriguing character, yet she also wears her emotions more freely than before. The whole gang are also back but if you’ve never read any of the books in the series before, I must say that this can be read as a stand-alone without any problems at all.

The case itself is complex and twisty but easy to become engaged with as the clues lead Erika round the houses! And talking of houses, her new abode indirectly leads her to changes in her personal life which pleased me no end! No spoilers from me though!

Fatal Witness has an unsettling storyline and some disturbing scenes that made my blood run cold at times. This is a serial killer determined to avoid detection at all costs so nothing will stand in their way and that includes Erika herself so be prepared!

I had high expectations for Fatal Witness but thankfully it totally lived up to them. Robert Bryndza has delivered a gripping new story for one of my favourite detectives and I absolutely loved it! He writes such fabulously strong and positive female characters so make sure you read both this series and the Kate Marshall one with is also brilliant!

Robert Bryndza is an international bestselling author, best known for his page-turning crime and thriller novels, which have sold over five million copies.

His crime debut, The Girl in the Ice was released in February 2016, introducing Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster. Within five months it sold one million copies, reaching number one in the Amazon UK, USA and Australian charts. To date, The Girl in the Ice has sold over 1.5 million copies in the English language and has been sold into translation in 29 countries. It was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & Thriller (2016), the Grand prix des lectrices de Elle in France (2018), and it won two reader voted awards, The Thrillzone Awards best debut thriller in The Netherlands (2018) and The Dead Good Papercut Award for best page turner at the Harrogate Crime Festival (2016).

Robert has released a further five novels in the Erika Foster series, The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath, Cold Blood and Deadly Secrets, all of which have been global bestsellers, and in 2017 Last Breath was a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Mystery and Thriller. Fatal Witness, the seventh Erika Foster novel, is now available to pre-order and will be published 7th July 2022.

Most recently, Robert created a new crime thriller series based around the central character Kate Marshall, a police officer turned private detective. The first book, Nine Elms, was an Amazon USA #1 bestseller and an Amazon UK top five bestseller, and the series has been sold into translation in 18 countries. The second book in the series is the global bestselling, Shadow Sands and the third book, Darkness Falls, has just been published.

Robert was born in Lowestoft, on the east coast of England. He studied at Aberystwyth University, and the Guildford School of Acting, and was an actor for several years, but didn’t find success until he took a play he’d written to the Edinburgh Festival. This led to the decision to change career and start writing. He self-published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels, before switching to writing crime. Robert lives with his husband in Slovakia, and is lucky enough to write full-time.

You can find out more about Robert and his books at http://www.robertbryndza.com

What I Hid From You by Heleen Kist @LoveBooksTours

She thought she was her own worst enemy … until the real one came after her

Traumatised by the death of a patient in her chair, Glaswegian dentist Radha Bakshi succumbs to an addiction to Valium she can’t acknowledge, even to herself.

The pills take the edge off trying to be the consummate professional, perfect daughter, devoted wife and a not-too-embarrassing mother to her teenage son.

When increased scrutiny of her work forces her to find a new source of supply, she stumbles into the menacing clutches of blackmailing drug dealers.

A mistake that could cost her everything.

A gripping psychological thriller about the sadly common, insidious substance abuse among healthcare workers and the complexity of familial relationships as children grow up.

I’ve enjoyed previous books by Heleen Kist so I knew her newest book What I Hid From You was one I wanted to read so huge thanks to Kelly Lacey at Love Books Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour and arranging a review copy for me.

Someone told me once that the suicide rate amongst dentists was the highest of any other profession. Now I don’t know if that’s true or an urban myth but I do know that it’s an incredibly stressful job-look at how many of us hate going to the dentist! The opening of What I Hid From You introduces the reader to Radha, a dentist from Glasgow who is struggling to cope with the death of patient in her chair. This trauma has left with with an obviously undiagnosed case of PTSD and to help herself deal with those flashbacks she has become addicted to Valium. Radha felt very familiar to me-a mother struggling to be the best at her job, a good wife and mother plus being a daughter to make her father proud. Her relationship with her son became a large part of the storyline as she felt she was losing him and was desperate to have back the bond she had with him when younger. Heleen made her so relatable and I felt every panicky moment alongside her when her drug addiction starts to affect all areas of her life.

