Little Sister by Isabel Ashdown #BookReview


About this book…

After sixteen years apart sisters Jessica and Emily are reunited. With the past now behind them, the warmth they once shared quickly returns and before long Jess has moved into Emily’s comfortable island home. Life couldn’t be better. But when baby Daisy disappears while in Jess’s care, the perfect life Emily has so carefully built starts to fall apart.

Was Emily right to trust her sister after everything that happened before?

My Review…

I have to admit that this is the first book that I’ve read by Isabel Ashdown as she isn’t an author I’ve come across before. But now that I’ve read Little Sister I think I need to rectify that. I fell head over heels in love with her writing style and just didn’t want this book to end!

I actually read a sample of this book on netgalley and was so desperate to read the rest that I pre-ordered it straight away. I entered competitions to try to win a copy so I could read it sooner but had no luck. So a huge thank you must go to Tracy Fenton at TBConFB who provided me with a review copy of Little Sister and made me a very happy book blogger!

Little Sister is a perfect example of my favourite genre. It has at its heart the relationship between sisters Emily and Jess who have been estranged for the past sixteen years. When Emily’s baby daughter goes missing whilst Jess is babysitting, it brings back memories for both sisters and past grievances come flooding back. But will visiting the past solve Daisys disappearance?

I love a dysfunctional family drama and here we meet one gradually submerging in the secrets and lies that threaten to overwhelm them. The slow burning build up of tension was beautifully crafted from the start and I was completely gripped, desperate to turn the pages to solve the mystery hidden within them but not wanting it to finish. As the threads within the story unravelled I was kept constantly on my toes, trying to guess where it was heading with its shocking twists and constant surprises, until I couldn’t bare to put it down for one second. And that ending!!! I actually sat holding the book after I had finished it just to let those last few pages resonate fully.

This has has been one of my most lusted after books of 2017 so far and I’m so pleased to report back that it didn’t disappoint one little bit! Highly recommended by me.

Little Sister which is published by Trapeze on 27th April 2017 and is available to purchase here from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Isabel Ashdown

Dark, compelling and beautifully twisty … have you read Isabel yet?

Isabel Ashdown was born in London and grew up on the south coast of England. The opening of her debut won the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition, going on to be published as GLASSHOPPER (Myriad, 2009) and being named as one of the best books of the year. Today, she writes full-time, walks daily, and volunteers in a local school for the charity Pets as Therapy. Isabel lives in Sussex with her carpenter husband, their two children and dogs Charlie and Leonard.

Tattletale by Sarah J Naughton #BookReview

About this book…

One day changes Jody’s life forever.
She has shut herself down, haunted by her memories and unable to trust anyone. But then she meets Abe, the perfect stranger next door and suddenly life seems full of possibility and hope.

One day changes Mags’s life forever.
After years of estrangement from her family, Mags receives a shocking phone call. Her brother Abe is in hospital and no-one knows what happened to him. She meets his fiancé Jody, and gradually pieces together the ruins of the life she left behind. But the pieces don’t quite seem to fit…

My review…

Having met the author Sarah J Naughton at Harrogate last year I was intrigued when I found out that she was going to publish her first adult psychological suspense after her previous success as a children’s author. And as psychological suspense is my “thing” I was looking forward to discovering more. But one thing I did discover was never judge a book by its cover – Sarah J Naughton looks like the most sweet natured “butter wouldn’t melt” type (although with rather a wicked sense of humour I have to say!) but OMG she must have some very warped and deliciously disturbed thoughts in that darkly devious imagination of hers!

It has to be said that such a disturbing and intense storyline is quite obviously going to be very graphically described in places but please don’t let that put you off. The horrors experienced by one of our main protagonists have to be explored in all their hellish entirety so we can understand the actions she feels compelled to take. I won’t pretend to have taken to either Mags or Jody, neither of them seemed to have many redeeming qualities and I found it hard to trust either of their narratives. Mags doesn’t make a good impression on anyone she meets, she is closed off and she knows she’s being a total bitch but gradually we come to understand that there’s more to it than a tunnel visioned concern for her brother Abe, laying in a coma after a fall. By the time we meet Abe he is already in a coma but we get to know him through flashbacks via both Jody and Mags and I think he was my favourite character, the one I felt the most connected to, the one I was rooting for, who deserved their happy ending. But this was no fairy tale and those distressing circumstances lead to an incredibly dramatic last few chapters that culminated in an unexpected twisty denouement. It was also one that was expertly constructed, bringing everything together with a poignancy I hadn’t encountered during the previous pages.

