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.

Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald @orendabooks

I’m thrilled to be sharing my review today as part of the blog tour for the paperback publication of Ash Mountain. Huge thanks to Anne Cater for my blog tour invite and to Karen Sullivan for my review copy of the book.

Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway.
She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.
As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…
Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…

I’ve been a huge fan of Helen Fitzgerald’s writing for many years now and enjoy her dark and often shocking observations of human nature in all it’s disturbing forms. I wasn’t sure she could match the genius of the multiple award winning Worst Case Scenario but Ash Mountain has once again proved that having the right publisher (the wonderful Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books) has led Helen Fitzgerald to produce some of her best work to date. Ash Mountain is a very clever concept-in fact it’s so clever that you don’t even realise how clever it is until you reach the very end! Ash Mountain is one of those books that I wanted to go back and read again the minute I finished it-yep, it’s THAT good!

It’s tough returning to your hometown when you’ve moved away-it’s very easy to turn into a petulant teenager again when living back with your parents! Fran has had to return to look after her sick father taking with her her two children. As if this isn’t tough enough to cope with, being home is stirring up memories of her childhood. The small Australian town is brought vibrantly to life as Fran encounters its inhabitants who also evoke memories of the past. As the unbearable summer heat builds to an oppressive weight on the towns people, old secrets start to squirm out and a bush fire could end burgeoning romances before they have taken root…

On one hand this is a disaster drama that builds to a a terrifying crescendo but on the other it’s an exquisitely delivered insight into life in a small town where there are no secrets except those that are too big for everyone to comprehend. It’s dark humour cuts through the disturbing content so that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry at some of the shocking circumstances that take place. And that’s what I love about Helen Fitzgerald-she isn’t afraid addressing the elephant in the room. Just because we find things uncomfortable doesn’t mean we should sweep them under the proverbial carpet. Yes there are some unpleasant themes discussed here but LIFE can be unpleasant and unpredictable so why not!?

You can probably tell I feel very strongly about this book and can’t recommend it highly enough. Stunningly brilliant from start to finish!

Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband.

I Lie In Wait by Amanda Brittany


It’s one year since her sister vanished. Now, another girl is missing…

One year ago, Amelia Taylor’s sister, Lark, vanished without a trace from a family holiday in the Scottish Highlands.

The police are convinced that Lark was abducted, but with no new leads, the case has gone cold. Amelia is certain that the answer lies at the holiday cottage and retracing their steps might unearth a vital clue that could help make a breakthrough.

But during their second night at the cottage a shrill scream cuts through the darkness, just as it did a year ago, and a sense of dread engulfs everyone.

Another girl has vanished.

Leading the search, Amelia is convinced that both girls are alive, waiting to be found. But someone is determined to keep her from the truth at all costs

Will Amelia be able to find her sister, or is she too about to find herself in danger?

Oh I really enjoyed this one and couldn’t put it down! What on earth had happened to Lark and was her stepfather, who disappeared at the same time, to blame? Her sister Amelia is heading back to the scene of the crime with her father, brother and his carer to search for clues on the anniversary of her suspected abduction. I was convinced that I knew EXACTLY what had happened to Lark but sadly I was so far away from the shocking truth that I’m ashamed to call myself a crime fiction fan!

Told in two timelines from a year ago and the present day, I Lie in Wait gradually introduces the suspects from the previous years devastation and then reintroduces them in the present day. Sadly, Lark and Amelias mother has since passed away without knowing the fate of her youngest child so it’s an extra difficult return to the beautiful Scottish Highlands for her family and friends as the memories return. But present day events start to overtake Larks abduction when another girl goes missing and it becomes clear that a murderer is on the loose…

I Lie in Wait is a twisty, edge of your seat thriller that had me hooked from the opening prologue. The themes of family and loss are unexpectedly poignant for a psychological thriller and I found the descriptions of Amelias relationships with the various members of her family very realistic and often moving. I loved searching both timelines (and that of a third narrative!) for clues as to what happened to Lark as everyone seemed to be hiding some very dark secrets of their own! I found it a very “visually” told book and could see the snowy highlands and the cottages where they were staying quite clearly in my mind which made me conclude that this storyline would transfer perfectly into a tv drama. I’d love to see it played out on the small screen-the creepy masks especially would make for some great scary moments for the audience to jump out of their skins!!

Fans of CL Taylor and Ruth Ware should hopefully have discovered Amanda Brittany by now but if not treat yourself to I Lie In Wait. I’ve enjoyed all her books in the past but this one is definitely top of my favourites now!

Amanda Brittany is the best selling author of psychological crime thrillers HER LAST LIE, TELL THE TRUTH & TRACES OF HER.

I LIE IN WAIT is out in August 2020

Her debut, HER LAST LIE is being made into a film supported by Creative Scotland, and has so far raised over £8000 for Cancer Research UK from eBook royalties.

Blurred Lines by Hannah Begbie @RandomTTours

It’s a privilege today to be on the blog tour for Blurred Lines by Hannah Begbie. Many thanks to Anne Cater for my blog tour invite and review copy of the book.

