#ThrowbackThursday: The Hiding House @MRichardsAuthor #review

‘Throwback Thursday’ is a weekly meme hosted by Renee of It’s Book Talk blog and is a great way of sharing older books or older reviews – something I often forget to do, meaning they just sort of float into the blog abyss…! It’s also a great way to share new reviews of books which were published a while ago;  as Renee says – “You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)!”

Throwback Thursday logo

So, this week’s choice (and my first ‘Throwback Thursday’ pick) is a review I published 2 whole years ago…

The Hiding House – Malcolm Richards (published 11 September 2011)

The Hiding House by Malcolm Richards[Synopsis]

When their beloved grandmother dies, siblings Sebastian and Elise find themselves suddenly alone. Fearing foster care and separation, the children seek refuge in their isolated woodland home, hoping the outside world will pass them by.

But the outside world is the least of their concerns. Nana May’s body still sits out in the garden, in the grasp of a summer heatwave. A malevolent figure stalks through the trees, waiting for nightfall. The household chores have yet to be done.

And what of the mystery surrounding the siblings’ abusive mother, who vanished without trace four years earlier?

In a place where secrets hang from every branch, Sebastian and Elise will discover that real life is no fairy tale.

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[My Review]

The Hiding House by Malcolm Richards took me a little while to get into, but once I did, I was really drawn into Elise and Sebastian’s world!

The entire book has a kind of dreamlike state to it- although it seemed to be set in the real world, it was hard to pinpoint exactly which decade, and exactly where in the world. I couldn’t quite get my head around what I was reading- I think the fact that various parts of the narrative were very reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel and other fairy tales added to this, and make me expect certain things that didn’t actually happen. However what did happen certainly kept me entertained (though I got a little confused sometimes at the change from present to past narratives)!

The characters were likeable and interesting; I cared what happened to Sebastian and Elise and felt their intense fear at certain points. There were parts that were quite creepy and I was impressed at the way that the author used just the right amount of hyperbole and drama to create a menacing, threatening situation for both siblings.

I feel that Malcolm Richards has created a unique, atmospheric story in The Hiding House, which keeps the reader absorbed and, at times, guessing too!

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to the author, Malcolm Richards, for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

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WWW Wednesday [13 December 2017]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself – as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments. I’d love to see your answers too!

The three W’s are:

    1. What have you finished reading?
    2. What are you currently reading?
    3. What will you read next?

What have you finished reading? 

Reviews for all the below to follow soon!

White Bodies – Jane Robins
It Started With a Tweet – Anna Bell [I’m on the blog tour with a review and a giveaway for this book on the 21st December, so stay tuned for that!]
The Case of Mary Bell – Gitta Sereny [audiobook]

 

What are you currently reading? 

Anatomy of a Scandal – Sarah Vaughan
And I’ve just started a new audiobook: The Other Us – Fiona Harper

 

What will you read next?

I’ve just been approved for Before We Were Yours – Lisa Wingate on Netgalley so I’ll probably read that next, as it was published at the end of November…

Or perhaps… The Child Finder – Rene Denfield


What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books ryou’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!


DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

 

The Scent of Rain [review]

The Scent of Rain - Anne Montgomery

Title: The Scent of Rain
Author: Anne Montgomery
Publisher: Treehouse Publishing Group

[Synopsis]

Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.

Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl–Rose–running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.

With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father’s age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?

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[My Review]

The Scent of Rain is an interesting, well-researched novel about a subject I find incredibly interesting: religious cults/ organisations.

The novel follows various characters involved with the Fundamentalist Mormon community, and their experiences.  There are some hard to read parts which are really shocking, and here you can tell that the story is well-researched as there is a lot of small details which makes the story even more interesting.

The characters themselves were interesting to read about, though I found some to be a little under-developed – I felt like some of them could have been fleshed out a little more to make me care more about what happened to them – and some of the story a little predictable. Plus, at the beginning, when the point of view changed a lot, it could be a little difficult to remember who was who. However, I felt myself really care about Rose and her predicament as the novel went on, and though there were plenty of horrible (or perhaps just misguided?) characters in this novel, there were also some nicer people that I found myself caring about.