This is a very powerful and skin-crawling novel that disturbed me in such a way that I felt I wanted to go and have a scrub clean in the shower as soon as I had finished it. I can’t say it was an enjoyable read due to the subject matter but it certainly kept me engrossed with an unputdownable tale that left me pondering the moral dilemmas raised within it. It would certainly provoke a healthy debate within book club discussions!

Many thanks to the publisher Trapeze for my review copy of Tattletale that I have chosen to read and review.

Tattletale is published by Trapeze on 23rd March 2017 and you can click Tattletale to purchase this book from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Sarah J Naughton grew up in Dorset, on a diet of tales of imperiled heroines and wolves in disguise. As an adult her reading matter changed but those dark fairytales had deep roots. Her debut children’s thriller, THE HANGED MAN RISES, featured a fiend from beyond the grave menacing the streets of Victorian London, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa award. TATTLETALE is her first adult novel, and has a monster of a different kind. Sarah lives in Central London with her husband and two sons.

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole #BlogTour #RagdollBook @Daniel_P_Cole

Today I’m on the blog tour for a book that EVERYBODY is talking about! It’s nearly publication day for Ragdoll by Daniel Cole so the countdown is on! 3 days, 40 victims and I’m a day 1 victim with my review ( previously published in 2016)

About this book…

The nation is gripped by the infamous ‘Ragdoll Killer’
Your friends, your family and your neighbours are all talking about it.

A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet, nicknamed by the press as the ‘ragdoll’.

Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.

The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them.

With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?

My review…

Now my journey to read this book has been a difficult one, fraught with obstacles that were determined to stop me getting my hands on a review copy. When the publisher was giving them out at Harrogate last year, I was off having my afternoon tea with fellow blogger Sarah Hardy and the brilliant author Linwood Barclay so I missed out (probably not quite the hardship I am making out here!) So I was emailed a copy by the lovely Sam Eades but that one seemed to disappear into the ether somewhere. It was only when I had to do a huge reboot on my Kindle (long story but never EVER trust a 5 year old with your kindle password-it will end in tears…..YOURS!!) that a copy popped up on my carousel which lead to much dancing around and hugging of  treasured kindle. So the only problem I have now is this…..IS THIS MY FAVOURITE BOOK OF 2016 or 2017!?!?! I read it in 2016 but it’s not out in e-book till February 2017? Oh what the hell, let’s just make it my book of  the decade and have done with it!

Before you read this book, make sure you read the authors bio that I’ve included below! And I’m sure you will be struck by two things. Firstly how does a lovely young man (I know as I’ve met him!) with a string of jobs helping people and animals in distress write such a gruesome, repulsive crime shocker with a hideously gory and blood curdling plot?! But the second thing you’ll notice is that there will be a book two!! And thank goodness for that as William Fawkes (Wolf) and Emily Baxter are both brilliant character creations and their relationship one of the most intense and intriguing I have come across for quite some time!

And if I think I had a stressful journey to read this book, it’s nothing compared to the search for the Ragdoll Killer, so named by the press. One of those journalists looking for the scoop of the century is Andrea, Wolfs wife (sorry, ex wife!). A killer who has stitched together pieces of his 6 victims to form a grotesque “ragdoll” has sent Andrea a list of the next victims plus the dates they will die but this list is looking a little too close to home for our police team. And at this point I have to say that one of the things l loved about this book was the team and how their characters and relationships were unravelled to us slowly, full of twisty surprises along the way. Towards the end I found the tension nearly unbearable and had to stop reading every few pages, although this could also have been procrastinating as I also didn’t want this amazing book to end. The last few pages felt physically painful, as though I was sharing the agonising and distressingly traumatic finale with Wolf-and then he pipes up with a little quip that relieves all the tension and makes me laugh out loud! I just loved everything about this book from start to finish so I am so happy that there will be a William Fawkes #2! Let’s hope Daniel Cole can get his warped imagination flowing again for more harrowing cases for Wolf and Emily!

