Book Review: One for All – Lillie Lainoff

Book Review: One for All – Lillie Lainoff


Release Date:
February 7th 2023
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

This fierce story transports you to 17th century France, to a world of heart-racing duels and seductive soirées as our heroine fights against her chronic illness to train as a Musketeer, uncovering secrets, sisterhood, and self-love.

Tania de Batz is most herself with a sword in her hand. Everyone thinks her near-constant dizziness makes her weak, nothing but “a sick girl.” But Tania wants to be strong, independent, a fencer like her father―a former Musketeer and her greatest champion. Then Papa is brutally, mysteriously murdered. His dying wish? For Tania to attend finishing school. But L’Académie des Mariées, Tania realizes, is no finishing school. It’s a secret training ground for new Musketeers: women who are socialites on the surface, but strap daggers under their skirts, seduce men into giving up dangerous secrets, and protect France from downfall. And they don’t shy away from a sword fight.

With her newfound sisters at her side, Tania feels that she has a purpose, that she belongs. But then she meets Étienne, her target in uncovering a potential assassination plot. He’s kind, charming―and might have information about what really happened to her father. Torn between duty and dizzying emotion, Tania will have to decide where her loyalties lie…or risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.

Review

One for All is a brilliant, compelling YA historical fiction retelling that follows Tania de Batz, a young girl that wants nothing more than to be a Musketeer like her father. However, women are not allowed to be Musketeers and Tania has a condition that frequently makes her dizzy and faint. Known in her village as the sick girl, her parents worry about her prospects to find a husband. When Tania’s father is mysteriously murdered, Tania is sent to a finishing school in Paris in the hopes of finding a husband, but the L’Académie des Mariées is not quite what it seems – this elite school is for a new generation of Musketeers, young women who can play the part of a noble lady, but also protect King and country. When Tania and her sisters-in-arms uncover a plot to assassinate the King, they use all their wits and skills to determine who’s behind it before it’s too late.

One for All is such a fun read. It’s a brilliant adventure and I found it so easy to become completely engrossed in the story. It’s a pretty fast paced tale and that definitely kept me turning pages quicker and quicker. The plot is engaging and I was really intrigued to see how it was going to end. I loved the setting and Lainoff’s writing style really brings the glamour of 17th century Paris to life. I was so fascinated by the descriptions of beautiful dresses and opulent rooms. I absolutely love the secret school trope and it was so well executed in the story. Seeing Tania and the other Musketeers train, learn and work to uncover secrets kept me absolutely glued to the book.

The story has some really important disability representation and Tania is a really compelling protagonist. I loved seeing her go from strength to strength as she found her place amongst the group and realised she was much more than the people of her village told her she was. I also really enjoyed seeing the bond develop between Tania and the other girls and I would absolutely love to read more adventures from these four.

There is a bit of romance in the story but it felt well developed and didn’t overtake the main plot of the story. I enjoyed every minute of One for All so if you’re looking for a gripping found family adventure story full of badass female sword fighters, this book absolutely has you covered.

Blog Tour: Shield Maiden – Sharon Emmerichs

Blog Tour: Shield Maiden – Sharon Emmerichs


Release Date:
February 2nd 2023
Publisher: Ad Astra
Pages: 416
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones. 
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

Having grown up hearing tales of her uncle, the great King Beowulf, Fryda’s one desire is to become a shield maiden in her own right. Yet a terrible childhood accident has left Fryda disabled – thus, she believes, thwarting her dream of becoming a warrior-woman for good. But still, somehow, she feels an uncontrollable power begin to rise within herself.

Meanwhile, a great celebration of Beowulf’s reign is underway, and Fryda’s house is soon overrun with foreign kings and chieftains. Amidst the drunken revelry, a discovery is made that threatens the safety of Fryda’s entire clan – and her own life. Enraged, Fryda resolves to fight for her people, no matter the cost… and all the while, her powers seem only to grow stronger.

But she is not the only one to feel its effects. For, buried deep in her gilded lair, a dragon is drawn to Fryda’s untamed power, and is slowly awakening from a long, cursed sleep…

Review

Shield Maiden is a beautifully written fantasy tale that follows Fryda, a young girl with a dream of becoming a shield maiden. After an accident in her childhood leaves her disabled, she believes she will never achieve that dream – no matter how badly she wants it. When her Uncle Beowulf comes to visit the clan and celebrations begin, Fryda uncovers a plot that threatens the safety of the people she loves most. Determined to do what she can to protect her people, Fryda soon feels a strange power growing inside her, but Fryda isn’t the only one who feels the power stirring and a dragon long sleeping might finally awake.

