The Death of Her [review]

The Death Of Her - Debbie Howells

Title: The Death of Her
Author: Debbie Howells
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

[Synopsis]

A woman’s body is discovered on a Cornish farm, battered and left for dead in a maize field. Airlifted to hospital, her life hanging in the balance, no one’s sure who she is. Three days later she comes round, but her memory is damaged. She knows her name – Evie – but no more, until she remembers another name. Angel – her three-year-old daughter.

As the police circulate Evie’s photo, someone recognizes her. Charlotte knew her years ago, at school, when another child went missing. Leah Danning, who vanished whilst in Evie’s care.

When the police search Evie’s home, there’s no sign of Angel. More disturbingly, there’s no evidence that she ever lived there, forcing the police to question whether Evie’s having some kind of breakdown.

But even from the darkest place she’s ever known, Evie believes her daughter is alive. The police remain unconvinced – unaware that on the fringes of Evie’s life, there’s someone else. Someone hidden, watching her every move, with their own agenda and their own twisted version of reality.

Add to Goodreads button

[My Review]

The Death of Her is a tense, twisty novel which kept me intrigued throughout.

The characters are really interesting and I enjoyed seeing the story from different perspectives, some of which were a surprise and some which gave an insight into the police investigation. I don’t want to give too much away but there’s definitely a sense of bewilderment at times whilst reading this – Debbie Howells effectively keeps you guessing and unsure of what exactly is going on sometimes, which I really liked.

I enjoyed reading about Cornwall and the investigation, though the police seemed a bit slow in their investigation sometimes! However there’s plenty of twists and surprises – the mix of Evie’s daughter Angel being missing, but there being doubts as to whether she event existed, combined with other possible crimes and unrealiable characters, left me wanting to read on!

I guessed a few smaller parts but the end left me feeling surprised and satisfied; I really enjoyed this novel from start to finish and would definitely recommend it.

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan 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!

Advertisements

Yesterday [review]

yesterday- felicia yap

Title: Yesterday
Author: Felicia Yap
Publisher: Headline

[Synopsis]

How do you solve a murder when you can only remember yesterday?

There are two types of people in the world. Those who can only remember yesterday, and those who can also recall the day before.

You have just one lifeline to the past: your diary. Each night, you write down the things that matter. Each morning, your diary tells you where you were, who you loved and what you did.

Today, the police are at your door. They say that the body of your husband’s mistress has been found in the River Cam. They think your husband killed her two days ago.

Can you trust the police? Can you trust your husband? Can you trust yourself?

Add to Goodreads button

[My Review]

This wasn’t exactly what I expected – it was way better! With elements of traditional crime/ mystery novels, mixed in with sci-fi elements (which I’m not always a fan of, but it’s done so well in this novel), Yesterday is a hugely enjoyable novel which kept me turning the pages.

It was in no way predictable, which novels in this genre can fall into, and I found myself surprised along the way as more and more is revealed. I loved the whole idea of there being just two ‘races’ as such, determined not by skin colour or ethnicity but by whether you are a ‘mono’ or a ‘duo’. Monos can remember only the last 24 hours, Duos can remember the last 48 hours – and are therefore seen as far superior. I liked the nod to Apple’s increasing popularity (everyone carried around iDiaries to help them remember) and I loved the element of mystery. I couldn’t wait to find out what had actually happened to Sophie, and how Mark and Claire may or may not have been involved.

We hear the story from detective Hans, Sophie, Mark, and Claire’s point of views, and this means you get to piece the missing elements together as the characters do and, at some points, know more than each individual does. There’s still plenty of surprises, though, and the fact that the characters have to rely on their diaries to remember things means you’re never quite sure who’s completely reliable and who isn’t – adding extra interest to the story!

I’d definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a new mystery/ crime novel with a difference. It’s original, intriguing and beautifully written novel which I’d highly recommend – it might not be everyone’s tastes I suppose, but I loved it!