I think this will be the Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train for 2017, you know, THAT book that everyone wants to emulate and aspire to. It’s a brilliant book and its a debut to boot! Amazing! And I half want a Hollywood producer to snap this up for a blockbuster movie but the other half of me knows that no one will be able to match the brilliance of this book on film! There seriously aren’t enough stars in the sky for me to rate this book! At the risk of repeating myself, I just loved it!

Many thanks to Trapeze for my review copy of Ragdoll.

Ragdoll will be published by Trapeze on 23rd February 2017 and can be preordered here at Amazon UK

About the author…

At 33 years old, Daniel Cole has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and most recently for the RNLI, driven by an intrinsic need to save people or perhaps just a guilty conscience about the number of characters he kills off in his writing. He currently lives in sunny Bournemouth and can usually be found down the beach when he ought to be writing book two instead.

Coming Soon in 2017! Ragdoll by Daniel Cole #RagdollBook @Daniel_P_Cole @TrapezeBooks @SamEades

About this book…

The nation is gripped by the infamous ‘Ragdoll Killer’
Your friends, your family and your neighbours are all talking about it.

A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet, nicknamed by the press as the ‘ragdoll’.

Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.

The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them.

With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?

My review…

Now my journey to read this book has been a difficult one, fraught with obstacles that were determined to stop me getting my hands on a review copy. When the publisher was giving them out at Harrogate this year, I was off having my afternoon tea with fellow blogger Sarah Hardy and the brilliant author Linwood Barclay so I missed out (probably not quite the hardship I am making out here!) So I was emailed a copy by the lovely Sam Eades but that one seemed to disappear into the ether somewhere. It was only when I had to do a huge reboot on my Kindle (long story but never EVER trust a 5 year old with your kindle password-it will end in tears…..YOURS!!) that a copy popped up on my carousel which lead to much dancing around and hugging of  treasured kindle. So the only problem I have now is this…..IS THIS MY FAVOURITE BOOK OF 2016 or 2017!?!?! I’ve read it this year but it’s not out in e-book till February 2017? Oh what the hell, let’s just make it my book of  the decade and have done with it!

Before you read this book, make sure you read the authors bio that I’ve included below! And I’m sure you will be struck by two things. Firstly how does a lovely young man (I know as I’ve met him!) with a string of jobs helping people and animals in distress write such a gruesome, repulsive crime shocker with a hideously gory and blood curdling plot?! But the second thing you’ll notice is that there will be a book two!! And thank goodness for that as William Fawkes (Wolf) and Emily Baxter are both brilliant character creations and their relationship one of the most intense and intriguing I have come across for quite some time!

And if I think I had a stressful journey to read this book, it’s nothing compared to the search for the Ragdoll Killer as they are named by the press. One of those journalists looking for the scoop of the century is Andrea, Wolfs wife (sorry, ex wife!). A killer who has stitched together pieces of his 6 victims to form a grotesque “ragdoll” has sent Andrea a list of the next victims plus the dates they will die but this list is looking a little too close to home for our police team. And at this point I have to say that one of the things l loved about this book was that team and how their characters and relationships were unravelled to us slowly, full of twisty surprises along the way. Towards the end I found the tension nearly unbearable and had to stop reading every few pages, although this could also have been procrastinating as I also didn’t want this amazing book to end. The last few pages felt physically painful, as though I was sharing the agonising and distressingly traumatic finale with Wolf-and then he pipes up with a little quip that relieves all the tension and makes me laugh out loud! I just loved everything about this book from start to finish so I am so happy that there will be a William Fawkes #2! Let’s hope Daniel Cole can get his warped imagination flowing again for more harrowing cases for Wolf and Emily!

I think this will be the Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train for 2017, you know, THAT book that everyone wants to emulate and aspire to. It’s a brilliant book and its a debut to boot! Amazing! And I half want a Hollywood producer to snap this up for a blockbuster movie but the other half of me knows that no one will be able to match the brilliance of this book on film! There seriously aren’t enough stars in the sky for me to rate this book! At the risk of repeating myself, I just loved it!

Many thanks to Trapeze for my review copy of Ragdoll.

Ragdoll will be published by Trapeze on 23rd February 2017 and can be preordered here at Amazon UK

About the author…

At 33 years old, Daniel Cole has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and most recently for the RNLI, driven by an intrinsic need to save people or perhaps just a guilty conscience about the number of characters he kills off in his writing. He currently lives in sunny Bournemouth and can usually be found down the beach when he ought to be writing book two instead.