Cover Reveal! Siren Song by Rebecca McKinney

As part of Love Books Tours book tour, I’m so excited that I get to share the ‘Cover Reveal’ with you all!! And here it is …

Doesn’t it look incredible!

Synopsis …

A man who glimpses other people’s inner worlds, and a woman who can foresee death. Can they trace a missing girl before the worst happens?

Harrison Jones is a university lecturer with a secret: he moonlights as a psychic detective. Amy Bell is a paramedic who has the uncanny knack of knowing things are going to happen before they do. From their first accidental meeting on an Edinburgh bridge, both of their lives are destined to change.

Harrison invites Amy to help him investigate the disappearance of a beautiful young singer. The search will lead them into the murky world of human trafficking, from Edinburgh to the streets of Athens, and into the darkest corners of the human mind…

About the author …

Rebecca McKinney

Rebecca McKinney is a writer, therapist and community development practitioner, living and working in Midlothian, Scotland. She shares her home with her husband, two teenagers, three cats, and a growing collection of musical instruments. 

Previous novels:

The Angel in the Stone: shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize, 2017: Sandstone Press

Blast Radius: 2015: Sandstone Press

I will post a purchase link for Siren Song here as soon as I have one

Look out for the reviews when the book tour starts in September with Love Books Tours

Twitter: @lovebooksgroup

Instagram: @lovebookstours

The Truth in a Lie by Jan Turk Petrie

Instagram

The blurb …

Secrets and lies can be so destructive – especially when you lie to yourself.

Charlotte Preece, a successful writer, moves to a riverside apartment after breaking up with her lover. She feels guilty when the upheaval so disturbs her student daughter, Kate, that she fails her first-year exams. Charlotte is then called to the bedside of her ailing mother and has to drive through heavy snow to reach the hospital. She’s astonished when Duncan, her ex-husband, braves the treacherous conditions to join her. Is he being supportive, or does he have other motives? And then the two of them are snowed in together…

‘The Truth in a Lie’ explores the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, wives and husbands. It is a story of love, loyalty, betrayal and the damage done by untold secrets. A must for fans of Maggie O’Farrell, Ann Patchett and Sally Rooney.

My review …

I am delighted to welcome you to my blog today for my stop on the blog tour for The Truth in a Lie. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join in with this blog tour and also many thanks to the publisher Pintail Press and the author for my gifted copy of the book.

I knew that I was going to enjoy this book right from the first chapter. I love the author’s writing style, it is effortlessly skilled and a pleasure to read. The whole story just flows beautifully. I can see why her writing has been compared to Maggie O’Farrell and Ann Patchett.

We meet protagonist Charlotte as she is going through a difficult period in her life. At 46 years of age Charlotte and her daughter are moving out of their home following the breakdown of charlotte’s relationship with her boyfriend. Her career has stalled, her handsome ex-husband is hovering on the periphery, her daughter is struggling with exams in university and then Charlotte gets a call to say her mother is unwell and she has to rush to be by her bedside. We follow her as she struggles to navigate the relationships with those closest to her and also in her search for the truth in her family’s secrets but are some questions better left unanswered?

This story is a character driven, emotional journey sensitively dealing with themes of grief, adultery and deceit. I liked Charlotte’s classy character immediately and thought she was very easy to relate to and empathise with. I thought the way she dealt with her grief was extremely well written.

Petrie does an amazing job of portraying the different relationships within this story and how the dynamics of these relationships change throughout the years and generations.

I thought this was a lovely, intriguing family drama and I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary literary fiction. I appreciated the short chapters and felt that it was a nice quick read at 260 pages and I would love to read more by jan Turk Petrie.

OUT NOW

Purchase link https://www.amazon.co.uk/Truth-Lie-Jan-Turk-Petrie/dp/1912855941

About the author …

Jan Turk Petrie

The author Jan Turk Petrie lives in the Cotswolds, S.W. England. She is the author of the fast paced Nordic thriller series: the Eldísvík novels. All three of these novels are set in 2068 in a fictional city state just below the artic circle.