Though there were plenty of uncomfortable, shocking parts, the subject matter itself is very intriguing and I reallyenjoyed finding out more about a community like the Fundamentalist Mormons. It’s crazy (and awful, in my opinion) to think that people are forced to live a certain way like that in a first world country such as America, and duped into believing that – for example – having three wives, or dressing a certain way, will help them in the afterlife. Add to that parents so brainwashed (or so I felt, anyway!) that they’d go against their children’s happiness to appease the Prophet, and you have one messed up community which made for an interesting read!


Many thanks to the author, Anne Montgomery, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

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Why Mummy Drinks [audiobook review]

Why Mummy Drinks

Title: Why Mummy Drinks
Author: Gill Sims
Publisher: HarperCollins

[Synopsis]

Why Mummy Drinks is the brilliant novel from Gill Sims, the author of the online sensation Peter and Jane.

It is Mummy’s 39th birthday. She is staring down the barrel of a future of people asking if she wants to come to their advanced yoga classes, and polite book clubs where everyone claims to be tiddly after a glass of Pinot Grigio and says things like ‘Oooh gosh, are you having another glass?’

But Mummy does not want to go quietly into that good night of women with sensible haircuts who ‘live for their children’ and stand in the playground trying to trump each other with their offspring’s extracurricular activities and achievements, and boasting about their latest holidays.

Instead, she clutches a large glass of wine, muttering ‘FML’ over and over again. Until she remembers the gem of an idea she’s had…

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[My Review]

With every page offering some form of entertainment or hilarity, Why Mummy Drinks is a witty, sharp novel full of fun and craziness – and the audiobook version that I listened to, narrated by Gabrielle Glaister, is a fab version!

Though I don’t have any kids myself, I still found this novel to be really amusing. I could picture the situations very well, despite not having been through it myself, and this shows was a fab writer Gill Sims is. Listening to this on audiobook was also very funny as Gabrielle read the novel out loud so well, in a very comical way, and I found that I could imagine some parts even more having listened to them. on audiobook.

Why Mummy Drinks is both delightfully sweary and comical, with some hilarious situations peppered amongst the more ‘everyday’ tasks (which are also very funny) of trying to juggle kids, husband and work – certainly no mean feat. Though there are moments when I didn’t like Ellen’s actions and felt a bit irritated by her, wondering why she was doing that, I can really appreciate this entertaining story and I really enjoyed reading it, from first page to last. I imagine that, if I had kids and had been through all this myself, it would be even more entertaining and relatable.

Definitely recommended if you fancy a light-hearted, easy read and good laugh!

[Rating: 4/5]

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Can You Keep A Secret [review]

Can You Keep A Secret

Title: Can You Keep a Secret?
Author: Karen Perry
Publisher: Michael Joseph

[Synopsis]

It’s time for a reunion

Lindsey hasn’t spoken to Rachael in twenty years, not since her brother’s 18th birthday party at their parents’ remote country house. A night that shattered so many friendships – and left Rachel’s father dead.

Now Thornbury Hall is up for sale, and the old gang are back there, together again. A weekend to say goodbye to the old place, to talk about the past. But twenty years of secrets aren’t given up lightly. Some won’t speak about what happened that night. While others want to ensure that no one does. Surviving the weekend is going to depend on whether you can keep a secret…

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[My Review]

I’m a huge fan of writing duo Paul Perry and Karen Gillecem, who together write as Karen Perry – I really enjoyed Only We Know [my review] and Girl Unknown [my review] so was really excited to read Can You Keep A Secret.

It’s a very atmospheric novel, weaving two timeframes – 1991, when Lindsey and friends were only 15, and the present day. I love novels that do this, especially when they involve some air of mystery, which this one definitely does. The characters – both as younger versions of themselves and as present-day adults – are intriguing (though not all of them are very likable) and I really enjoyed slowly finding out more and more about them.