Family relationships are at the heart of this suspenseful thriller. It’s beautifully written and expertly delivers a strong connection to the characters. And as the plot line descends towards its shocking and dramatic conclusion, I found myself slowing down unwilling to end that connection. A compelling and honest look at the effects of trauma on family life.

Heleen Kist is a Dutch, formerly globetrotting career woman who fell in love with a Scotsman and his country, and now writes about its (sometimes scary) people from her garden office in Glasgow.

She was chosen as an up-and-coming new author at Bloody Scotland 2018. Her debut, ‘In Servitude’, won the silver medal for Best European Fiction at the Independent Publishers Book Awards in the USA and was shortlisted for The Selfies awarded at London Book Fair. Her feminist thriller ‘Stay Mad, Sweetheart’ was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and won third place in the inaugural Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year award 2020. ‘What I Hid From You’ is her third novel, set next door to ‘In Servitude’ – for fun.

Heleen hopes you enjoy her writing, and would love to hear from you on twitter (@hkist), Faceboook (@heleenkistauthor) or Goodreads. You can also sign up to her newsletter on http://www.heleenkist.com.

The Ex-Husband by Samantha Hayes @bookouture

You thought you were safe. Until he moved in next door…

I haven’t lived here long. The house is small and a little rundown, but each piece of faded floral wallpaper I peel away feels like unwrapping the second chance I never thought I’d get. I’m finally free to wear what I want, and I don’t flinch when I accidently burn dinner. My new home is warm, and the kids are safe inside. Anywhere would feel idyllic after the nightmare marriage I’ve just escaped.

But then I see my ex-husband Craig stroll past my window and let himself into the house next door. Fear chokes me. How did he find me? Does he want me back, or to destroy me for good?

As the removals van pulls away, Craig tells me it’s just a coincidence, that we can all get along and be good neighbours. But at night I lie awake listening to the sound of laughter and lovemaking through the thin wall that separates us, wondering if his new girlfriend is safe. And in the morning, I rifle through his trash, trying to guess his next move. I know how crazy I look, but I’d do anything to protect my children.

Weeks later, when the night air fills with smoke, and this quiet street dances with blue and red flashing police lights, all the secrets behind our two closed doors will be revealed. But after everything that’s happened, will anyone believe I’m innocent.

OMG what did I just read?! I absolutely adore Samantha Hayes books and have been a fan for years but this has to be her best one yet!! I physically couldn’t put it down and was still reading it at 2 in the morning as the twists just got bigger and better with every turn of the page! Make sure you clear your entire day when you pick up The Ex-Husband because it’s the most addictive book I’ve read this year!

The storyline was very clever here. We’ve all heard about nightmare neighbours from hell but what if that neighbour were your ex and his new partner? And he wants you all to get along for the sake of your children but your past abusive relationship makes it hard to trust anyone let alone the man you moved away from… Leah has a good life and is thriving after her divorce. She has her own business, lives in the same village as her parents and has developed a live of gardening and growing her own vegetables-she even keeps chickens! But that ideal life is shaken when one day she watches a furniture van unload next door and realised that her abusive ex-husband is now her next door neighbour. And as the plot progresses, it becomes very difficult not to feel very uneasy as everyone seems to believe the lies Craig is spreading about her. It is affecting her new relationship as well (which seems to be over before it really began) so will she ever be free from the hold Craig has over her?