‘Until the Ice Cracks’ – the first of the trilogy was published in July 2018. Volume Two – ‘No God for a Warrior’ was published in November 2018 The third and final volume – ‘Within Each Other’s Shadow’ was published in April 2019 The ebook boxset – The Eldísvík Trilogy was published in August 2019 Jan’s fourth novel – ‘Too Many Heroes’ – a gripping new post-war thriller set in the East End of London was published in August 2019. She is currently working on her fifth book – ‘Towards the Vanishing Point.’

A former English teacher with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, Jan has also written numerous, prize-winning short stories. Twitter handle: @TurkPetrie

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Take a look at the other bloggers involved with this tour to read more reviews for this wonderful book.

Time School We Will Honour Them by Nikki Young

I am very pleased to say that today is my stop on the Team LitPR blog tour for this wonderful middle grade fiction book Time School – We Will Honour Them written by Nikki Young and published by Hashtag Press.

The blurb …

Nadia Kaminski knows very little about her Polish grandfather and her Polish roots, so how is she going to write a speech about him to read at his funeral?

Along with fellow time-travellers, Jess, Tomma and Ash, they find themselves on a train journey to the past. Who is Marcel? And why does he have the same name as Nadia? Is this a chance for Nadia to find out who she really is?

It’s time to board the train for another adventure back in time.

My review …

This is the second book in the Time School series and although there are references to the previous book I found this to be a great standalone story aimed at middle grade children of around 9-12 years old (school years 5-8).

The main character in this book is Nadia, her grandfather has sadly passed away and her Nana has asked her to do a eulogy at his funeral. Nadia is very nervous of public speaking and also realises that she doesn’t really know much about her Polish grandfather so she turns to her friends Jess, Tomma and Ash for advice. One morning the friends board the train to school and soon realise this is not their usual train and that they are about to embark upon another exciting but nerve wracking adventure into the past.

We follow Nadia and her friends as they try to figure out where they are, what year it is and why they are there? It is an emotional journey for Nadia that progresses to a thrilling race against time to put the past right before her life is changed forever.

I really enjoyed reading this book with my ten-year-old daughter. I like the way the book is not over simplified for children. It is intelligently written, full of interesting vocabulary and a great history lesson.

The story gives a great insight into the hardships of life in the past with some powerful and harsh realities, but told in an age appropriate manner.

With themes of war, racism, grief, friendships, crushes and overcoming your fears, there is more than enough to keep any middle grade reader hooked!

Thank you so much to Helen at Team LitPR for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and also to the author and publisher for my gifted copy of the book which is OUT NOW!

About the author …

Nikki Young is a freelance writer, copywriter and author. She is the author of ‘The Mystery of the Disappearing Underpants’ an adventure story aimed at seven to nine year-olds and reluctant readers. Nikki also writes health-related articles, reviews and recipes on her blog, ‘A free-from life’. Her background is in nutrition, so maintaining a healthy, happy family is extremely important to her. Having a son and a husband, both with different dietary needs has been a challenge and one which has tested her knowledge. As well as writing middle grade and young adult fiction, Nikki runs Storymakers, a creative writing club for children, which provides weekly courses and holiday workshops for children aged seven and above.

Find out more at http://www.nikkiyoung.co.uk

Follow her on: Twitter @nikki_cyoung

Instagram: @nikkiyoungwriter

Facebook.com/nikkiyoungwriter

To read more reviews of this fantastic book, take a look at the other bloggers on this tour …

Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan

The blurb …

It happened,  

            again and again 

            and 

again and again and again. 

Together 

                apart. 

In love 

                in aching. 

Tangled 

unravelling. 

Ana and Connor have been having an affair for three years. In hotel rooms and coffee shops, swiftly deleted texts and briefly snatched weekends, they have built a world with none but the two of them in it.  

But then the unimaginable happens, and Ana finds herself alone, trapped inside her secret. 

How can we lose someone the world never knew was ours? How do we grieve for something no one else can ever find out? In her desperate bid for answers, Ana seeks out the shadowy figure who has always stood just beyond her reach – Connor’s wife Rebecca.  

Peeling away the layers of two overlapping marriages, Here is the Beehive is a devastating excavation of risk, obsession and loss.