A compulsive, literary domestic suspense set to spark debate.
When Becky accidently sees her boss with a woman who isn’t his wife, she’s horrified but keeps her counsel – she owes Matthew so much for all he’s done for her career. But when the same woman accuses him of rape and asks for the witness to come forward, Becky doesn’t know what to do.
Was what she saw rape? Or is this a young actress looking to get ahead? And can Becky separate her own traumatic past from the present?
As Becky attempts to untangle these blurred lines, she must risk everything to find the truth…
Blurred Lines is a brilliantly written novel that explores the effects of #metoo, and questions identity, womanhood, and how trauma is dealt with.
Perfect for fans of Doctor Foster, Apple Tree Yard, The Couple Next Door and Blood Orange.

When Becky walks in on her boss and another woman, who isn’t his wife, in a comprising position she quickly leaves before he sees her. But the woman got a glimpse of Becky before she disappeared and now she’s asking for that witness to come forward because that act she witnessed wasn’t consensual…

This is an incredibly powerful book, honestly written and difficult to read at times. The themes of rape, consent and the echos of the “me too” movement mean that the narrative is very dark, angry and traumatic plus it will make you feel very uncomfortable at times. But it’s so important that you DO feel like that as you need that feeling to understand the emotions flowing through Becky, disturbing her thought and decision making processes.

Everything is handled well here even the descriptions of what happened to Becky, as the author manages to convey the horror of her past perfectly with the emotions Becky experiences. These “he said/she said” experiences show how people see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe. It’s a terrifying thing to do “the right thing” and many people don’t get involved for a multitude of reasons mostly to do with themselves and not others. But our society is changing and attitudes are changing and this book delivers a well written and thought provoking storyline that was always going to divide its readers.

Hannah Begbie has given us her all here with this breathtaking plotline. I loved her writing in Mother and I have to say that I love it even more here! Engaging and exciting, she’s a writer who needs to be on your radar.


Hannah Begbie studied Art History at Cambridge University. She went on to become a talent agent, representing BAFTA and Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning writers and comedians for fifteen years. She also enrolled in The Novel Studio course at City University, winning that year’s new writing prize. The book she developed there became her debut novel, MOTHER, which later went on to win the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers from the RNA. The TV rights were snapped up by Clerkenwell Films (Lovesick, Misfits) after a heated auction, with screenwriter Tom Edge (The Crown, Judy) attached.
She lives in north London with her husband and their two sons.

The Girl You Forgot by Giselle Green

Today I’m on the blog tour for The Girl You Forgot by Giselle Green. Many thanks to Rachel Gilbey for my invite and review copy of the book.

Does the heart never really forget?

When Ava’s partner Will is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour, the doctors give Will one chance to survive – an operation which means he will lose his recent memory. Ava begs him to take the chance, sure that she can cope with Will forgetting her. After all, they have something very special to live for.

But they are also keeping a heart-breaking secret, and if Will loses his memory, Ava will have to carry that secret alone.

Can they rebuild their love from scratch or will their secrets and past come between them? Will Ava really be a stranger when Will wakes up – or does the heart never really forget…

Giselle Green returns with a heart-breaking, deeply moving story of love, loss, and what it really means to be alive. Perfect for all fans of Jodi Picoult, Susan Lewis and Diane Chamberlain.

The Girl You Forgot was so much harder to read than I had expected! The emotional pull of the blurb that attracted me to this book in the first place really didn’t prepare me for those heartbreaking developments that it DIDN’T mention!

When Will is diagnosed with a brain tumour he is given just one opportunity to beat the life threatening condition. But the operation that will save his life could wipe out his recent memories. But surely we would all take this chance if it was offered to us? After all if the relationship he has with Ava is as strong as they both think then surely love will conquer all even if he doesn’t remember her? Does the heart have memory? But it seems as though there are things that Ava is keeping from Will, secrets that she isn’t prepared to share…

As if having a brain tumour wasn’t bad enough, Will has had to agree to an operation that may wipe his memories of Ava and I found this an incredibly moving decision but one that he had to take a chance on. The storyline was far more detailed than I had been expecting and Giselle Green really brought the emotions of their “Hobsons choice” to the surface very quickly indeed. I felt so sorry for Ava, having to carry all the memories of their past together on her own, knowing that things would never be the same again after the operation but also that it was their only chance…

The Girl You Forgot is so beautifully written with a devastating plotline that is handled perfectly. It’s a heartbreaking story of hope for the future, lost memories and how love always tries to conquer all. But it’s also strangely uplifting whilst packing an emotional punch so make sure you have your comforter of choice to hand when you finish it! (Mine was a tissue followed by a cuppa and a large piece of chocolate cake-you have been warned!) Emotional but enjoyable!

Born in Chiswick, Giselle Green is an award-winning, contemporary women’s fiction author. Mum to six boys (half of whom have flown the nest) and guardian to one bright orange-and-cinnamon canary who hopefully never will, Giselle enjoys creating emotionally-gripping storylines about family and relationships. 

THE GIRL YOU FORGOT (Aug 2020) is currently on pre-order, from BOLDWOOD BOOKS. 
A love story tackling thought-provoking issues around how we handle loved ones with memory loss, this novel examines the thorny question – if forgotten truths are painful ones, are they ever best left buried?

Giselle’s debut novel Pandora’s Box won the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writer’s Award in 2008. Her third novel, A Sister’s Gift achieved best-selling number one status on Amazon kindle, and her seventh, DEAR DAD was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year.
Giselle lives in Kent with her husband and their family.