I actually found myself getting really angry and frustrated whilst reading this which isn’t like me at all! But as Leah’s support network disappeared I found myself feeling so helpless on her behalf! Craig is a vile character with a narcissistic personality and so perfectly portrayed that my emotions just got the better of me! To evoke that level of frustration is so clever and has the plot line developed, I found myself wondering how long it would take for Craig to get his comeuppance or if he even would! And as the plot line delivered twist upon twist before delivering a couple of whoppers towards the end, I began to wonder if I had got it wrong…

The Ex-Husband is a brilliant book-it’s a gripping psychological thriller with a compelling storyline and some gasp out loud twists. I highly recommend it!

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.

Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Samantha Hayes here:

Buy Link:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B09YFJT3Q4social

Audio:

UK: zpr.io/sG8A59cgWNmK
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Nothing Else by Louise Beech @orendabooks @RandomTTours

Heather Harris is a piano teacher and professional musician, whose quiet life revolves around music, whose memories centre on a single song that haunts her. A song she longs to perform again. A song she wrote as a child, to drown out the violence in their home. A song she played with her little sister, Harriet.

But Harriet is gone … she disappeared when their parents died, and Heather never saw her again.

When Heather is offered an opportunity to play piano on a cruise ship, she leaps at the chance. She’ll read her recently released childhood care records by day – searching for clues to her sister’s disappearance – and play piano by night … coming to terms with the truth about a past she’s done everything to forget.

An exquisitely moving novel about surviving devastating trauma, about the unbreakable bond between sisters, Nothing Else is also a story of courage and love, and the power of music to transcend – and change – everything

I adore this authors books and devour them as soon as they come through the letterbox. Every book is so different but their common theme is usually family and relationships as Louise Beech understands what makes us human (different book I know but it’s title sums up perfectly what Louise does!) and uses her poignant and perfectly pitched prose to unravel the complexities of our connections with others. Every book she has written seems to delve deeply into my own emotions and Nothing Else was no different.

Heather lives a quiet life with no children or family, just an ex-husband and a best friend. Her parents died when she was young and her sister Harriet disappeared when they were sent to a childrens home. So when her friend encourages her to take a job on a cruise ship as their resident piano player, she decides to take a chance and do something very much out of her comfort zone. Heather is a talented musician and as we flash back to her life before tragedy takes hold, we see where her love of music and performing comes from and why it is so important to her now. There are obviously some very distressing issues covered here-domestic violence and the care system in the UK-but Louise handles these perfectly using her conscious flow of words to show the horror of what Heather goes through but through the eyes of her devotion to her mother, her sister and her music.

I found the parts where Heather gets hold of her care records incredibly moving. These documents were very clinical and of their time so I found it quite heartbreaking to read them. But I loved seeing Heather change during her time on the cruise ship as she gradually tries to unravel the reasons for Harriet’s disappearance by reading her records for the first time. Her emotions started to unlock her years of self protection and memories came flooding back.

Obviously music is at the heart of Nothing Else which is also the name of the song Heather composed and played with Harriet by her side. I could almost hear the piano playing as she once again reached a place where the music became the beating heart of who she was. Louise has produced a playlist for anyone who wants or needs to hear the exact music she writes about here-a wonderfully varied range from classical to modern that works beautifully with the storyline. Music is such a wonderful counsellor, opening the soul to confession and forgiveness, delivering therapy to those who often don’t even realise they need it. Music makes us smile, relax and cry-a powerful distraction for the mind and used brilliantly as the pivotal role in Nothing Else.

I absolutely loved this-the relationship between two sisters, supporting each other through their music and the love they have for each other, felt emotionally overwhelming at times but that’s because it so authentic. It’s a beautifully written pilgrimage of self discovery, emotionally lyrical, delivering a novel that sometimes felt too personal to read. Louise Beech has done it again and written a book that will be appearing all over those “Best of 2022” lists at the end of the year and I felt very privileged to read it.