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to Headline and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book 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!

The Doll House [review]

The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

Title: The Doll House
Author: Phoebe Morgan
Publisher: HQ Digital

[Synopsis]

You never know who’s watching…

Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign.

But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house…

How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…?

Add to Goodreads button

[My Review]

The Doll House is such a gripping read! It kept me intrigued from page one right until the (great) end! The story is a great mix of creepiness and family / marriage dynamics, and there’s lots of surprises to keep the reader guessing.

Now, the characters themselves are a mixed bunch. I liked both Ashley and Corinne, but found Corinne a bit too reliant on everyone around her at times which left me feeling frustrated. That kind of adds to the tension though, as Corinne’s anxiety and worry means as you don’t know how she’ll react. Their partners – Dominic and James – seem to be good eggs, but the whole way through I was wondering whether they were hiding anything. In fact, I wondered this about each and every character, and I love novels that make me suspect everyone!

The plot is slower at times and ramps up the tension at others, but consistently kept me wanting to know more. Some of the ‘whodunnit’ element was pretty obvious so even I managed to work parts out long before the end, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment at all and some people I was sure were ‘dodgy’ surprised me!

The Doll House is atmospheric, fun to read and hits all the marks for a gripping psychological thriller and a truly fantastic debut!

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to HQ Digital 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!

The Angel [blog tour]

The Angel - Katerina Diamond

Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for The Angel by Katerina Diamond! It looks like a fantastic read so enjoy the following extract and make sure to add it to your Goodreads ‘TBR list’ – I know I have!

Title: The Angel
Author: Katerina Diamond
Publisher: Avon Books

[Synopsis]

THE TRUTH WON’T STAY LOCKED UP FOREVER.

When a burned body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison?

DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case than meets the eye. But while she struggles to convince those around her of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons.

When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation is stopped in its tracks. Is the body in the box even who they thought it was? The duo realise Gabriel might have been locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. But with enemies watching Gabriel’s every move, they may be too late.

Add to Goodreads button

Extract Ten from Chapter Three, pp 33-34

‘Why did you start the fire?’ Imogen asked.

‘It was cold. The rain was pelting down; I didn’t know it was going to rain so I wasn’t wearing a coat.’ He paused, obviously trying to think of how to word his answers. ‘One of the girls was cold. It was a metal bin and the fire didn’t even last very long.’

‘Go on.’

‘That was it. We left and went to the club to see the band.’

Adrian looked briefly at Imogen, who looked every bit as sombre as he felt.

‘Unfortunately, arson is a pretty big deal, Gabriel,’ Adrian said.

‘Arson? No, it wasn’t that. I wouldn’t do that.’

‘That’s for the judge to decide.’

‘Judge? What do you mean? Are you charging me with arson? It was an accident.’

Imogen sighed audibly, exhaling and then holding her breath again.

‘There’s something else, I’m afraid,’ she said.

‘If you call my parents they can pay for the damage.’

‘I’m afraid it’s more complicated than that.’ Adrian paused and looked at Imogen. ‘There was a body found in the signal box,’ he said.

The force of Adrian’s words knocked the colour out of Gabriel’s face. ‘What?’

‘There was someone in the room below when the building caught fire. There’s every likelihood it was a homeless man, but we don’t know for sure at this point until there’s been a thorough examination of both the site and the body.’

‘No . . . it was just us,’ he said faintly, his chest heaving.

‘Are you all right?’ Imogen asked. Gabriel was shaking; he looked as though he was going to throw up.

The Angel is out now in paperback, EBook and audio formats – buy on Amazon here


Katerina Diamond

About the Author

Katerina Diamond lives on the east Kent Coast with her son and daughter.

Born in Weston-super-Mare, she has lived in various places since including Greece, Cyprus, Derby, East London and Exeter.

Her first novel reached number six in the Sunday Times Bestseller chart.