It’s packed full of secrets, of varying sizes and importance, and shows how they can affect people and relationships even years later! I don’t want to give too much away about the story, but rest assured there are plenty of twists, tension and surprises in this well written, intriguing plot.

If you’re a fan of Karen Perry or just want to give some of their novels a go, this is a great option and one which I really enjoyed – as usual!

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Michael Joseph UK for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

These Violent Delights [review]

These Violent Delights

Title: These Violent Delights
Author: Victoria Namkung
Publisher: Griffith Moon Publishing

[Synopsis]

At Windemere School for Girls, one of America’s elite private schools, Dr. Gregory Copeland is the beloved chair of the English Department. A married father with a penchant for romantic poetry—and impressionable teenage girls—he operates in plain sight for years, until one of his former students goes public with allegations of inappropriate conduct. With the help of an investigative journalist, and two additional Windemere alumnae who had relationships with Copeland as students, the unlikely quartet unites to take him down.

Set in modern-day Los Angeles, These Violent Delights is a literary exploration of the unyielding pressures and vulnerabilities that so many women and girls experience, and analyzes the ways in which our institutions and families fail to protect or defend us. A suspenseful and nuanced story told from multiple points of view, the novel examines themes of sexuality, trauma, revenge, and the American myth of liberty and justice for all.

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[My Review]

These Violent Delights is a deep, multi-faceted novel which touches upon a very emotive issues: teacher relationships (of a sexual nature) with pupils.

This subject matter is, of course, very pertinent to today’s issues, and though it might not be right to say it is an ‘enjoyable’ read, I did nevertheless enjoy it as it was engagingly written and very interesting. There was plenty of suspense, but it wasn’t a mystery  because the reader knows from the beginning what has happened to certain people and who did this to them, but you’re never sure if Dr Copeland is going to get what he deserves – and, as the novel goes on, more and more of the teacher in question’s behaviour is revealed.

These Violent Delights is an interesting – and at times, shocking too – read and I found it made me consider how I’d react to this, both as a young impressionable girl still at school and also as an adult, knowing how topical this issue is today. It’s easy to see why someone very young would not know how to react, but not at all easy to see why the school in question would not take more direct and immediate action.

The story incorporates developments from a journalistic perspective and from the perspective of the victims themselves which I thought was really impactful. Both accounts are horrifying in their own way – we learn of some of the awful responses the public, school and other people have to the story breaking, and of course learning more about the calculated grooming by Dr Copeland himself is also really disturbing. The story presents everything in a realistic way and at some parts the story really hits home. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an interesting, thought-provoking read.

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Griffith Moon Publishing for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

WWW Wednesday [6 December 2017]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself – as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments. I’d love to see your answers too!

The three W’s are:

    1. What have you finished reading?
    2. What are you currently reading?
    3. What will you read next?

 


What have you finished reading? 

Can You Keep a Secret? – Karen Perry [review to follow]

Every Secret Thing – Emma Cole [audiobook] – this was actually a DNF I’m afraid, nothing necessarily to do with the story as such, my mind just kept drifting off towards the very start so struggled to get into it. Therefore I ended up giving up, though I hate doing that! I do find with audiobooks they have to really grab me from the start otherwise my mind wanders compared to reading it myself.

The Scent of Rain – Anne Montgomery [review to follow]

What are you currently reading? 

JUST started White Bodies by Jane Robins. Finally, yay!

Also on audiobook: The Case of Mary Bell – Gitta Sereny

What will you read next?

It Started with a Tweet - Anna Bell

I think it will be It Started With a Tweet – Anna Bell. I’m on the blog tour with a review on 21 December so I hope I enjoy it!

 


What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books ryou’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!


DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

 

The Perfect Victim [review]

The Perfect Victim - Corrie Jackson

Title: The Perfect Victim
Author: Corrie Jackson
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre

[Synopsis]

Husband, friend, colleague . . . killer?