Louise’s debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers’ pick in 2015 and a top ten bestseller on Amazon. The Mountain in my Shoe longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2016. The Sunday Mirror called Maria in the Moon ‘quirky, darkly comic, original and heartfelt’. It was also a Must Read in the Sunday Express and a Book of the Year at LoveReadingUK. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was described as ‘engrossing and captivating’ by the Daily Express. It also shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year and longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019. Call Me Star Girl hit number one on Kobo. It also longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize and won the Best magazine Big Book Award 2019. This Is How We Are Human was a Clare Mackintosh August Book of the Month 2021. My memoir Daffodils is out now in audiobook, and novel Nothing Else is published in June.

Link to her website – http://louisebeech.co.uk/

The Guest House by Robin Morgan-Bentley @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Guest House today as it’s also publication day! Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for my invite onto the tour!

KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE.
WHATEVER THE COST…

Jamie and Victoria are expecting their first baby.

With a few weeks to go, they head off for a final weekend break in a remote part of the North Pennines. The small and peaceful guesthouse is the ideal location to unwind together before becoming parents. Upon arrival, they are greeted by Barry and Fiona, the older couple who run the guesthouse. They cook them dinner and show them to their room before retreating to bed themselves.

The next morning, Jamie and Victoria wake to find the house deserted. Barry and Fiona are nowhere to be seen. All the doors are locked. Both their mobile phones and car keys have disappeared. Even though it’s a few weeks early, Victoria knows the contractions are starting.

The baby is coming, and there’s no way out.

The Guest House is a brilliantly paced, addictive read that I sat and read in one session-NOTHING was going to tear me away from this book once I’d started it! The plot line is an imaginative and intriguing idea from the start as married couple Jamie and Victoria decide to have a “babymoon” a few weeks before their must wanted and longed for first child arrives. They have everything ready for his arrival (including his name) so a little break away will ease them into their new lives as parents with a relaxing stay in an isolated guesthouse. Unfortunately, the morning after they arrive, they awaken to a rather shocking scenario. Fiona and Barry, the couple who own the guesthouse, have disappeared as have Jamie’s car keys, and every door and window is locked shut. But if that’s not chilling enough, Victoria then starts getting contractions…

This has to be one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s absolutely stunning! The storyline is cleverly constructed, gradually revealing what happens after Victoria goes into labour but not revealing everything until the final shocking denouement. Instead we are thrust forward in time to the month after what has taken place. What has happened to their baby? Why is Victoria living apart from Jamie and who is sending them threatening emails? Well, you will just have to read this for yourselves as there is no way I’m telling you any more than I have already! Just know that Robin Morgan-Bentley deliberately holds onto many secrets, gently unraveling them so as to make the final few twists even more shocking.

Just when I thought everything was settled, along came the epilogue… it’s very rare that I read something and then stop and go back to read it again and yet again!! But the author certainly held onto another shock for the reader and played his final card perfectly. What a perfect ending to the most amazing, compelling storyline. I really can’t recommend this book highly enough-I absolutely loved every single page!

Robin Morgan-Bentley was born and grew up in London. After studying Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge University, he went on to work for Google before moving to Audible, where he has been working since 2014. His debut thriller, The Wreckage, was nominated for the CWA Dagger John Creasey New Blood Award, the CrimeFest Specsavers Debut Crime Award and Capital Crime’s Debut Book of the Year Award. Robin lives in Buckinghamshire with his husband and son.

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh #RandomTTours

Today I am thrilled to be opening the blog tour for Hostage by Clare Mackintosh which is published TODAY in paperback! Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for my blog tour invite. Read on to find out what I thought…

Save hundreds of lives. Or save your child?


You’re on board the first non-stop flight from London to Sydney. It’s a landmark journey, and the world is watching.

Shortly after take-off, you receive a chilling anonymous note. There are people on this plane intent on bringing it down – and you’re the key to their plan.


You’d never help them, even if your life depended on it.


But they have your daughter . . . So now you have to choose.


DO YOU SAVE HUNDREDS OF LIVES? OR THE ONE THAT MATTERS MOST?