Check out the other stops on the blog tour below:

Angel Blog tour

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

The Break [review]

the break - marian keyes

Title: The Break
Author: Marian Keyes
Publisher: Michael Joseph UK

[Synopsis]

Amy’s husband Hugh isn’t really leaving her.

At least, that’s what he promises. He is just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. For six-months Hugh will lose himself in south-east Asia, and there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.

Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet . . .

It’s been a long time since Amy held a briefcase in one hand and a baby in the other. She never believed she’d have to go it alone again. She just has to hold the family together until Hugh comes back.

But a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? And will Amy be the same woman?

Because falling in love is easy. The hard part – the painful, joyous, maddening, beautiful part – is staying in love.

Add to Goodreads button

[My Review]

The Break is another absorbing, interesting and humorous read from an author I’ve loved reading for years: Marian Keyes. I was so ready for a new novel from this brilliant and funny Irish writer and I was definitely not disappointed!

You sort of know what to expect from Marian Keyes’s new novels but The Break surprised me in many ways. For one, it was more emotional and upsetting than many of her other novel (or so I felt anyway). Amy’s husband Richard has what seems to be a sort of mental breakdown after the death of his father and decides he wants a break from their marriage – and yes, a proper break, heading to travel around Asia and potentially involving romances with OTHER PEOPLE! No wonder Amy was devastated; as much as Richard can say it’s nothing to do with her personally, how on earth would you NOT take this at least a little personally?

Mental health is something that’s affected various people I know and care about in the past, so reading this felt very emotional. At times I felt genuinely sick reading about the betrayal that Amy feels, imagining if I was in the same situation.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s still plenty of the classic Keyes humour we’ve all grown to expect and love. Amy really made me laugh, though I definitely did not agree with some of her choices, and she’s definitely not perfect – as we learn in this novel. However she IS really likeable, witty, and fun, and there are some very humorous moments; in fact this novel has a lot of likeable characters, and even when you think you’ll hate a character or have them completely figured out, you realise you don’t because people are not that black and white.

The Break is a fairly long novel but I loved every minute, despite the emotional subject matter. It made me laugh, cry, and consider the fact that there really aren’t many (or perhaps any?) completely perfect marriages – they take work. I’d definitely recommend this novel to fans of Marian Keyes or anyone who enjoys ‘chick lit’/ women’s fiction with an extra level of depth.

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to Michael Joseph UK and Netgalley 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_STUFF_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

 

 

31 Days of Wonder [review]

31 Days of Wonder - Tom Winter

Title: 31 Days of Wonder
Author: Tom Winter
Publisher: Corsair – Little Brown Book Group UK

[Synopsis]

‘And in that instant, he knows in his heart that today is a momentous day; come what may, he and Alice will meet again, and life will never be the same.’

Alice is stuck in an internship she loathes and a body she is forever trying to change.

Ben, also in his early twenties, is still trying to find his place in the world.

By chance they meet one day in a London park.

Day 1
Ben spots Alice sitting on a bench and feels compelled to speak to her. To his surprise, their connection is instant. But before numbers are exchanged, Alice is whisked off by her demanding boss.

20 minutes later
Alone in her office toilets, Alice looks at herself in the mirror and desperately searches for the beauty Ben could see in her.

Meanwhile, having misunderstood a parting remark, Ben is already planning a trip to Glasgow where he believes Alice lives, not realising that they actually live barely ten miles apart.

Over the next 31 days, Alice and Ben will discover that even if they never manage to find each other again, they have sparked a change in each other that will last a lifetime. In 31 Days of Wonder, Tom Winter shows us the magic of chance encounters and how one brief moment on a Thursday afternoon can change the rest of your life.

Add to Goodreads button

[My Review]

This is a sweet, quirky and, at times, sentimental story about chance and fate. It’s not your usual ‘love story’ but it does involve two characters who meet – albeit very briefly – one day and feel a strange sort of spark between them. It doesn’t end the way love stories usually end, though; in fact the beginning and middle don’t follow the usual love story format either!

