First of all I would like to thank Bookouture for providing me with a copy of The Silent Girls to review. At the moment I am all for crime and thriller books, I just can’t get enough of them. I was excited when I saw this book mentioned as it sounded like the perfect read for me and it did not disappoint.
This book follows Detective Anna Gwynne as she hunts for the killer of Emily Risman. From the start this book grabbed my attention, with its dark beginning I was intrigued to discover what had happened and how the story would develop.
From the moment we meet Anna, its apparent she is a complex and fascinating character. Her ability to work things out and her ability to intellect, yet her avoidance of social situations really brought her character to life and made her fascinating, I really liked her although I am not sure why. I enjoyed discovering bits about her and her past and hope that this continues to build throughout the series.
The SIlent Girls focuses on the cold case of a young girl, Emily Risman who was murdered and raped 18 years earlier. Throw in to the mix Hector Shaw, a interesting and chilling character and this make The Silent Girls an explosive read. The plot has a good pace and story flows nicely, building suspense and giving us some cracking plot twists which kept me reading on long in to the night. This was truly chilling book and the more I read and the more I discovered the more intrigued I became with where the story was taking me.
There are some real heart pounding moments during the course of the novel, but I particularly enjoyed the parts of the story which were told from the perspective of the killer. This really added to the story and brought something extra chilling to the book.
This is a cracking start to the series, with a host of fascinating characters and personalities. I am excited to see where book two takes us and to learn more about Detective Anne Gwynne, as I feel there is some big things in her past to discover.
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Dylan Young grew up in a mining village in South Wales before boarding a train for university in London. A career in the NHS followed, but the urge to write never went away. Three dark psychological thrillers for Random House emerged in the late nineties, two of which were made into BBC films. Over the last decade, under different pseudonyms, he’s written children’s books and an adult contemporary fantasy series. But his liking for crime (writing) never died. The Silent Girls releases 19th January with the second book to follow soon after.
The Silent Girls
‘Ambulance and police. Something’s happened. I don’t know what. But my little girl.’ A sob choked off the sentence… ‘It’s my daughter.’
When a young girl disappears from the edge of the local forest, the Gloucestershire police are convinced she’s been taken by the same killer who stabbed to death beautiful, young Emily Risman eighteen years ago. They’re desperate to finally have the evidence to put him away. To save another girl before it’s too late.
Only Detective Anna Gwynne thinks he isn’t the real killer.
Anna can’t find proof and as time is running out, she realises she needs to get inside the killer’s twisted mind. And she knows just who to ask. Hector Shaw, in prison for killing the six men who caused his own daughter’s death.
Can Anna get what she needs from Hector before another life is lost, or could he lead her down a path that puts her own life in grave danger?
An absolutely page-turning thriller that will have you hooked. If you love Val McDermid, Angela Marsons and M.J. Arlidge, you won’t be able to put down The Silent Girls.
So first off… I’m back! Apologies for the absence in reviews over the last few months, reading had taken a backseat whilst I was on maternity leave. However I’m now back on the commute and reading is back on, and I thought what better way to kick off 2018 then revisiting one of Compelling Reads favourite authors C L Taylor.
As regular readers of our blog will know we’ve lost ourselves in C L Taylor’s books before and love it when she releases a new one! The Escape is no different…
Here we meet Jo, Jo suffers from anxiety and agoraphobia, we learn that this stems from the loss of her first child. Although she is still plagued by her anxieties she has set up coping methods which enable her to carry on with her job and look after her daughter Elise. Jo’s anxieties are heightened however when a rather startling meeting with a woman she meets on the way to picking up her daughter from nursery who makes a thinly veiled threat to her daughter.
As the book progresses the strange woman Paula seems to trouble Jo more and more as it’s clear she is after something, something to do with Jo’s husband. Although her husband appears at first to be long suffering and doing his best to settle Jo’s anxieties, soon Jo’s world seems to tumble around her as the threats turn to actions and even her husband loses patience with her “anxiety” and makes a case to have her daughter taken away.