Charlie and Emily Swift are the Instagram-perfect couple: gorgeous, successful and in love. But then Charlie is named as the prime suspect in a gruesome murder and Emily’s world falls apart.

Desperate for answers, she turns to Charlie’s troubled best friend, London Herald journalist, Sophie Kent. Sophie knows police have the wrong man – she trusts Charlie with her life.

Then Charlie flees.

Sophie puts her reputation on the line to clear his name. But as she’s drawn deeper into Charlie and Emily’s unravelling marriage, she realises that there is nothing perfect about the Swifts.

As she begins to question Charlie’s innocence, something happens that blows the investigation – and their friendship – apart.

Now Sophie isn’t just fighting for justice, she’s fighting for her life.

For fans of Nicci French and Sophie Hannah, Corrie Jackson’s explosive new novel will leave you questioning how far you would go for friendship.

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[My Review]

I think I’ve found a new favourite crime writer! I haven’t read Breaking Dead, the first in the Sophie Kent series, so I read The Perfect Victim as a standalone. Corrie Jackson has created not only a fantastic female protagonist but the perfect mix of convincing crime fiction combined with a touch of drama and plenty of mystery. Her writing is brilliant, with plenty of twists which take you by surprise just when you think you’ve got it all figured out.

As I mentioned, I feel that Sophie Kent is a fantastic main character. The fact that she’s not part of the police means she can take risks and, at times, cause trouble which she wouldn’t be able to as a police officer, but her job as a crime reporter means she gets enough information and is quick enough to pick up on clues, taking the reader along with her. She’s got her own demons but she’s incredibly fun to read about.

Similarly, I felt that Emma, the wife of the elusive Charlie (also close friends with Sophie) is a great character. She’s not necessarily likable or trustworthy BUT I found her hugely interesting to read about – a bit of a loose cannon, which always makes for fun reading! I also liked how so many of the characters were linked in some way – I don’t want to give too much away but the plot is cleverly worked so the reader finds themselves going “ahh that’s why…” or “I forgot about that!”; lots of seemingly unimportant things turn out to be more of a key issue than expected. I don’t want to say any more as I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else, but I would highly recommend The Perfect Victim to anyone looking for a great new crime series to dive into. I certainly intend on catching up with the first in the series.

[Rating: 5/5]

Thanks to Bonnier Zaffre for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

On My TBR list [Winter Edition]

Now we’re well and truly into December, here are some of my most-anticipated titles to be read this winter, over the next few months…


The Crow Girl – Erik Axl Sund [published 6 April 2017]The Crow Girl

[Synopsis]

The most terrifying thriller you’ll read this year

It starts with just one body – the hands bound, the skin covered in marks.

Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg is determined to find out who is responsible, despite opposition from her superiors. When two more bodies are found, it becomes clear that she is hunting a serial killer.

With her career on the line, she turns to psychotherapist Sofia Zetterlund. Together, they uncover a chain of shocking events that began decades ago – but will it lead them to the murderer before someone else dies?

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White Bodies - Jane RobinsWhite Bodies – Jane Robins [published 28 December 2017]

[Synopsis]

Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless façade, not everything is as it seems.

Callie, Tilda’s unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix’s domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash. She knows about Felix’s uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister’s arms.

Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgment when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies—or was he murdered?

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It Started with a Tweet - Anna BellIt Started With A Tweet Anna Bell [published 7 December 2017; I’m on the blog tour with a review on 21 December!]

[Synopsis]

Can Daisy Hobson log off for love…?

Could you survive a digital detox? This hilarious new romantic comedy from the author of The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart is perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Sophie Kinsella.

Daisy Hobson lives her whole life online. A marketing manager by day, she tweets her friends, instagrams every meal and arranges (frankly, appalling) dates on Tinder. But when her social media obsession causes her to make a catastrophic mistake at work, Daisy finds her life going into free-fall . . .