The characters are really likeable and I cared about what would happen to both of them. They each have their own problems, and at first I was a little confused as I tried to work out more of Ben’s character but soon got into the swing of the story. Both characters felt like they were unique and a change from some of the ‘samey’ characters which can often pop up in books from this genre. Alice and Ben are both sweet characters, a stark contrast to some of their acquaintances and work colleagues. At times I felt the way these other characters (including family and ‘friends’ of Alice) spoke to her was a bit too cruel and rude at times, and made me wonder if anyone would really be that horrible… then I thought about how cruel people can be, sadly, and it only made me feel more for poor Alice.

31 Days of Wonder was quite refreshing in its style and plot, and it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting – I suppose I thought there’d be more elements of a traditional ‘romance’ in there – but I liked that it surprised me and definitely preferred the way it usurped the usual genre stereotypes to create a charming, sweet story. It’s not a long read, so you can race through it pretty quickly (as I did)! I definitely recommend giving it a go.

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Little Brown Book Group UK and Netgalley 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!

The Roanoke Girls [review]

The Roanoke Girls - Amy Engel

Title: The Roanoke Girls
Author: Amy Engel
Publisher: Hodder

[Synopsis]

Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

[My Review]

The Roanoke Girls is a very dark and disturbing, but very well-crafted, novel which grabbed me from the first to last page.

There are uncomfortable moments which I can completely see being a problem for some readers, but I personally really – maybe ‘enjoyed’ isn’t the right word – but I felt it was handled well and I personally found it an interesting and engrossing read.

The characters swing between likable and horrible, but all are flawed in their own ways. I really felt bad for the Roanoke girls; each with their own problems and taken advantage of by someone they should trust, and someone who should care about them the most. There are contradicting emotions presented in this novel, with characters claiming to do just that – love and care for other people – but their actions speak louder than words and, in many cases, do not end well for those involved.

There is an element of mystery in this novel, which I liked, but it’s not the main crux of the storyline; it’s more about the relationship between Lane and Allegra and the rest of the family, and those around them.

I don’t want to say anything else as I don’t want to give too much away, but I feel that The Roanoke Girls is a multi layered and well-written novel. I’d definitely read more by Amy Engel in the future!

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Hodder 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!

Got You Back [audiobook review]

Got You Back - Jane Fallon

Title: Got You Back
Author: Jane Fallon
Format: Audiobook

[Synopsis]

Two women seek revenge on the man who has wronged them. Stephanie discovers a text message from a mystery woman on her husband James’ cell phone. The other woman, Katie, is just as surprised to learn of Stephanie’s existence. Now the two are teaming up to teach James a lesson.

Add to Goodreads button

[My Review]

Got You Back is an easy read which didn’t overly excite me but was quite entertaining.

The synopsis sounded great – I think it’s always quite fun to read about some revenge served up cold to a cheating partner – and the novel satisfied that to some extent, but it wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. I wanted more of a ‘smack-you-in-the-face’ resolution or perhaps some kind of unexpected event or twist to make me go ‘wow!’, but it was just a little lacking. Maybe I just expected a different kind of novel. The characters were interesting enough but I just wasn’t hugely engrossed in the story – basically it was okay, but not great.

The narration, however, was quite engaging and I would still read other books by Jane Fallon in the future, as I’ve heard good things about her other novels!

[Rating: 2.5/5]

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

Hush Little Baby [review]

Hush Little Baby - Joanna Barnard

Title: Hush Little Baby
Author: Joanna Barnard
Publisher: Ebury

[Synopsis]

When baby Oliver breaks his arm, no-one can (or will) say how it happened.

His mother is exhausted.

His father is angry.

His older sister is resentful.