My review …

I absolutely loved this book, it is beautiful and heartbreaking and I would go as far as to say it is the best book I’ve read this year!

Sarah Crossan writes with the most beautiful melancholic prose with such an individual style that I’ve never read anything like it before. The book is about flawed protagonist Ana, a married probate lawyer who has been having an affair with a client, Connor, for three years when he dies suddenly and tragically. Ana is in the remarkable position of having to give her lover’s wife, Rebecca, legal advice after he dies and she abuses her position by befriending Rebecca in an attempt to gain answers to all of her questions left unanswered in Connor’s absence.

The paragraphs flit back and forth time wise so you have to concentrate on what you’re reading but this is no chore as every paragraph is perfectly succinct and no words are wasted making this an enthralling and quick read.

I enjoyed how snippets of information about Ana are released slowly throughout the story with excellent observations of family life.  Nothing is made a song and dance of, it’s just quietly told.

The author gives us a fascinating insight into the psyche and life of a mistress, always waiting and obsessive and invisible and then the agony of losing her lover and having to suffer a secret grief alone.  And also the devastating effect an affair can have on a marriage.

I struggle with reviews where I loved the book so much that I want to discuss everything but I can’t because of spoilers! I found the ending absolutely heartbreaking in the way that it shows such complexities of human emotion, that it gave me goosebumps.

I could quote so many beautiful lines from this book but this is one of my favourites;

‘I am prized – steal me

I am desolate – save me’

I just loved it!

Thank you very much to Netgalley and the Bloomsbury Publishing for my ARC 💛

This book will be published on 20th August 2020

About the author …

Sarah Crossan has lived in Dublin, London and New York, and now lives in Hertfordshire.  She graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Literature before training as an English and drama teacher at the University of Cambridge.  Crossan was the Laureate na nog (Ireland’s Children’s Literature Laureate) from 2018 to 2020.  Here is the Beehive is her first novel for adults.

@SarahCrossan

Written in Blood by Chris Carter

The blurb …

A serial killer will stop at nothing…

The Killer

His most valuable possession has been stolen. Now he must retrieve it, at any cost.

The Girl

Angela Wood wanted to teach the man a lesson. It was a bag, just like all the others. But when she opens it, the worst nightmare of her life begins.

The Detective

A journal ends up at Robert Hunter’s desk. It soon becomes clear that there is a serial killer on the loose. And if he can’t stop him in time, more people will die.

If you have read it

You must die

My review …

I was thrilled when my copy of this book landed on the doormat, mainly because it was one of the first physical proofs I have ever received (I will always remember it) and secondly because it was a hardback! The cover is striking and the blood spattered end papers give a hint of what’s to come. I didn’t realise what a popular book I had in my hands until I posted on Instagram and I had so many comments from hardcore Chris Carter fans who had read the whole Robert Hunter series. 

Blood spattered end papers!

This is not a genre that I usually read, because I’m a bit of a wimp, but I think it’s good to read out of your comfort zone sometimes and I loved it!

The story is set three weeks before Christmas in LA.  We meet troubled soul Angela Wood who is a pickpocket working in a bustling shopping street and, unfortunately for her, she picks on the wrong man. She steals a bag containing the journal of a depraved killer and she knows she’s made a monumental mistake.

The journal ends up with Detective Robert Hunter and his partner Carlos Garcia of the LAPD’s Ultra Violent Crimes Unit. The journal appears to be a kill diary and the detectives need to figure out who it belongs to before it’s too late. But this is no ordinary killer. He is intelligent, controlled, meticulously organised, he doesn’t make mistakes and he doesn’t lose! 

I’m absorbed straightaway. The story telling is effortlessly smooth. The chapters are short and together with the urgent nature of the plot makes this a real page turner.

The characters were so well drawn I felt like I knew them and could picture them in my mind straightaway. I loved Hunter’s character and his relationship with Garcia, they make a great team and complement each other perfectly. Hunter is calm, intelligent, professional and completely convincing. He is an expert in psychology and criminal behaviour and you can tell that the author knows exactly what he is talking about. The details and insights into what appears to be a delusional schizophrenic serial killer are absolutely fascinating! 