Hostage is one of those books that will stay with you long after you’ve read it-there are so many moral dilemmas faced by the large cast of characters that you will be arguing with yourself over what YOU would have done in their situations! The tag line says it all-could you save hundreds of lives or just save one the matters to you the most?

Hostage practically read itself as it flew through the storyline, introducing many unlikeable characters and others that you just can’t help but root for. Interestingly, but not unsurprisingly for me, my favourite character wasn’t Mina (the air stewardess coping with her worst nightmare) but her daughter Sophia. Clare Mackintosh played a blinder by giving Sophia a condition that not many people will have heard of but that I see on a daily basis in my job and I have to say that she has done her research perfectly to give an added edge to the plot.

This is definitely a thrilling storyline with plenty of twists and turns along the way. When you’re a fan of a particular author, you can often see where things are going quite quickly, and with Hostage I did think I could see where it was heading. I was quite close but when I got to the final page…well, I realised then just how easily I had been fooled and wanted to give Clare Mackintosh a standing ovation for delivering a sublime ending to this adrenaline rush of a read.

Clever, addictive and utterly brilliant-a five star read for me!

Clare Mackintosh is the multi-award-winning author of five Sunday Times bestselling novels, including I Let You Go, which was the fastest-selling debut thriller in the year it was released. Translated into forty languages, her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide, have been New York Times and international bestsellers and have spent a combined total of 64 weeks in the Sunday Times bestseller chart.
Clare spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant and is the founder of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival. She now writes full time and lives in Wales with her husband and their three children.

The Sinner by Caroline England

EVERY SAINT HAS A PAST

To the unsuspecting eye Dee Stephens has a perfect life as the vicar’s wife: a devoted marriage to her charismatic husband Reverend Vincent, an adoring congregation and a beautiful daughter.

EVERY SINNER HAS A FUTURE

But beneath the surface, Dee is suffocating. Vincent is in control, and he knows her every sin. Desperate, Dee escapes into a heady affair with Cal, an old schoolmate.

EVERY CONFESSION HAS A PRICE

But is Cal the saviour she thinks he is? What dark secrets does he harbour? And to what lengths will Vincent go to when he uncovers the truth?

From the Top Ten ebook bestselling author, Caroline England’s newest thriller will have you hooked from the first page to the last jaw-dropping twist.

The Sinner is a character driven domestic noir full of secrets and misconceptions, set in the northwest of England. Dee is a vicars wife, struggling with a controlling husband and a teenage daughter who seems to be moving further away from her every day. So when she bumps into old school acquaintance Cal, she is ripe for attention. An affair quickly becomes her main focus leaving her emotions wide open. But is Cal the knight in shining armour that she thinks he is because everyone has secrets to hide here and the truth isn’t buried as deeply as anyone would like…

Caroline England uses her knowledge of toxic relationships from her time as a divorce lawyer to create authentic connections between her characters. Not only do we see things from Dee’s POV but also from Cal’s as he negotiates the different relationships in his life. The tension remains high as the reader tries to work out who is hiding what and why. The prologue features a funeral so we know that someone dies but it isn’t till the last few pages that everything comes together and we find out who.

I always find time to read Caroline’s books. She delivers those dysfunctional family dynamics that I find so fascinating and The Sinner is no exception. It’s dark and dripping in malice throughout but with a satisfying sting in the tale. A gripping storyline from the moment you open it!

The Sinner was published by Piatkus on 16th June 2022.

Caroline England was born and brought up in Yorkshire and studied Law at the University of Manchester. She was a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer before leaving the law to bring up her three daughters and turning her hand to writing. As well as The Sinner, Caroline is the author of The Wife’s Secret, previously called Beneath the Skin, the top-ten ebook bestseller My Husband’s Lies, Betray Her and Truth Games. She has also been shortlisted for a CWA Dagger for her short story Blindsided. She lives in Manchester with her family.