And they all have something to hide…

Add to Goodreads button

[My Review]

I really enjoyed Hush Little Baby. I’m not a mother myself, and don’t in fact have many friends with kids (yet!) so I can’t read this novel when any sense of knowing exactly how it feels to have a child, let alone lose your child to the social services system because of something you didn’t do. It also may have been easier for me to read about a subject like a child being hurt without becoming as upset. Regardless, the writing by Joanna Barnard makes you feel like you’re going through it; like you’re struggling to prove your innocence against an injustice and people who seem to want to take your child away, and it’s an interesting read. 

Told from three different point of views, the novel focuses as much on Sally and a Richard’s relationship and Richard’s daughter Sally and her struggles, as the actual ‘incidence’ itself. Though I really wanted to know who hurt baby Oliver, that ends up being more of a side issue, with the plot instead focussing more on the way it affected each person and their family, and the sense of distrust that this kind of case can bring. Therefore the novel lacked a strong sense of ‘mystery’ or ‘thriller’ element, but I didn’t mind this – it didn’t feel like it was supposed to be that kind of book anyway. I became wrapped up in the story of Richard and Sally’s fight to try and get their son back… and those characters felt really well developed. I don’t want to give too much away but some of the character’s actions made me *hate* them and others I felt desperately sorry for. No one comes across as blameless though; each has their own faults and this felt far more realistic than when an author tries to clearly define ‘kind’ and ‘horrible’ characters.

Hush Little Baby made me think about how I’d feel in this situation, and is an enjoyable, easy read which left me wanting to read more by this author.

Many thanks to Ebury for providing an ebook 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!

Dead Girls Can’t Lie [blog tour review]

Today I’ve got a review of Dead Girls Can’t Lie as part of the blog tour! The novel is out in paperback and ebook formats, so read on for my thoughts!

Title: Dead Girls Can’t Lie
Author: Carys Jones
Publisher: Head of Zeus

[Synopsis]

Best friends tell each other the truth – don’t they?

When North Stone’s best friend Kelly Orton is found hanging lifeless in a tree, North knows for certain it wasn’t suicide. Kelly had everything to live for – a loving boyfriend, a happy life, and most importantly of all, Kelly would never leave North all by herself.

The girls have been friends since childhood, devoted to each other, soul sisters, or at least that’s what North has always believed. But did Kelly feel the same way, or was she keeping secrets from her ‘best friend’ – deadly secrets…

When the police refuse to take North’s suspicions seriously, she sets out to investigate for herself. But her search soon takes her to a glamorous world with a seedy underbelly, and before long North is out of her depth and getting ever closer to danger. Determined to find the truth, she soon wishes that dead girls could lie, because the truth is too painful to believe…

[My Review]

Dead Girls Can’t Lie is an intriguing story about friendship and secrets.

The author develops the characters as the novel goes on and you feel like you really get to know North as her desperate search to find out what happened to Kelly continues – and both she and Kelly do not always come across too well, I have to say,as they both have their faults! The flashbacks reveal a lot of problems between the two characters (I liked the element of mystery that this brought to the story – what DID happen between them?) and it makes you question their supposedly ‘amazing’ friendship. What went wrong?

Though it took a little while for me to get into it it, there are some surprises along the way and I thought I had the ‘whodunnit’ element figured out but I was definitely wrong! I felt the story was different from other novels in this genre as it doesn’t, to me, really fit into the fast-paced ‘thriller’ category that it seems to be often put in – to me it felt like more of a considered and character-driven story which may not have been quite as dark in terms of plot as I expected it to be – I would have liked a bit more grit. However I really enjoyed Carys Jones’s writing; it’s an enjoyable and fun (as well as an easy) read which kept me turning the pages.

Thanks to Head of Zeus and Netgalley for the ARC on which I chose to write an honest review, and thanks for the chance to be a part of the blog tour!

 

Dead Girls Can’t Lie is out now!

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

Check out the other stops on the blog tour below!