The Mystery of Three Quarters [review]

The Mystery of the Three Quarters

Title: The Mystery of Three Quarters
Author: Sophie Hannah
Publisher: HarperCollins UK

[Synopsis]

The world’s most beloved detective, Hercule Poirot – the legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and most recently The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket—returns in a stylish, diabolically clever mystery set in 1930’s London.

Returning home after lunch one day, Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met.

Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy, and has accused nobody of murder. Shaken, he goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him — a man who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy…

Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?

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[My Review]

I eagerly await any new releases from Sophie Hannah, whatever series they may be, and her Hercule Poirot books are no different. This new offering feels very Christie-like, with its setting in the countryside, centred around the death of Barnabas Pandy, who drowned in the bath – but was it an accident, or in fact murder?

Poirot feels, to me, close to the original character in Agatha Christie’s novels – he’s entertaining, odd at times, and as excellent at sleuthing as ever – but with Sophie Hannah’s own excellent twist. The story is clever and intriguing (though you need to pay attention properly at the start, as there are lots of different characters and names across multiple families who are related in different ways). I’d definitely recommend this for anyone missing the original series – it doesn’t feel like a direct fit, as Sophie Hannah has injected her own style into these Poirot novels, but it strikes the perfect balance between intrigue and light-hearted entertainment, as Christie always did so well. Highly recommended!


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

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All The Hidden Truths [review]

All The Hidden Truths

Title: All The Hidden Truths
Author: Claire Askew
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton UK

[Synopsis]

This is a fact: Ryan Summers walked into Three Rivers College and killed thirteen women, then himself.

But no one can say why.

The question is one that cries out to be answered – by Ryan’s mother, Moira; by Ishbel, the mother of Abigail, the first victim; and by DI Helen Birch, put in charge of the case on her first day at her new job. But as the tabloids and the media swarm, as the families’ secrets come out, as the world searches for someone to blame… the truth seems to vanish.

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[My Review]

All The Hidden Truths is a stunning, emotional read which addresses some very difficult themes with sensitivity and realism. Although classed as a crime novel, this novel feels more like a portrait of the feelings and effects of such a horrible crime – a college shooting – on a community, and the way it’s dealt with by police, families of the victim and, most powerfully for me anyway, the family of the killer. There are still elements of your ‘typical’ crime novel, such as a police investigation and a narrative from the perspective of the detective, but because we know almost right from the start who is to blame, and that person is dead, it’s not about who did it but why and what happens afterwards. Without the ‘whodunnit’ element that I’m usually so interested in, I wondered if I’d be as engrossed – I definitely was! I raced through this novel and couldn’t put it down.

There’s so much grief and heartbreak within these pages, and I really felt for the people living through it; Claire Askew makes you really consider what this situation must be like for everyone. Some of the characters are truly horrible people (and it’s obvious who falls into this category once you start reading) but, for the most part, the people in this novel feel real, each with their own problems and flaws, and it really highlights the way that everyone deals with terrible situations differently. Askew’s portrayal of Moira, the mother of the gunsman Ryan, was incredibly powerful to read as she battled with her guilt at not having seen it all coming, as was Ishbel’s struggles to come to terms with the death of her daughter and the breakdown of her marriage. I also really liked DI Helen Birch, and hope to see more of her in the future – fingers crossed for a second book featuring Helen!

Claire Askew beautifully weaves together various stories and experiences, all around one central storyline – that of the college shooting – and creates a truly heart-breaking, gripping read.

[Rating: 5/5]


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

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Vox [review]

VOX

Title: Vox
Author: Christina Dalcher
Publisher: HQ

[Synopsis]

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial–this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end. 

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

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[My Review]

I love (perhaps ‘love’ is the wrong word for something like this, but I’m very interested in) the concept of this book: women are limited to speaking 100 words a day, monitored by a bracelet which serves up electric shocks, increasingly more painful, the more words the women go over their limit by. It’s a bleak world for the female population, and Vox lays it all out – and, worryingly, a lot of it feels like a time that could be here not long after ‘today’. We’re not a million miles away from that kind of society right now, and the book points this out, with characters highlighting a need to ‘act now’, which many ignored until it was too late. It’s got plenty of interesting concepts, and so I was excited to see how it would all be executed. Though I did find it thought-provoking and entertaining, it was just missing something to elevate it from OK to good or great.

