The Good Daughter – Alexandra Burt

The Good Daughter – Alexandra Burt

This book had been sitting on my shelf looking at me to sometime waiting to be read and finally back from maternity leave I’m making my way through that ever-growing “To Be Read” pile on my journey into work.

The Good Daughter is written by Alexander Burt author of Little Girl Lost. In this novel we met Dahlia Waller and her mother Memphis, Dahlia it transpires hasn’t had a normal childhood, she’s moved from trailer park to motel with her mother, often leaving in the middle of the night with just what they can fit in the car. Until they settle in the little town of Aurora Texas she has never been to school.

As an adult she quickly moves away but she is still living in the shadow of her childhood, only able to take low paid jobs no questions asked because she is missing the elusive “paperwork”.
When she returns to the town to question her mother she unexpectedly ends up discovering a body and this is a good foreshadowing of the rest of the novel as Dahlia makes more discoveries uncovering the secrets of her past, and learning how she was possibly the biggest crime her mum committed.

I struggled with the book to start with, but this is a slow burn and I’m glad I stayed invested as once I’d got further into the book I was gripped to the last page. There was one concept (that of Dahlia’s fits) that I’m not sure was needed in the book, it didn’t appear to move the book along, but it kind of worked as a plot device initially in triggering memory – but maybe this could have been used more.

I did enjoy how Alexander Burt manages to conjure up an oppressive feeling in the way she writes that perfectly matches the characters surroundings and feelings. I was pulled into Dahlia’s story and determined with her to get to the end and all the answers.

The Good Daughter Book Cover The Good Daughter
Alexandra Burt
Avon
23rd February 2017
Paperback
528

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?

Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.

In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighbouring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered…

The Good Daughter is a compelling take on a genre that shows no sign of slowing down. The perfect read for fans of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins.

Blood Sisters – Jane Corry

Blood Sisters – Jane Corry

Blood Sisters is a book full of secrets and more twists and turns then a race track!

Ali is an artist, a bit of a loner who seems to be hiding from something or someone – when an opportunity arises for an inhouse artist an a local prison Ali is strangely drawn to the role, however it soon becomes clear that someone is after Ali, sending her letters at the prison and to her home.

Kitty is in a care home, she has suffered a head injury and cannot speak in a way that makes sense to those around her – although she makes perfect sense to herself and she wants to know why she is like she is. A new resident at the home results in some unexpected changes to her life and brings up some hidden memories.

It was interesting to connect the dots between the two characters before it was revealed Ali & Kitty were sisters and as the book went on we learnt more about their difficult history and the accident that caused Kitty’s injuries.

I was gripped by this book from the very beginning and although some of the plot was a little far-fetched taking into context that it is a work of fiction everything worked well to bring the book to its surprising conclusion. It’s definitely worth checking this out!

Blood Sisters Book Cover Blood Sisters
Jane Corry
Penguin
29th June 2017
Paperback
464

Kitty lives in a care home. She can't speak properly, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here. At least that's the story she's sticking to.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it - this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.
Someone who wants revenge for what happened that sunny morning in May.
And only another life will do...

BLOG TOUR: The Fear – CL Taylor

BLOG TOUR: The Fear – CL Taylor

I am delighted to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for The Fear by the fabulous CL Taylor.

The Blurb:

Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

Lou Wandsworth is used to being headline news as, aged fourteen, she ran away to France with her 31-year-old teacher, Mike Hughes.

Now 32, Lou’s life is in tatters – and she resolves to return home to confront Mike for the damage he has caused. But she soon finds that Mike is unchanged, and is focussing his attention on 13-year-old Chloe Meadows.

Determined to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, Lou decides to take matters into her own hands. But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as she tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that Lou could once again become his prey…

About the author:

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and have been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines.

In 2014, The Bookseller named C.L. Taylor as one of the year’s Bestselling Adult Fiction Debut Authors forThe Accident. The Lie and The Missing were Sunday Times top 10 bestsellers in paperback, and both books hit the #1 spot on the Kindle bestseller list. She has sold 1 million books to date.

My Thoughts:

I am a massive fan of psychological thrillers and CL Taylor’s books always have me on the edge of my seat, so I was especially excited to read The Fear.

