The Suspect is the third novel in the Kate Walters Series, having previously read The Widow I was eager to see what Baron had come up with next and this proved to live up to the previous book.
In the Suspect Two English girls have gone missing while travelling in Thailand on their gap year, and Kate is eager to cover the story as her own son is also travelling – it’s clear that there isn’t much contact between the rogue son and his family and as the book unfolds Kate’s personal connection takes centre stage
The narrative comes from three points of view ‘The Reporter” “The Mother” & “The Detective” and each is beautifully bought to life. There are many twists and turns as the plot develops and each leaves you gripped, desperate to find out the truth of what happened to the girls.
I loved the paradox of Kate being both mother and reporter and how her role changes througout the story.
Barton is definately becoming a master of her genre.
24 January 2019
‘The police belonged to another world – the world they saw on the television or in the papers. Not theirs.’
When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.
Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it’s personal.
And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think . . .
Sleep is the story of Anna who following a fatal accident she was involved in has decided for a clean break away from everything and everything on a remote Scottish Island working in a hotel. What a perfect setting for this story, atmospheric, remote and creepy.
The guests all seem to have secrets, but it seems one is hiding more than the others. Anna struggling with sleep since the accident seems to be the target for someone who wants her to sleep forever.
Cally Taylor is a true master of suspense and this book doesn’t disappointment. Once again I was drawn in from the very first page and captivated by the twists and turns – you’ll lose sleep racing to the end of this gripping who done it!
C L Taylor
4 April 2019
All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…
To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.
Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they're on the island. There's a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they've set their sights on Anna.
10 Things To Do Before You Leave School follows Ruby, a teenage girl about to embark on her A levels. Ruby has had a difficult year, and has had an ongoing battle with mental health issues. On her return to school, Ruby comes across a list left by her late father of 10 things he hoped she would do before leaving school. Ruby makes it her aim to complete the list before the end of sixth form, despite her ongoing battle with mental health issues and the dramas of being a teenager.
10 Things To Do Before You Leave School is a brilliantly written piece of fiction, which highlights the issues of mental health and the impact that it can have on a young person’s life. I felt O Keeffe tackled the issues with sensitivity and compassion, whilst also bringing mental health awareness to the forefront.
Ruby as a character is a beautifully described and whole person who we follow on her ongoing battle with depression and mental illness. Her views and feelings at times are thought provoking and heartbreaking all at one, and as a reader really pulled at the heart strings. I was whisked away in her world, following her on her journey of discovery. I enjoyed learning more about her and having a real insight in to her thoughts and feelings. Ruby was an engaging and strong character, who I wholeheartedly got behind from page one.
It was interesting to learn about her relationships and see the impact her mental well being had on these and the effect on her friends and family. Her emotions and feelings were raw and the emotions and interactions with others were beautifully encapsulated in words.
This is one hell of a book and I have struggled to find the words to give this incredible book the justice it deserves. Overall I felt it approached mental health in a way which was both raw and enlightening, showing the reader the real impact grief and mental health has on a person and their loved ones.
This is a must have read. But make sure you have the tissues at the ready!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After graduating from Oxford, Bernard O’Keeffe worked in advertising before training as a teacher. He taught for many years, first in a North London comprehensive, then at Radley College, where he was Head of English, and most recently at St Paul’s School in London, where he was Head of Sixth Form.
He has reviewed fiction for Literary Review and The Oxford Times and, as an editor of The English Review, has written over a hundred articles for A Level students on subjects ranging from Nick Hornby and Roddy Doyle to Jane Austen and Shakespeare. In 2013 he published his first novel, ‘No Regrets’.
10 Things To Do Before You Leave School
Bernard O Keeffe
Acorn Independent Press
Ruby has had a difficult year to say the least. Just before she started Sixth Form, her father died from a heart attack. In the difficult months that followed Ruby became so depressed that she attempted suicide. She missed a lot of school, but now she’s about to go back and she’s worried. Is she well enough to get through her final year? Will the depression return? Should she apply to university? The night before term begins, Ruby finds something that makes the prospect even more daunting: an envelope addressed to her in her father’s handwriting. Inside is a list: ‘Ten Things I Hope You Do Before You Leave School’. It makes no sense. She can’t understand why he’d want her to do these things, let alone whether she’ll be able to do them.As Ruby navigates her way through UCAS, parties, boyfriends and A-Levels, she decides to give the list her best shot, but her efforts lead her into strange situations and to surprising discoveries. Will Ruby survive her last year at school? Can she do the ten things on The List? Will doing them make any difference?
We were thrilled to be able to take part in the blog tour for Dear Lily by Drew Davies and I was not disappointed with this book.
Dear Lily is the story of Joy who has taken a leap way out of her comfort zone to start a new life in Denmark working for her company. It’s very clear from the start of the book that this is something very unexpected for Joy and we are taken along with her anxieties as she pours them out on the page.
Joy it seems is an ironic name for the main character who seems to be very anxious and introvert – being in a new country however and having to start a whole new life on her own does however draw her out. When you start the book it’s hard to see where the book is headed, it’s clear that the character has some issues – she often mentions her face time therapist for example.