The characters, for me, could have been a bit more engaging, and a lot of the story felt too detailed in the wrong places: there was some parts which I felt could have focused more on the way the characters felt rather than the experiments and procedures. I know there’s plenty of people who feel completely different, but I found myself a little less engrossed by the story as it went on and I think I just wasn’t as enamoured by this as other people have been.

Saying that, I am a big fan of the plot and ideas that Christina Dalcher has come up with for this dystopian-style tale (which definitely feels like a cautionary tale too, in today’s political climate in the US and elsewhere), and it’s certainly a clever and debate-provoking read. Therefore I’d recommend giving it a go, it just didn’t wow me as much as it has done for others.

[Rating: 3/5]

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

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While I Was Sleeping [review]

While I Was Sleeping

Title: While I Was Sleeping
Author: Dani Atkins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

[Synopsis]

I don’t remember what happened or what has changed.

I can still hear your voices but you can’t seem to hear me.

I was about to be married and had everything to look forward to.

Now I have to find a way back – to you, to our family, to us.

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[My Review]

I can just about see through puffed up eyes to write this review… While I Was Sleeping is a hugely emotional, cry-your-eyes-out type of novel – the sort I haven’t read for a while. Dani Atkins has managed to pull together some of the hardest, heartbreaking situations into an entertaining, thoughtful and at times (okay, almost all the time) incredibly sad novel.

I have read This Love, also by Dani Atkins [read my review], and hugely enjoyed it, plus heard brilliant things about Fractured, so I was expecting big things from this one, and it certainly lived up to my high expecations!

I started off reading While I Was Sleeping firmly on one ‘team’ (you’ll know what I mean when you read this, but as the synopsis is so vague I don’t want to give too much away here), but as time went on I found I felt empathy for pretty much every main character. I found it incredibly difficult to read about poor Maddie’s pain and anguish, and a few times thought I didn’t know if I wanted to continue reading because the horrible situation she’s in made me feel really sad ☹️ however I’m so glad I carried on!

Nothing is black and white about this novel; Atkins manages to make you almost experience, deeply, the way each character feels, before presenting a different side to the ‘story’, and each person has their own flaws and positives. The result is that I cared about everyone, even people I thought at the start I’d not be able to empathise with.

This book is very likely to make you cry, and think far too much about how you’d feel in each person’s situation (leading to more crying). The characters are all very relatable, and any slight cheesiness (of which there isn’t much, I’m pleased to say) is definitely allowed due to the subject matter!

I should also point out that there are some uplifting parts too, so it’s not all doom and gloom, and it offered me a welcome break from crime and thriller novels. While I Was Sleeping so full of heart and emotion that I couldn’t help being drawn in, and I’m sure most people will feel very similar.


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

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A Single Journey

A Single Journey [blog tour extract]

A Single Journey

Today I’m  excited to be a part of the blog tour for A Single Journey, the new novel by Frankie McGowan.

Read on for an extract from the book and to find out more…

Title: A Single Journey 
Author: Frankie McGowan
Publisher: Endeavour Media

[Synopsis]

Harriet has begun to despair of her life.

With a failed relationship behind her, a business on the rocks and a flat that’s falling apart around her ears, she could really use some luck.

Elena Banbury, née Guseva, an elderly but imposing Russian woman who is Harriet’s neighbour and landlady, frequently entertains the punters at Harriet’s jewellery stall with tales of the palaces of St. Petersburg and the treasures of Fabergé. But Harriet sometimes feels, guiltily, that she could do without the endless errands that seem to fall to her as Elena’s friend.

Then, unexpectedly, when Elena dies, she leaves all her worldly goods to a grateful Harriet. In time, however, it becomes clear that others are shocked by Harriet’s good luck, too. Shocked… and very, very unhappy.