As previously mentioned, I am a wimp, and Chris Carter’s books are known to be pretty gory and violent, which at times I found difficult to read, but I’m sure that’s what the author wants, so, mission accomplished! 

I found this to be a great standalone book in a series of eleven featuring Robert Hunter. It didn’t matter at all that I hadn’t read the others, apart from a brief hint of a past romance for Hunter that made me wonder about his back story.

Overall this book is a full on, dark, sickening, tense, fast paced thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat as Hunter and Garcia race to catch an evil killer. And I loved it!

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster and Chris Carter for my copy of the book and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to be part of the blog tour for this fantastic book, which is OUT NOW!

About the author …

Chris Carter

Born in Brazil of Italian origin, Chris Carter studied psychology and criminal behaviour at the University of Michigan. As a member of the Michigan State District Attorney’s Criminal Psychology team, he interviewed and studied many criminals, including serial and multiple homicide offenders with life imprisonment convictions. He now lives in London.

Visit his website http://www.chriscarterbooks.com

P.S. I was saddened to read in the Dedication and Acknowledgments that whilst writing this book Chris sadly lost his partner and I would like to offer my sincere condolences 💔


To read more great reviews, take a look at the other bloggers on this tour …

 

Cock & Bull by Laura Barnard

The blurb…

Who knew that owning a pub would come with so many extras?

When Phoebe and Ella Bellerose left England behind to run the Irish pub they’d inherited, it sounded like a great adventure… until they saw for themselves what a wreck they’d been left.

With no experience, a severe lack of money, and a rival pub owner threatening to ruin them, the two girls aren’t convinced they can actually make this work.

Not until they meet Clooney Breen, who just so happens to be packed with charm, charisma, and barman skills that could help them all survive. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s the son of Cock & Bull’s biggest rival, and he’s desperate to help Ella and Phoebe teach his father a lesson.

But can mysterious Clooney, with his obvious secrets and desire to be their saviour, really be trusted? Or are they being played by this handsome lothario who seems too good to be true? Their problems only seem to grow and grow, until Phoebe discovers a ‘gift’ of her own that changes everything for all of them…

Things you should know about this rom com:

🍺 Tortured Bad Boy Hero
🍾 Enemies to Lovers Tension
🍸 Small Town Vibes & Gossiping Tribes
🍹 Quirky Sisters & Family Secrets
🍷 Slow burn, ‘will they, won’t they?’ romance.
🤣 LAUGH OUT LOUD comedy.

My review…

I really enjoyed this lighthearted sexy rom com!

We follow Phoebe and her sister Ella as they move to Ireland after inheriting a pub from their aunt. The pub is in a shocking state of repair but Phoebe sinks her life savings into its renovation and the sisters work their socks off to try to get the place up and running. The venture is plagued with problems and everything seems to fall to responsible and sensible Phoebe to sort out. 

But that’s not the only problem she is faced with. As well as a shocking revelation from her hippy parents, a thriving rival pub and a huge crush on gorgeous but untrustworthy bad boy Clooney, and you can imagine the pressure poor Phoebe is under! 

Brimming with sexual tension and romance, the story is told in a lighthearted manner through loveable characters and with a lot of expletives and laughs along the way! That being said the author also sensitively deals with more serious issues and the story definitely has its emotional moments.

A must read for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes. I’ve definitely got my eye on one of Laura’s Christmas books to add to my December #tbr! Thank you so much to Laura for inviting me to be involved in the release of this book and for the gifted ARC 💚

You can read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited – mybook.to/cockandbull.

Here is the Amazon link for the paperback edition: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1916273432/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_RcxgFbNGM9AWX

Author bio…

Amazon Best Seller Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes quirky British romantic comedy. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks on Pinterest.

She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She’s a real fan of the power nap, loves setting her friends up together and of course READING! 

​She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!