And what can I say except wow! CL Taylor is back with a bang and he mother of all plots.

We meet Lou a young woman, haunted by her past. As a teenager she was groomed by her teacher, Mike, and ran away with him. Now as an adult, Lou is determined to stop Mike from striking again and ruining the life of another young girl.

The Fear was a book which literally got under my skin from page one. While quite different from CL Taylor’s previous books, I feel this takes an already incredible author to new heights.

This is a very complex and difficult story but one I felt Taylor tackled well. The story builds nicely and I loved uncovering different a parts of the story as we see back to Lou’s past. The descriptions of Mike and their relationship really made the novel take on a whole other dimension. It was real, it was shocking and had me on the edge of my seat.

I loved the complexity of the characters and their personalities. The story being told from the different narratives really added to the Depths of the plot and really brought the characters alive. The more I uncovered about Lou’s past and her relationship with Mike, the more shocked I became.

The Fear is a truly heart in the mouth book, it is thrilling from start to finish. I literally couldn’t get enough, I was desperate to learn more about each of the characters and to find out how Lou would get her life back. This is one of those rare overs which will stay with me. It is beautifully thought out and the story is told in such a descriptive and compelling way, that as a reDer I just couldn’t put it down.

Well done CL Taylor, this is a reaL masterpiece!

And so you can see what it’s all about, included is an extract 🙂 enjoy!

Extract:

Hello! You at the door of number fifty-nine!’

I turn slowly. There’s a man in his mid to late fifties, hanging out of the first-floor window of the house next to Mike’s. The upper half of his body is naked and his hair is slicked back, like he just stepped out of the shower. I try to erase the image of Mike’s face from my mind, to mentally shake myself forward in time, but the memory’s still holding me tightly, like the last vestiges of a dream. Or a nightmare.

‘Were you after Mike?’ the man asks.

Do I say yes or no? I have no idea who this person is.

‘I was, yes.’

‘Friend are you?’

I smile tightly. ‘Old friend.’

His eyes flick the length of my body and he smiles lasciviously. ‘Lucky Mike.’

I ignore him and head back down the path to my car.

‘He’s at work,’ the man shouts, making me pause as I touch a hand to the driver side door. ‘Greensleeves, the garden centre. He does their pick-ups on a Saturday.’ No mention of Mike’s wife, but I’m not about to ask.

‘Fancy going for a drink sometime?’ he adds as I get into my car. ‘Thank me properly?’

I consider shouting something abusive but I haven’t got time to explain why no sane woman would date a prick who slathers at women out of a window. It’s half past five.

The Fear Book Cover The Fear
CL Taylor
Avon
22/03/2018

Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

Lou Wandsworth is used to being headline news as, aged fourteen, she ran away to France with her 31-year-old teacher, Mike Hughes.

Now 32, Lou’s life is in tatters – and she resolves to return home to confront Mike for the damage he has caused. But she soon finds that Mike is unchanged, and is focussing his attention on 13-year-old Chloe Meadows.

Determined to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, Lou decides to take matters into her own hands. But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as she tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that Lou could once again become his prey…

Still Me – Jojo Moyes

Still Me – Jojo Moyes

Lou Clarke, how we missed you and your stripy tights! Now starting a job in New York and separated from her new love Sam, Lou finds herself alone in a big City where she is surrounded by new sights, sounds and experiences. Now assisting a very wealthy family she is drawn into the bitchiness and secrecy of high society – but keeping secrets in this case lead to some unexpected problems and some even more unexpected friendships.

I loved seeing Lou develop through the course of this book, her fun personality is still there along with her quirky sense of style and New York just seems the ideal place to find her as she “finds herself”. Of course the plot is not without his twists and troubles for Lou – separation from Sam – trying to make long distance love work, handling jealousy, and the appearance of a man who looks just like Will.

The unlikely friendship with Mrs DeWitt and her Pug Dean Martin was wonderful as it grew and I was drawn into Mrs DeWitt’s fabulous wardrobe of treasures for someone like Lou!

This book felt like the right ending for Lou Clarke, she has learnt from Will, taken on his advice and lived her life and finally it feels like she has found herself!