Challenged in court by Elena’s family who live in Berlin, Harriet is forced to give up her inheritance and long-dreamed-of plans for a new business, and start her life again. But with her reputation in tatters and the memory of Elena tainted, Harriet knows a great injustice has been done.

Against the advice of her friends, family and lawyers, Harriet sets off on her own, very singular journey to Berlin.

In the weeks that follow she meets rich and poor, the glamorous and the criminal, the honest and the secretive, and begins to see that perhaps she has something to learn from them all. Something to learn about herself, and something to learn about her priorities.

She knows she has to fight for justice. But, when she meets the scholarly, perceptive Neil, who generously tries to help Harriet in her mission, but who is struggling with a complicated marriage, she must also decide if she’ll fight for love, too.

[Extract from A Single Journey]

At the tangled junction of broad boulevards heading towards the entrance to the Tiergarten, Neil took her arm while they waited for the traffic streaming down from the Brandenburg Gate to ease up to allow them to cross.

On the other side of the street, for a while they walked in silence through the wide tree-lined paths of the Tiergarten, dodging around the familiar sight of families found in any big city on Saturday afternoon; babies in buggies, parents calling to children to watch out as they swerved on scooters around unsuspecting strollers, lovers with arms entwined, oblivious to anyone but each other. It could have been any park, in any city, anywhere in the world.

‘I should be careful,’ she smiled at Neil. His hands were dug into his pockets. He was
walking, frowning at the ground.

‘What?’ he looked blankly at her. ‘Sorry, miles away. About what?’

‘Falling in love.’

‘What?’ he looked startled.

‘With this city,’ she confessed. ‘Well, perhaps not the cold,’ she added quickly, beginning to remember his slavish devotion to accuracy. ‘Or the white sausages, or those nightmare men pounding on the door of the Hafen every night.’

‘Even after all you went through?’ He gave her a curious look.

She nodded. ‘It’s weird, isn’t it? It was only two – no crikey three – weeks ago. I shake when I think of it. I – I’m not that brave. I have a light by my bed – Bebe found it for me – and the dark isn’t great. But I can’t seem to associate that with this – all this magnificence. Neil? Are you okay?’

He was staring at her. ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Just wondering if the market up ahead has
somewhere to grab a coffee.’

They found a stall that sold coffee in the tightly packed aisles of the famed flea market in the centre of the park, ambling companionably through them, stopping only when Harriet inspected the vintage jewellery. So long it seemed, since she had bothered with any of this. Not knowing quite what she was looking for, since she had no business anymore to make it worthwhile, she wondered where the drive for any of this had gone. Temporary, she consoled herself. It was another city, another time. It would come back to her.

On one stall, she turned over what looked like an amber and silver brooch, which she guessed had been copied from a time when more heavy Victorian tastes had melted away to be replaced by Edwardian delicacy.

Neil peered over her shoulder. ‘Is it real? The amber?’

‘Here?’ she glanced around the market. ‘Unlikely. Anyway, if you want to invest in amber, you should only ever buy Baltic,’ she advised. ‘And this is certainly not it.’

‘How can you tell? Just in case,’ he went on, ‘I’m ever asked. Well, you never know,’ he objected when she laughed.

‘Okay. Well, if you rub it with a soft cloth, then pluck a hair from your head, if it clings to it, it probably is. Or some people recommend washing it with soap and water and then licking it – it should be tasteless by the way – and then there’s the nail varnish test—’

‘Good God,’ he said hastily. ‘How do you know all this stuff?’

‘Well, a gemmology course helped – and there is all sorts of nonsense talked about tests for genuine stuff, but then I met Dermot and it was mostly through him. He could tell from the other end of the room what it was worth.’

‘He taught you?’

‘Not exactly. More that, when you’re with someone who is a total expert, you kind of want to know. A bit like you telling me something about a maths problem and – what’s the matter? You are impressive, okay, I think you are, but then I flunked maths at school so what do I know? Don’t look so shocked – I probably wouldn’t remember everything you said, but I’d remember enough not to sound ridiculous.’