The narrative of the story is via a series of letters from Joy to her sister Lily and this works so well, allowing Joy to pour out her deepest thoughts and feelings as she settles in and begins to even enjoy her new life. We also get glimpses of her past as she recalls moments between sisters and we learn a lot about Lily and their family.
We never get the meet Lily herself, but she is as much a character as Joy herself thanks to the wonderful way Drew Davies constructs the story. You can’t help but feel connected to the characters, there are indeed moments of Joy and also sadness. Books written as letters can be tricky to get right, but I think Drew Davies has truly nailed it. A beautiful story about building on a fresh start.
A true Joy to read.
17 May 2019
It’s me, Joy, your much wiser and (very slightly) older sister. I thought I’d start a new tradition of letter writing – now that we’re long distance.
On the plane over here, I began to cry in seat 21C. I think the magnitude of it finally hit me, after everything that happened…
I haven’t even unpacked yet – the only thing I’ve taken out of my suitcase is Harville, your beloved childhood teddy. Sorry for stealing him, but I need him more than you do. Every time I look at that little brown bear I think about our childhood. Remember that dance we made up to Annie’s ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’? (Remember the broom choreography?)
I’m also sorry for abandoning you – I’ve always been your agony aunt, and a buffer in your infamous shouting matches with Mum. But I had to leave, Lily, I had to.
Anyway, I’m here now. I’m here to start over, and to face up to the past. I want to learn to laugh again, and to find someone to love who will maybe even love me back. You always told me I was just getting by, not actually living, so I’m finally doing it. Wish me luck, little sister.
Amazing Grace is the debut novel from Kim Nash and follows single mum Grace and her young son Archie. Grace works part time in the local estate agents following the separation from her husband Mark, and whilst she enjoys the challenges of her new role, Grace still fills something is missing in her life.
Archie her son is her whole world, but Grace dreams of one day opening a book store. Her friend Monica however feels that a man is needed and throws Grace in to the world of internet dating with some disastrous dates. However, a chance meeting with gardener Vinnie, who comes to quote for some work, adds a whole other dimension to this story.
From the word go it is clear there is chemistry between Grace and Vinnie, and both are clearly interested in the other. Is this just business or is there something more developing? However, Mark the ex husband keeps popping up at the most inopportune moments, is it jealousy or is he just being controlling?
Amazing Grace was a delightful read, it was funny, it was emotional and had a real good feel good vibe. Grace was instantly likeable from page one, her love and devotion to her son was heart warming. I felt Kim really captured the essence and love of a parent and child and I really love how she explored and developed the relationship between them. Including the endless hours of football practice, let’s face it any parent to a young boy has been there.
I also loved the character of Vinnie, from the moment he appeared in the book I had a good feeling about him. He felt a genuine guy and someone I desperately wanted to love Grace after all she had been through. I felt invested in their relationship and really enjoyed discovering how their relationship developed.
I love the village of Little Ollington, it had a quaintness about it that was charming. I loved the sound of Grace’s new home, it was beautifully described and I some had a lovely image within my mind of how it would look.
Amazing Grace is a brilliant debut novel from an already amazing woman. It was charming and had me giggling away, the dates had me in tears. I don’t think Kim could have portrayed them any better. There were plenty of unexpected moments that kept the story exciting and had me wondering where we would go next.
If you want a romantic, emotional and funny read, I can not recommend this book enough. I look forward to the next book….
Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.
Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.
When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.
Amazing Grace is her debut novel with Hera Books and will be out on 10th April 2019
She’s taking her life back, one step at a time… Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted. Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary - and her perfect life fell apart. Now she's a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks… Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves. So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness? A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life for the better – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.
This book is one of those rare ones that had me gripped from page one right to the end, I did not want to have to stop reading it and was so eager to devour it’s pages.
Don’t you Forget About me features Georgina – a random switch up of her sixth form class back in the end lead her to being seated next to the mysterious new kid Lucas during a reading of Wuthering Heights, and first love bloomed. Fast forward to present day and Georgina is unexpectedly reunited with her first love, but it seems she wasn’t as memorable to him as he doesn’t remember her at all.
Georgina is great, a real sense of humour is overflowing from the page and it’s very natural and keeps you engaged. The events that unfold around her from the awful restaurant she is working in, her semi-famous self-absorbed boyfriend who cheats on her to her flatmate who regularly accuses her of stealing. There is so much to draw upon that builds her character.
And then there is Lucas the mysterious, tall dark & handsome first love who she now finds herself working for alongside his brother Devlin. Georgina seems a bit lost both her career and love life a mess and there is an element of self-doubt about her despite the fact it’s clear she is very beautiful and quite talented. As the book goes on the reasons for that self-doubt are revealed and without spoilers it’s such a great reflection of the current social climate.
There’s chic lit and then there is amazing chic lit and this is definitely the latter. There is so much to praise in this book, the character, the story, the humour, you can’t help but get caught up in the plot and be drawn in. I won’t be forgetting about this book in a hurry