Her sister Rosie thinks she has the answer to all of Daisy’s problems – a digital detox in a remote cottage in Cumbria, that she just happens to need help doing up. Soon, too, Daisy finds herself with two welcome distractions: sexy French exchange-help Alexis, and Jack, the brusque and rugged man-next-door, who keeps accidentally rescuing her.

But can Daisy, a London girl, ever really settle into life in a tiny, isolated village? And, more importantly, can she survive without her phone?

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Close To Home - Cara HunterClose to Home – Cara Hunter [published 28 December 2017]

[Synopsis]

Someone took Daisy Mason. Someone YOU KNOW.

Last night, 8-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from her parents’ summer party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying. DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows that nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew. That means someone is lying. And that Daisy’s time is running out…

Introducing DI Fawley and his team of Oxford detectives, CLOSE TO HOME is a pulse-pounding race against time and a penetrating examination of what happens to a community when a shocking crime is committed by one of its own.

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The Child Finder – Rene Denfeld [published 11 January 2018]The Child Finder - Rene Denfeld

[Synopsis]

Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as The Child Finder, Naomi is their last hope.

Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl too.

As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?

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Anatomy of a Scandal - Sarah VaughanAnatomy of a Scandal – Sarah Vaughan [published 11 January 2018]

[Synopsis]

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

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The Chalk Man - C J TudorThe Chalk Man –  C. J. Tudor [published 11 January 2018]

[Synopsis]

None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning.

Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own?

Was it the terrible accident?

Or when they found the first body?

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The Confession - Jo SpainThe Confession – Jo Spain [published 11 January 2018; I’m on the blog tour on 19 January with a review!]

[Synopsis]

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?

This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who – of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

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Hydra - Matt WesolowskiHydra – Matt Wesolowski [published 11 January 2018; I’m on the blog tour with a review on the 19 January!]

[Synopsis]

One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 26-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the “Macleod Massacre.” Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation. King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out. As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden “games,” online trolls, and the mysterious Black-eyed Children, whose presence extends far beyond the delusions of a murderess.

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That’s a selection of upcoming books I’m excited to read. have you read any of these, or do you have them to read?

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

The Shadow Man [review]

Shadow Man - Margaret Kirk

Title: The Shadow Man
Author: Margaret Kirk
Publisher: Orion

[Synopsis]

Two brutal killings rock Inverness, and bring ex-Met Detective Inspector Lukas Mahler the biggest challenge of his career…

The body of the queen of daytime TV, Morven Murray is discovered by her sister, Anna, on the morning of her wedding day. But does Anna know more about the murder than she’s letting on?

Police informant Kevin Ramsay’s murder looks like a gangland-style execution. But what could he have stumbled into that was dangerous enough to get him violently killed?

Mahler has only a couple of weeks to solve both cases while dealing with his mother’s fragile mental health. But caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse, is ex-Met DI Lukas Mahler hunting one killer, or two?

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[My Review]

I’ve definitely found a promising new series in The Shadow Man. Because the characters seemed to well-rounded and convincing, I thought this might be a well-established series, but it seems to be either a stand alone or – hopefully – the first in a new series. If so,  I’ll certainly be reading more.

The Shadow Man effectively combine mystery, grittiness and police procedure with just the right pacing and level of drama.

The characters are great – I really liked protagonist DI Luke Mahler and Anna, who wasn’t part of the police but who we also followed as the case unfolded. I liked that there were two main characters who showed different perspectives to the investigation. The characters were well-rounded and interesting too, and it was interesting to read a good portion of the story from the perspective of someone who had nothing to do with the police. The Shadow Man features lots of seemingly unconnected people who all came together as the novel continued, which I also really liked.

The setting is also great (pre-Scottish referendum Inverness) – and I liked the atmosphere that the setting conjured up. It’s a testament to Margaret Kirk’s writing that I could really imagine myself there, seeing as the only place I’ve  ever visited in Scotland is Edinburgh.

Overall I’d highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a great new detective series which is both entertaining and realistic. I’d definitely like to read more about Luke and Anna!

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Orion for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!