As Jo goes on the run with her daughter determined to prove her innocence the book is gripping, we find ourselves in a tension filled page turner that hurtles towards it’s conclusion. C L Taylor really knows how to make a thrilling read from a domestic viewpoint, always allowing you to identify with the main character in some way and get you routing for them. The Escape is once again an unputdownable read! More like this please!
C L Taylor
23rd March 2017
The Sunday Times bestseller returns with her most thrilling book yet, An unputdownable read for fans of Into the Water and The Girlfriend.
"Look after your daughter's things. And your daughter…"
When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn't.
The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise.
What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her.
No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there's only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.
Silent Lies is the latest novel from Kathryn Croft and from the beginning we are thrown straight into a strong and thrilling plot. Mia, Zach and Freya are the perfect family until one day Zach suddenly commits suicide. Mia is left behind picking up the pieces of his indiscretions and putting her life back together. Five years later and life is finally starting to settle down and Mia is in a relationship with the lovely Will and working as a counsellor. One of Mia’s new clients, Alison seems to know a lot about her and her late husband, who she claims didn’t kill him self.
This session with Alison, throws Mia’s life in to disarray once more. How did she know Zach? Did he kill himself? Why come forward five years later. What begins is a compelling thrilling which grabbed me and drew me in to a complex plot which left me guessing and amazed at what was occurring. I loved the flash backs to the past and delving more in to what at first appeared to be a suicide. Secrets are uncovered and it shows you don’t always really know the ones you love.
Croft managed to build tension and suspense throughout which had me turning pages late in to the night, desperate to find out howthe characters were linked and how their stories were connected. No stone was left unturned and I was literally at the edge of my seat with some of the discoveries I made as I read on. This was a very cleverly written book, whilst it wasn’t fast paced it remained intriguing and fresh, with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing until the end.
Silent Lies is an incredible psychological thriller with fascinating characters and back stories. While the characters weren’t always the most likeable, each had their place within the story and added to the general tension and suspense throughout. This was a well thought out and clever novel and is well worth a read.
‘Your husband didn’t kill himself.’
Five years rebuilding your life. Five words will destroy it again.
Mia Hamilton lived the perfect life with her husband, university teacher Zach, and their two-year-old daughter. But everything changed when Zach committed suicide on the same night one of his students vanished.
Five years later, just when Mia is beginning to heal, stranger Alison walks into her life, saying her husband didn’t kill himself.
Fragile, slight Alison leads Mia on a path into Zach’s past, and Mia begins to think she never really knew her own husband. As the secrets revealed get darker, Alison becomes harder to read, and Mia starts to wonder – why is Alison so keen to help?
And then a piece of the puzzle appears in an impossible place, and Mia has to ask, is she losing her mind, or should she be afraid for her life?
An absolutely unputdownable psychological thriller about obsession and buried secrets, with a brilliant twist. Fans of The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors, and Gone Girl will be hooked from the very first page.
Race to the Kill is the final installment in the Sean Denton series of books. During a busy night shift, Sean is approached by a woman asking for help. What they stumble upon is more than either he or his partner could have anticipated. As they delve in to the events at Chasebridge High School, the local Greyhound stadium becomes embroiled in the investigation, leading Sean on an investigation looking right in to the heart of the community in which he grew up.
Race to the Kill is a fantastic crime novel. From page one I was hooked and found myself desperately reading late in to the night so as to discover the secrets within the pages. Helen Cadbury managed to weave a fantastic plot with a number of different character points of views and stories which tied up seamlessly to give an explosive, edge of the seat ending. Each character and story had its place and all added to the suspense and overall build up to the finale. The detail was mind blowing and no corner was left unturned.
I loved the diverse characters in the book, each I felt had their place within the plot and were well executed. I loved Sean Denton, he was a fantastic protagonist and I loved uncovering his past and learning more about his past and how all of this led to man he was becoming. Sean was a character whom was easily likeable, I found him realistic and I enjoyed reading from his point of view. The only character in this book which I didn’t particularly like was his partner, the crime scene investigator. I felt she thought herself to be superior and actually she wasn’t a very likeable character.
