Obsession – Amanda Robson

Obsession – Amanda Robson

I was surprised to find that Obsession was Amanda Robson’s debut novel, as it had all the feel of an experienced story-teller.  When Carly asks her GP doctor Rob what other woman he likes she is surprised by his answer… their good friend Jenny.  Met on an NCP course, they attended together and becoming firm friends because of their similar career paths (both Jenny & Carly are nurses) and families who have strong religion.  Carly just can’t get the thought of Jenny & her husband together out of her head.

Slowly it becomes clear that Carly has an unhealthy and possibly irrational jealousy of Jenny and so plots her revenge for what she sees as Jenny taking her husband by setting her sights on Jenny’s. The twists that unfold lead the reader into a very dark world of obsession and mental illness, but the lines for me were blurred and just who had the obsession in this story.

While the obvious obsession stems from Carly as the plot progresses we are drawn into looking at Jenny and Rob also and at times it’s not clear what is true and what is part of the “obsession” of whichever character we are viewing from.

Each character has their own voice in this story so we really get to be in their head and see the story through them, which at times was disturbing, but this was a book which held me till the last page and I’ll definitely being going back for me of Amanda Robson’s work if it’s all as good as this debut

Obsession Book Cover Obsession
Amanda Robson
Avon
1st January 2017
Kindle
464

One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?

It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.

Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky.
But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?

Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?

Obsession is a dark, twisting thriller about how quickly our lives can fall apart when we act on our desires.

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…

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 Lodger – C L Taylor

The Lodger – C L Taylor

I’ve had this short story on my kindle since it was released from C L Taylor’s newsletter, sadly life (a newborn baby) got in the way of me being able to read this till now whilst clearing my vast to read pile on my kindle!

The Lodger introduces us to Laura on the anniversary of her husband Steven, it seems that Laura is not dealing well with his death and after a break in at her home, good friend Ian suggests his homeless brother move in as a lodger.

There’s a creepy twist in the narration of the story as between Laura’s view is this other voice, the voice of someone who is watching Laura, moving in on her. The narration is superbly chilling I had shivers!

For a short story this really did give me the chills and it has a couple of very good twists before it concludes.  C L Taylor just knows how to capture her reader! Loved it!

The Lodger Book Cover The Lodger
C L Taylor
Published to C L Taylor's newsletter
21st March 2017
9000 words

When Laura's husband Steven dies in a tragic accident she no longer feels safe in her own home. Joe, the homeless brother of a friend, offers to move in but Laura isn't keen. When she returns home one day to find that something terrible has happened she has no choice but to invite Joe to stay...

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