‘Could you—?’ he seemed to be about to hold out his hand, but stopped. ‘Harriet? What’s the matter?’

She was staring through a closed glass case at a bracelet set in silver, the gleaming green gem caught in its clasp, catching the light. For some reason she shivered…

Extract from Chapter 17

Has this piqued your interest? At the moment you can treat yourself to A Single Journey on kindle for just 99p!


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A Single Journey


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Goodreads Challenge [‘half way’ update]

So I’m a little bit [very] late with this one, seeing as I wanted to do a ‘half-way update’ and it’s already half way through August, but I thought I’d do it anyway – so here is what I’ve read so far in 2018!

I was doing really well – ahead of schedule by at least a book or two, according to Goodreads – up until a few weeks ago, when life kind of got in the way of reading, as it sometimes unfortunately does. I’m currently 3 books behind schedule but with lots of train travel up to a wedding and a bank holiday weekend both coming up next week, I’ll have more time – whether it’s whilst travelling or just lazing in bed – to read more… hopefully!


  • So far this year I have read 85 books
  • My aim is to read 140 books in 2018

From most recent at the top [with links to Goodreads]:

While I Was Sleeping by Dani AtkinsVox by Christina DalcherThe Liar's Room by Simon LelicSomething in the Water by Catherine SteadmanWatching You by Lisa Jewell
Sticks and Stones by Jo JakemanFactfulness by Hans RoslingIn The Dark by Cara HunterDeath in Dulwich by Alice CastleThe Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
You Were Made for This by Michelle SacksBelieve Me by J.P. DelaneyThe Dead Ex by Jane  CorryLast Time I Lied by Riley SagerThe Life Lucy Knew by Karma Brown
The Man Who Didn't Call by Rosie WalshThe Tall Man by Phoebe LockeThe Cliff House by Amanda JenningsKiss Me, Kill Me by J.S. CarolLove Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon
Your Closest Friend by Karen PerryFriends and Liars by Kaela CobleRedemption Point by Candice FoxIn Bloom by C.J. SkuseThe Fifth To Die by J.D. Barker
Snap by Belinda BauerThe Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy KoomsonDays of Wonder by Keith StuartThe Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. HarrisCross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough
The Craftsman by Sharon J. BoltonOur Kind of Cruelty by Araminta HallWhistle in the Dark by Emma HealeyGone Viking by Helen RussellYou Me Everything by Catherine Isaac
Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaghtPaper Ghosts by Julia HeaberlinNow You See by Max ManningTurn a Blind Eye by Vicky NewhamDrift Stumble Fall by M. Jonathan Lee
Skin Deep by Liz NugentTwo Steps Forward by Graeme SimsionA Breath After Drowning by Alice BlanchardDeadly Secrets by Robert BryndzaThe Next Girl by Carla Kovach
Anna by Amanda ProwseThe Wildflowers by Harriet EvansBriguella by Vicki FitzgeraldEntanglement by Katy MahoodTwin Truths by Shelan Rodger
Hangman by Daniel ColeThe Stranger by Kate RiordanThe Memory Chamber by Holly CaveThe Fear by C.L. TaylorMy Mother's Secret by Sanjida Kay
The Darkness by Ragnar JónassonThe Perfect Girlfriend by Karen HamiltonThe Friend by Dorothy KoomsonExhibit Alexandra by Natasha BellBring Me Back by B.A. Paris
Emma in the Night by Wendy   WalkerThe Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart TurtonThe Dark Lake by Sarah   BaileyOnly Child by Rhiannon NavinThe Year that Changed Everything by Cathy Kelly
The Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet AshtonEverything Is Lies by Helen CallaghanThe Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv ConstantineStill Me by Jojo MoyesFragile Lives by Stephen Westaby
The Dark Angel by Elly GriffithsHome by Amanda BerrimanEverything I Know About Love by Dolly AldertonTrying by Emily PhillipsThe Woman in the Window by A.J.  Finn
Our House by Louise CandlishNo Turning Back by Tracy BuchananThe Feed by Nick Clark WindoVeronica's Bird by Veronica Bird & Richard NewmanThe Dry by Jane Harper
Fear by Dirk KurbjuweitAnything You Do Say by Gillian McAllisterThe Confession by Jo SpainHydra by Matt WesolowskiForce of Nature by Jane Harper

 

View my progress on Goodreads

Are you doing the Goodreads Challenge? If so, how is yours going?