I loved the inclusion of his younger sister and the family dynamics this brought to the plot. This was a book that went so much deeper than just a who done it, delving in to family dynamics, murder, homelessness and even refugees.
Race to the Kill is a superb piece of writing, which delivered page after page. I was hooked, the words flowed effortlessly, weaving its magic and enabling me to imagine vividly the scenes as they occurred. I have not yet read any of the other books in this series, but I certainly will be reading them now. Cadbury is a talented writer and this is a book to be devoured and enjoyed time and time again. While Cadbury may no longer be with us, her words are sure to be heard by many for years to come and her talent and ability to weave such a compelling read will live on.
RIP Helen, thank you for sharing with us your words and for giving us Sean Denton x
Race to the Kill
Allison & Busby
It is the middle of a long night shift for PC Sean Denton and his partner PC Gavin Wentworth when they are approached by a dishevelled-looking woman desperate that they follow her. She leads them to the old Chasebridge High School where they find the dead body of a Syrian refugee. The investigation which points to the neighbouring greyhound stadium finds Denton caught up in a world of immigration, drugs and sexual abuse, and one in which his private life becomes increasingly entwined.
A lovely treat through the letter box in Clare Fisher’s All the Good Things. It was a rainy Monday and my kindle battery had died so I looked to my unread book shelf and this caught my eye. From page one I was hooked in Beth’s story – at 21 years old she is in prison, and can only see the bad in herself. When her psychiatrist suggests writing down all the good things she remembers Beth feels she will struggle. Soon however she has remembered her job at the Odeon, Orange Wednesdays, being friends with Chantelle and “your dad”.
It’s not revealed until the end of the book why Beth is in prison, but I felt from reading you could probably begin to get an idea from reading between the lines. In writing her notebook you become immersed in Beth’s life – her struggles with an absent mother, being passed through the foster care system and in believing she’d found love with a married man. When she is pregnant she has little money and becomes embroiled in debt.
It’s difficult not to feel for Beth and by the end I was a little teary at her story – probably had more effect on me being a new mum myself that I could have more of a connection in that way to the character.
A great little page turner for a rainy day!
All The Good Things
Penguin - Viking
Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn't deserve ever to feel good again.
But her counsellor, Erika, won't give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby's head.
But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.
What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone - even a 100% bad person - deserve a chance to be good?
With thanks to The Orion Publishing Group for allowing us an advance copy of this book in exchange for review – the third in a series by Becky Masterman, however we’ve not read any of the previous books and had no problem getting stuck into this story reading it as a standalone.
Here we meet Bridget Quinn reminiscing on her first time witnessing someone’s execution and flashing forwards to present day where she winds up travelling to her parents as her dad is gravely ill and reencountering an old colleague who is now desperate to save a man days away from execution on death row. Marc Creighton is accused of the murder of his wife, thanks to some loose fingerprint evidence, and it’s also believed he murdered his children who disappeared the same night.
Marc however has always protested his innocence but can he convince those who want to put him to death in time? Bridget is looking over the case and this turns into a gripping thriller with a race against the clock element – unfortunately at some point the clock runs out but the pace of the story doesn’t falter and there are many more puzzle pieces to fit together before the oh my god twist of an ending!
A fantastic crime narrative and I’m sure to return to this author!
A Twist of the knife
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
8th June 2017
It takes a strong woman to be able to watch someone die.
Brigid Quinn is tough, determined, steely and sharper than sharp. As an ex-agent of the FBI she has seen it all, and survived. But nothing can cut her closer to the bone than family...
When Brigid gets a call from her mother saying her father is in hospital with pneumonia, she decides to check on her former colleague Laura Coleman who is living nearby. Having saved Brigid's life, Laura is now working on an 'innocence project', investigating cold cases. And one in particular seems to have caught her attention. Fifteen years before, Marcus Creighton was accused of killing his wife and three children. Now the state governor has signed the warrant for his execution.
Worried that her friend is getting in too deep, Brigid promises to help. But what if her instincts are betraying her? If she can't even trust her memories of her own childhood, how can she make a call on some stranger's story that took place over fifteen years before?