Giveaway! …

Head on over to Laura’s accounts to be in with a chance of winning a signed paperback and £10 / $10 Amazon Gift card.  She’s also having a release party, with a host of author giveaways, in her facebook group – Laura’s Barn-Hards!

www.laurabarnardbooks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/laurabarnardbooks

www.instagram.com/laurabarnardauthor

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

The blurb …

‘Awfully opinionated for a girl’ is what they call Hillary as she grows up in her Chicago suburb. Smart, diligent, and a bit plain, that’s the general consensus. Then Hillary goes to college, and her star rises. At Yale Law School, she continues to be a leader— and catches the eye of driven, handsome and charismatic Bill. But when he asks her to marry him, Hillary gives him a firm ‘No’.

The rest, as they say, isn’t history. How might things have turned out for them, for America, for the world itself, if Hillary Rodham had really turned down Bill Clinton?

With her sharp but always compassionate eye, Sittenfeld explores the loneliness, moral ambivalence and iron determination that characterise the quest for high office, as well as the painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world ruled by men. Uncannily astute and witty in the telling, RODHAM is a brilliant reimagining – an unmissable literary landmark and truly a novel of our times.

About the author …

In addition to Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller American Wife, in which she painted a picture of an ordinary American girl – a thinly-disguised Laura Bush – who found herself married to a President. It was longlisted for the Orange Prize, as was her debut novel Prep.

Her other books are Man of My DreamsSisterland (a Richard & Judy Book Club pick), Eligible, and the acclaimed short story collection You Think It, I’ll Say It.
Her books are translated into 30 languages.

She lives with her family in the American Mid-West.

My review …

I’m so grateful that I was invited onto this tour because it’s given me a chance to read this incredible book when otherwise I’m not sure I would have picked it up. I love the concept of this novel and Sittenfeld’s writing is outstanding and easy to read considering the complex subject matter. I must admit that I know next to nothing about American politics and although a lot of this went over my head, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story.

I was about 19 years old when the scandal surrounding Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky hit the news so I remember quite a lot about Bill Clinton but not necessarily about Hillary and I didn’t have an opinion about her before I read this – apart from wishing she had won the Presidency in 2016! Narrated by Hillary we follow her from her 1969 graduation speech at Wellesley and subsequent attendance at Yale Law School, where she meets charming and handsome Bill, right the way through her political career up until the 2016 presidential campaign. We discover what Hillary’s life would be like if she hadn’t married Bill, hadn’t had her daughter and had focussed solely on her career. We see how Hillary’s life and career is plagued by the sexist media who scrutinise and criticise every area of her appearance, personality, private and public life in ways that wouldn’t happen if she was a man. The story highlights these disgraceful double standards and the glass ceiling that exists for women who have to choose between having a career, or being a wife and mother, and for fictional Hillary and real life Hillary, she just can’t seem to please anyone in this regard.

I became so immersed in this book that I had to remind myself that I wasn’t reading Hillary’s autobiography. Because the book is written around real events, and obviously because the ‘characters’ are real people and the dialogue was so convincing, this whole alternate reality was completely believable and absolutely fascinating. One of my favourite ‘characters’ to make an appearance was Donald Trump and I thought his involvement and idiosyncrasies were spot on and very amusing! I also found the story to be quite emotional and I did feel quite tearful at certain points, particularly when Hillary and Bill separated despite being very much in love, and also the moment when Obama took to the stage with his family after winning the presidential election.

I liked Hillary’s alternate ending, but at the same time I can’t say I wish this for her in real life, even though her marriage and career have had some extremely hard times, I kept thinking about Hillary without her daughter Chelsea and, as a mother myself, that is really unthinkable. I truly respected the decisions of fictional Hillary and feel that she would be an inspiration to girls and women the world over but I’m not sure if I can say the same about real life Hillary. Would I want my young daughters to be inspired by someone who allowed themselves to be mistreated by their husband even if it meant furthering their career, possibly to be the first female president of the USA? I really don’t know. This is such a thought provoking story in so many ways. It not only made me question Hillary’s decisions but also my own life choices and I pondered on how things could have turned out differently for me if I had done X instead of Y. I would actually be interested in finding out more about the real Hillary and reading her autobiographies. I also wonder whether she will read this book!

Rodham is published in hardback by Doubleday on 9th July 2020.

Thank you so much to the author, Doubleday and Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me onto this blog tour and for a digital copy of this book in exchange for my review.