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The Liar's Room

The Liar’s Room [blog tour review]

The Liar's Room

Today I’m VERY excited to bring you a review for The Liar’s Room, the new release from Simon Lelic!

Title: The Liar’s Room
Author: Simon Lelic
Publisher: Viking

[Synopsis]

ONE ROOM. TWO LIARS. NO WAY OUT…

Susanna Fenton has a secret. Fourteen years ago she left her identity behind, reinventing herself as a counsellor and starting a new life. It was the only way to keep her daughter safe.

But everything changes when Adam Geraghty walks into her office. She’s never met this young man before – so why does she feel like she knows him?

Then Adam starts to tell her about a girl. A girl he wants to hurt.

And Susanna realises she was wrong. 
She doesn’t know him. 
BUT HE KNOWS HER.
AND THE GIRL HE PLANS TO HURT IS HER DAUGHTER…

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[My Review]

The bar was set very high by Simon Lelic’s first novel, The House [read my review here], and I’m very happy to report that The Liar’s Room, though a fairly different read, is just as gripping!

This story centers around one location really, in that it’s all about counsellor Susanna and her client Adam, who seems to know too much about Susanna’s ‘previous life’ that she’s tried so hard to keep a secret. Adam bring a level of threat to Susanna’s daughter, Emily, and she’s desperate to stop the awful events that Adam has already put in motion, seemingly to punish her – but why?

Part of the enjoyment of this story is that you don’t really know what’s going on but, through flashbacks from Susanna’s past, as well as extracts from her daughter’s diaries, we slowly begin to find out more and more about what happened with Susanna’s son Jake. I found myself really wanting to find out what had happened with Jake, and the awful occurances that took place many years ago – this is the main storyline really, as everything taking place in the present day (in Susanna’s office) is all about finding out what happened before, what Adam has done to Emily, and why Adam is so angry. This one main setting creates a surprisingly claustrophobic atmopshere.

There are twists and surprises in this novel which I really enjoyed reading, and it made me really think about how I’d feel in a similar situation. Themes of responsibility and guilt are prevalent, as well as some shocking and disturbing parts which are difficult to read but made me even more invested in the story.

I liked the way Simon Lelic crafted the characters, making them believable enough but also incredibly interesting and flawed; they felt like they could be real people, and in addition to this the storyline itself felt fresh and different to others in this genre. I would really recommend this gripping read.


Many thanks to Penguin Books for providing an arc of this novel on which I wrote an honest and unbiased review.

[About the Author]

Simon Lelic

Simon Lelic was born in 1976 and has worked as a journalist in the UK and currently runs his own business in Brighton, England, where he lives with his wife and two sons.

Simon’s latest novel, The Liar’s Room, is available now in the UK, and will be released soon in the US. His previous novel, The House, was a BBC Radio 2 Book Club choice.

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Blog tour

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In The Dark [review]

In The Dark

Title: In The Dark
Author: Cara Hunter
Series: DI Adam Fawley
Publisher: Viking

[Synopsis]

A woman and child are found locked in a basement room, barely alive…

No one knows who they are – the woman can’t speak, and there are no missing persons reports that match their profile. And the elderly man who owns the house claims he has never seen them before.

The inhabitants of the quiet Oxford street are in shock – how could this happen right under their noses? But DI Adam Fawley knows that nothing is impossible.

And that no one is as innocent as they seem…

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[My Review]

I loved the first in this series, Close To Home, so had high hopes for the second, In The Dark – and it certainly didn’t let me down!