The Blackbird by Tim Weaver (David Raker #11) @TimWeaverBooks @MichaelJBooks #TheBlackbird

Just before the crash, Cate and Aiden Gascoigne are recorded on CCTV, laughing and happy. Then their car plunges into a ninety-foot ravine.

Within seconds, the vehicle is an inferno – and the Gascoignes are trapped inside.

But when fire crews arrive, they find something impossible:

The vehicle is empty.

Cate and Aiden have vanished.

And only missing persons investigator David Raker can solve the mystery . . .

For anyone who hasn’t read any of this series before then let me start by saying that this can totally be read as a stand-alone thriller. But hopefully you will already have discovered one of the best series out there and have been desperate to read this eleventh book in the David Raker series.

I do love an intriguing storyline and the blurb for The Blackbird definitely grabs the readers attention from the off. How can the occupants of a car that’s been involved in a serious accident have disappeared from the scene of the crash? David Raker is brought in by the parents of one of those who has disappeared to investigate and immediately he sets to work identifying those connected to the incident. He also still has some personal stuff going on that might affect the case and some shocking twists to add to the mix too!

I’ve always followed this series-it’s definitely one of the best around at the moment-and was super excited when I was sent a proof copy so I could read it early! I even chose it for one of my June HOTBOOKS for my Tracy Talks To.. with Tracy Fenton, Linda Hill and Anne Cater before I’d even read it as I think everyone needs to discover David Raker! But I have to say that, although I knew it would be good, this is the best book yet and also my favourite of the entire series. It has a complex but intelligent plot that I found shocking at times with the unexpected twists that took place. There were some jaw dropping moments as the threads of the different perspectives came together and the final reveal was played out-and that ending!!! David Raker #12 is going to be a must read!

There came that very special moment when the title of the book suddenly made perfect sense! Don’t you just love it when that happens and you realise how well the author has played you. The Blackbird is beautifully written from start to finish with one of the best storylines I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommended by me!

The Blackbird was published on 9th June 2022 by Michael Joseph.

Tim Weaver is the Sunday Times bestselling author of twelve thrillers, including You Were Gone and No One Home. He has been nominated for a National Book Award, twice selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, and shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. He is the host and producer of the chart-topping Missing podcast and is currently developing an original TV series with the team behind Line of Duty. A former journalist and magazine editor, he lives near Bath with his wife and daughter.

Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka

Five killers. One train journey. But who will survive? The original and propulsive thriller from a massive Japanese bestseller.

*SOON TO BE A MAJOR FILM*

Satoshi looks like an innocent schoolboy but he is really a viciously cunning psychopath. Kimura’s young son is in a coma thanks to him, and Kimura has tracked him onto the bullet train heading from Tokyo to Morioka to exact his revenge. But Kimura soon discovers that they are not the only dangerous passengers onboard.

Nanao, the self-proclaimed ‘unluckiest assassin in the world’, and the deadly partnership of Tangerine and Lemon are also travelling to Morioka. A suitcase full of money leads others to show their hands. Why are they all on the same train, and who will get off alive at the last station?

Bullet Train was completely out of my comfort zone but I absolutely loved this totally manic “Murder on the Kill Bill Express”! My husband has read it already and is desperately awaiting the film version to be released and although it’s not my normal film genre of choice, I’m pretty sure that I will join him!

Bullet Train is a locked room mystery on rails as 5 killers board a train in Tokyo only to realise quite quickly that it’s no coincidence that they are all onboard the same train at the same time. All the characters are intriguing especially the teenage psychopath Satoshi aka The Prince but my favourites were Tangerine and Lemon-I don’t think I’ve ever seen Thomas the Tank Engine used in such a clever way before!

This is a fast paced thriller that has translated well from its original Japanese. It is completely different to anything else I’ve read this year. Cleverly written, entertaining and totally bonkers-it’s a high speed race against time that will leave you wondering how on earth it’s all going to end! But that ending is spot on!

Bullet Train was published in paperback by Vintage on 17th March 2022.