My June 2020 Wrap Up

I read seven and a half books in June. This might not seem like a lot to some of my fellow readers, but I think it’s a good effort considering I’m homeschooling three children during lockdown! I sneakily included Rodham in my round up, even though I haven’t finished it yet, because I have read over halfway, so I thought it was only fair.

The reviews for most of these books are already on previous blog posts, or on my instagram, but here is a star rating recap out of 5:

Normal People ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Safe Place ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Truants ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Women at Hitler’s Table ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Half Sister ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Babysitter ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Wives ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My favourites this month would be a choice between The Safe Place, The Babysitter or The Wives. All fantastic page turning thrillers that I would highly recommend.

Books Acquired

As you can see I acquired a lot of books this month!! I was so lucky to be gifted The Doll Factory, Daisy Jones & The Six, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, The Catch and Lies, Lies, Lies from my lovely instagram followers either from competition wins or ‘random acts of kindness’ gifts, which are circulating all over bookstagram. The Guest List was a bookclub pick for June that unfortunately I didn’t get around to reading and The Nanny was loaned to me by my lovely neighbour. The others were gifts to myself and it really was a case of bookstagram made me do it!

Bookstagram really is the nicest part of the internet. In these strange and worrying times of lockdown, creating my own book account really has taken my mind off the news and lowered my anxiety levels. Everyone is helpful, kind and supportive. It is heaven for bookworms but not so good for your bank balance! The ‘random acts of kindness’ really do make my day. Bookstagrammers make a public wishlist on Amazon containing items such as sweets, chocolate, books and stationary and post the link to the wishlist in their bio. Bookstagrammers can then randomly gift other bookstagrammers and it’s such a lovely surprise when the Amazon delivery guy or gal knocks on your door. It’s equally heartwarming when someone is thrilled to receive your gift. However, I have developed an unhealthy addiction to Candy Kittens since all this started. If you know, you know.

I can’t wait to get stuck into this wonderful pile of books. I’m particularly keen to start The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett and Half a World Away by Mike Gayle, so look out for my reviews on those.

I also have the following blog tours coming up in July, which I am very excited about:

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld 1st-10th July

Broken Flowers by Kate McQuaile 9th-12th July

Cock and Bull by Laura Barnard 28th July

Written in Blood by Chris Carter 23rd-30th July

July is shaping up to be a fantastic month, not only with this fabulous stack of books to get through, but with lockdown restrictions gradually being lifted in Wales, be prepared for lots of book on the beach photos, as we can head back down to the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast.

Have a great month book lovers!

❤️

P.S. You can find the June reading update template on instagram @librarygoblin make sure to give her a follow and some likes!

The Babysitter by Phoebe Morgan

The blurb …

On the hottest day of the year, Caroline Harvey is found dead in Suffolk. Her body is found draped over a cot – but the baby she was looking after is missing.  

Hundreds of miles away, Siobhan Dillon is on a luxurious family holiday in France when her husband, Callum, is arrested by French police on suspicion of murder.

As Siobhan’s perfect family is torn apart by the media in the nation’s frantic search for the missing baby, she desperately tries to piece together how Callum knew Caroline. 

What happened that night? Was Caroline as innocent as she seemed – or was she hiding a secret of her own?

My review …

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I thoroughly enjoyed this cleverly plotted thriller which kept me guessing right up until the bitter end. It’s the kind of book that once you’ve picked it up, you can’t put it down!

The story is brilliantly weaved via alternating chapters between Siobhan, Caroline and DS Wildy (which is my favourite format for a book) together with police interview transcripts and social media posts, which highlight the modern culture of trial by social media. The chapters told from Caroline’s point of view on the day of her murder were brilliant and they completely ramped up the suspense of the story! We then follow Siobhan as she struggles to piece together what happened on the night of Caroline’s murder and DS Wildy and his team as they race to try and solve the murder and find baby Eve.