What started out as a powerful and well-written series has only been reinforced with In The Dark – this novel builds on some great characters and offers up an exciting, complex-but-not-too-complex plot. It’s bloody brilliant!

Firstly, as I mentioned, the characters are just great. I enjoyed reading more about Fawley, Quinn, Somer – everyone! There are some flawed characters, including less-than-perfect police officers, so they felt like real people. I really felt for Adam Fawley at times, and am glad we get to see a good portion of the book through his own eyes.

The plot completely sucked me in and kept me intrigued at just the right pace. There’s mystery, character-building, and tension in spades, and some truly messed up occurences!

With plenty of twists peppered into a plot that slowly reveals more and more, this is addictive reading and bound to be high on the list for any seasoned (or new) crime fan. Give it a go (but if you haven’t read Close To Home, I say start there and relish having not one but two novels in this series to read!)

[Rating: 5/5]

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

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Something In The Water [review]

Something In The Water

Title: Something In The Water
Author: Catherine Steadman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

[Synopsis]

If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you? 

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman’s enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we’re tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.

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[My Review]

Something In The Water is a fun, action-packed read which is a little predictable at times, but remains a novel that kept me wanting to turn the pages and find out what would happen to out-of-their-depth newlyweds, Erin and Mark.

Told mostly from the perespective of Erin, the story jumps around slightly as she relays how they met and how they got into the mess they’re in. It’s pretty clear which storyline is the present day and which is set in the past without getting confusing, and the story doesn’t focus too much on the past storyline but instead just offers enough insight into Mark and Erin’s relationship without straying too far from the main story.

The characters themselves are, on the whole, likable enough though at points I wanted to shake Erin for being so bloody naive/ foolish, and I was really intrigued as to how – or if – some of Erin’s documentary subjects would affect the plot. The storyline itself is pretty ridiculous in parts, but it’s also really fun to read! If you like your thrillers to be super realistic then this might not be the read for you (and you probably have trouble finding many books that fit the criteria in this genre, to be honest!) but otherwise I’d recommend setting aside a few hours for this (if you’re anything like me you’ll smash through it in no time), suspending your disblief and just enjoy! It’s a really easy, absorbing read.

[Rating: 4/5]

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

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Watching You [review]

Watching You

Title: Watching You
Author: Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Cornerstone

[Synopsis]

You’re back home after four years working abroad with a brand new husband in tow. You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now, you’re living with your big brother, camped out in his spare bedroom. And then – quite unexpectedly – you meet the man next door.

He’s the head teacher of the local high school. He’s twice your age. And he’s devastatingly attractive. Soon you find you’re watching him. All the time. But what you don’t know is that someone is watching you. Or that what has started as an innocent crush is quickly turning into an obsession as dark as it is deadly.

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[My Review]

Watching You managed to be, for me anyway, many things at once – it had an air of mystery to it, but it also felt like it was very much about the relationships of certain characters, and why they felt the way they did.

There are some surprising and/ or important (albeit uncomfortable at times) themes included in this novel – from paedophilia and affairs to mental health and parent-child relationships. I felt that the plot itself was a really good read, although I can see what other reviewers mean when they feel that there’s too many characters. At times I admit I did get a bit confused as to who was who and how they related to other people. However, each character has their own interesting backstory and I really enjoyed reading about them all. What I probably enjoyed most about this novel, though, and what set it apart from other similar reads, is that it really surprised me in terms of who I as the reader – and also the characters in the book – was completely wrong about. You get so used to feeling suspicious of everyone in mystery/ suspense novels, but in Watching You, some people were actually a surprise – in a good way!

I’m going to leave this review here as I don’t want to spoil the story, but I definitely felt that this had less of a mystery ‘whodunnit’ feel to it than some of Lisa Jewell’s other novels – and, surprisingly (as someone who loves that element of mystery), I didn’t mind at all! I enjoyed watching the development of the characters and the bit of mystery was an added bonus! It perhaps wasn’t as much of a gripping, stay-up-all-night-reading-just-one-more-chapter book as some of her other reads, but I’d definitely still recommend it.

[Rating: 4/5]

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

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