Still Me Book Cover Still Me
Jojo Moyes
Michael Joseph
25th January 2018
Hardback
480

LOU CLARK IS BACK in the BRAND NEW Jojo Moyes novel Still Me, follow-up to the Number One international bestsellers Me Before You and After You.

Lou Clark knows too many things . . .

She knows how many miles lie between her new home in New York and her new boyfriend Sam in London.

She knows her employer is a good man and she knows his wife is keeping a secret from him.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to meet someone who's going to turn her whole life upside down.

Because Josh will remind her so much of a man she used to know that it'll hurt.

Lou won't know what to do next, but she knows that whatever she chooses is going to change everything.

I See You –  Clare Mackintosh

I See You – Clare Mackintosh

This is a book I’ve been trying to read for ages but hadn’t been able to get hold of a physical copy, so was thrilled to get this in my Xmas presents!

Zoe Walker is the same as hundreds of other passengers making their usual journey to work when a chance look through the paper leaves her reeling. There among the classifieds she sees a photo of herself. A double take, a chat with family and she’s nearly convinced that maybe she is wrong and the photo just bears a resemblance to her, but she can’t take the feeling something isn’t right and when a murder is reported and she realises the victim is pictured on the same advert on another day her concerns worsen.

Zoe has unwittingly found herself the centre of a dangerous cat and mouse game, the story has many twists and turns and anyone who is a commuter can’t help but look up and think about just who is watching them on that all to familiar journey. Zoe’s character can be any one of us walking to our station, sitting in our normal seat and being completely unaware of our surroundings. She is easily relatable and pulls you in to her story and her feelings leaving you gripped to the book from the beginning to the end.

As with her previous novel Makintosh has managed to weave a clever web with lots of strands to the story, that you follow to the end. You’re left guessing as to just who it could be behind Zoe’s plight and even at the end when you think you’re shocked there is one final twist to the tale!

I have to say I also found the character of Kelly the BTP officer who ends up solving the case fascinating – I enjoyed the sub plot about her twin sister, but was hoping there would be a revelation by the end of the book that would also reveal the perpetrator there as well – I’m secretly hoping for another book now to follow up on that part!

All in all another chilling read that had me gripped!

I See You Book Cover I See You
Clare Mackintosh
Sphere
28th July 2016
Paperback
386

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .

The Forever Ship – Francesca Haig

The Forever Ship – Francesca Haig

The final in the Fire sermon trilogy! I’ve been eagerly anticipating this book since finishing the first in the series and trying to imagine how Haig was going to conclude her story of a post nuclear war society.

With the Alpha and Omega soldiers now working together with the Ringmaster and the introduction of another way of life in the form of the medicine from Elsewhere that Paloma talks of, the end of twinning is in sight. However The General is still intent on destroying Elsewhere by bringing back the blast and it’s clear to Cass from her visions that the end is coming.

In this final book we finally get a bit more of an insight into Zack the Alpha twin the Omega Cass, I found this particularly intriguing as we’d only heard of him from the memory of Cass and his terrible actions in the earlier books – The Keeping Rooms and the Tankings.
The introduction of the strange and new Paloma from Elsewhere also added another dimension to the plot, a new hope that perhaps things can change. I did however feel that the character was a bit distant (but perhaps this was intentional, she does come from Elsewhere after all), but her growing bond with Zoe seemed to reflect the bridging of a gap between the two worlds.

Once again I was gripped from the first page of the novel, on the edge of my seat during battles and as the book reached it’s conclusion. I was certain there could be no happy ending for Cass – not with The Reformer as a brother, however the ending is very clever in insuring the reader is happy with the conclusion for both him and Cass and may you leave shedding a tear for the right reasons.

Nail biting, edge of the seat reading at it’s best!

The Foreever Ship Book Cover The Foreever Ship
The Firesermon
Francesca Haig
HarperVoyager
25th January 2018
Kindle
448

Paloma’s arrival, with news of Elsewhere and the possibility of a world free of the fatal bond between twins, has given Cass and the resistance a hope worth fighting for.

But they are facing a Council more powerful and ruthless than Cass could ever have imagined, willing to unleash weapons from the long-buried past to maintain their power over Alphas and Omegas alike.

As the stunning Fire Sermon trilogy comes to a close, a struggle has begun not only for the future of Elsewhere but for the future of the whole world. And what started with fire may end with fire.

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