The book is largely based in Ipswich but begins in gorgeous Saint Juillet on the North West Coast of France in a luxury villa on the hottest day of the year. Siobhan and her husband Callum are on holiday with their 16-year-old daughter Emma and Siobhan’s sister Maria who owns the villa. We learn that Siobhan has been ignoring the flaws in her marriage to handsome TV executive Callum, and trying to hold the family together for the sake of her daughter, from whom she is becoming increasingly distant. Emma is a typical moody teenager and a daddy’s girl and takes it very badly when Callum is arrested at the villa. Maria is Siobhan’s rock throughout the whole dreadful period in her life and they share a wonderful sisterly bond.

I thought Caroline was a brilliant character. Lonely, obsessive, jealous and longing for a baby, poor Caroline had never got over the death of her mother and has been treated very badly by the man she loved. I felt sorry for her and terrified of her in equal measures. As a mother myself the descriptions of Caroline babysitting for baby Eve had me squirming anxiously in my seat and Eve’s subsequent disappearance was heart wrenching. In fact, baby loss, in one form or another, is sadly relevant to most of the characters in this story.

A tense and gripping story full of lies and deceit this really did have me on the edge of my seat and I would recommend it to everyone. I will definitely be reading more of Phoebe Morgan’s books. I love the cover of this book too, so colourful and eye catching!

Thank you very much to Netgalley and HQ Stories for the digital ARC of this book for my review.

About the author …

Phoebe Morgan is an author and editor.  She studied English at Leeds University after growing up in the Suffolk countryside.  She edits commercial fiction for a publishing house during the day and writes her own books in the evenings.  Phoebe lives in London and you can follow her on Twitter @phoebe_a_morgan, or find her website about publishing and writing at phoebemorganauthor.com.  She is the author of The Doll House and The Girl Next Door, and The Babysitter is her third book.  Her novels have been translated into multiple languages and are available in the US, Canada, France, Croatia, Italy, Estonia, Norway, Portugal and more!

The Half Sister by Sandie Jones

The blurb…

Her arrival will ruin everything

Kate and Lauren.  Sisters who are always there for each other.  But as they gather for their weekly Sunday lunch, a knock on the door changes everything.  

The new arrival, Jess, claims to be their half-sister, but that would mean the unthinkable … that she’s the secret daughter of their beloved, recently deceased father Harry.  Their mother Rose is devastated and Kate and Lauren refuse to believe Jess’ lies. 

But as the fall-out starts it’s clear that each is hiding secrets and that perhaps this family isn’t as perfect as they appear.  

Where there was truth, now there are lies and only one thing is certain, their half-sister’s arrival has ruined everything …

My review …

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I think I judged this book by its cover and was expecting it to be an eerie thriller when it fact it reads more like a family drama until the last few chapters.  It took me until well over halfway through the book to be drawn into the characters and the plot and I must admit that I almost didn’t want to finish it at the halfway point.  I feel that the half-sister Jess was introduced too soon into the story before we’d had a chance to get to know and therefore empathise with the main characters.  However, the plot thickens at the midway point, it definitely got more interesting and changed pace into more of a page turner.  I found that the characters had grown on me and I did actually want to know what was going on.  Who was Jess and what did she want from the family? 

The story is told from the alternating view point of sisters Kate and Lauren.  Jess arrives at a time when the sisters are still grieving the loss of their father and a divide has grown between them.  They have very different lives and both sisters feel that the grass is greener on the other side, which leads to resentment and a crippling lack of communication.  When self assured and in my opinion, unlikeable, Jess arrives on the scene, her search for answers dredges up painful secrets that the sisters would have preferred to have stayed in the past.  I really did grow to like the sisters’ characters and found certain parts to be very emotional. I especially liked Lauren’s character, I found her very relatable particularly as I can sympathise with her as to the demands of three small children!

This story has themes of infertility, domestic abuse, infidelity and grief with some great twists and turns in the second half, that culminate in a very surprising ending.

Thank you to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for the ARC.

About the author …

Sandie Jones is the author of the bestselling The Other Woman and The First Mistake. A freelance journalist, she has contributed to the Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Woman’s Weekly and Hello magazine, amongst others. If she wasn’t a writer, she’d be an interior designer as she has an unhealthy obsession with wallpaper and cushions. She lives in London with her husband and three children.