I admit I don’t know all that much about Beowulf but between the intriguing synopsis and that stunning cover I was incredibly keen to read Shield Maiden and I absolutely was not disappointed. This fast-paced fantasy retelling feels incredibly well crafted and lots of research has gone into creating the story. I immediately felt transported to this fascinating setting and I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. It was so easy to get lost in the story that I found myself sitting down to read a chapter and ended up reading for hours at a time. There’s plenty of action in the story and more than a few tense moments. The tension really ramps up towards the end of the story and that final battle scene definitely had me on the edge of my seat.

The characters are really interesting in this story and I really liked Fryda as a main character. There is quite a heavy romance focus in this story, the romance felt well developed and I really liked seeing their relationship develop as the story progressed. I also really liked that there were chapters from the point of view of the dragon, these were really intriguing and had me desperate to know more each time. Shield Maiden is a really captivating historical fantasy tale and if you’re looking for a story full of compelling characters, tense fighting, and a dragon then this one should definitely be on your TBR list.

Book Review: Murder in the Family – Cara Hunter

Book Review: Murder in the Family – Cara Hunter


Release Date:
May 25th 2023
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I received an E-ARC of this book through Netgalley
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

Mega-bestselling British crime novelist Cara Hunter makes her big American debut with a shocking thriller about a cold case, a fictional Netflix true crime series, and the family caught in the middle.

SIX EPISODES. ONE KILLER.

It was a case that gripped the nation. In December 2003, Luke Ryder, the stepfather of acclaimed filmmaker Guy Howard (then aged 10), was found dead in the garden of their suburban family home.

Luke Ryder’s murder has never been solved. Guy Howard’s mother and two half-sisters were in the house at the time of the murder–but all swear they saw nothing. Despite a high-profile police investigation and endless media attention, no suspect was ever charged.

But some murder cases are simply too big to forget…

Now comes the sensational new Netflix series Infamous, dedicated to investigating–and perhaps cracking–this famous cold case. The production team will re-examine testimony, re-interview witnesses, and once again scour the evidence. The family will speak. The key players will be reunited–on camera. The truth will come out.

Are you ready to see it?

Review

Cara Hunter’s DI Fawley series is one of my all time favourite thriller series so when I heard she was releasing an all new standalone novel, I was dying to read it. This compulsive and unputdownable thriller tells the story of the mysterious murder of Luke Ryder who was killed in his own back garden in 2003. The case was all over the news, but it was never solved. Now his stepson is working alongside the team of the hit Netflix series Infamous, in an attempt to discover what really happened to Luke. Bringing in a crack team of experts, they will interview old suspects, talk to the family and perhaps finally uncover the truth.

I made the mistake of starting this book late at night, thinking I would read a few pages and then go to bed. From the outset, I was completely and utterly hooked and I ended up staying up till the wee hours of the morning because this story was just so captivating. The story is told in a mixed media format so there are interviews, transcripts, newspaper clippings, and documents. I really enjoyed this style of storytelling and I think it had me turning the pages faster and faster. The story is quite quick paced and the tense atmosphere had me completely glued to the page.

I loved the way Hunter executed this story. As we got to know the different experts and members of the family I had absolutely no idea who to trust and it stayed that way right until the very end. One of the things I love about the DI Fawley series is the shocking twists that I never see coming and it was exactly the same in Murder in the Family. I also found the dynamics between the experts really interesting, especially as information about the murder was revealed and it began to look like not everyone was who they seemed to be on the surface. The ending was of course a shock, but very cleverly executed.

Murder in the Family is a compelling, page-turner of a read and if you’re a fan of Cara Hunter you’re going to absolutely love this one.

Book Review: The Stone Knife – Anna Stephens

Book Review: The Stone Knife – Anna Stephens


Series:
The Songs of the Drowned #1
Release Date: November 26th 2020
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Pages: 608
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this from my local bookshop
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

For generations, the forests of Ixachipan have echoed with the clash of weapons, as nation after nation has fallen to the Empire of Songs – and to the unending, magical music that binds its people together. Now, only two free tribes remain.

The Empire is not their only enemy. Monstrous, scaled predators lurk in rivers and streams, with a deadly music of their own.

As battle looms, fighters on both sides must decide how far they will go for their beliefs and for the ones they love – a veteran general seeks peace through war, a warrior and a shaman set out to understand their enemies, and an ambitious noble tries to bend ancient magic to her will.

Review

The Godblind Trilogy by Anna Stephens is one of my all time favourite series, so I was incredibly intrigued to pick up the first in a new duology from the author. Set in the land of Ixachipan, this multi-perspective tale tells the story of people from two very different nations – those from the Empire of Songs and those of the free tribes, determined to resist the rule of the empire. Every other tribe has fallen to the Empire of Songs and the magical music that weaves through everything and everyone. The Empire will stop at nothing to make the Tokob and Yalotlan fall in line, but will they be able to resist where everyone else has failed?

This is such a compelling story and one I could not get enough of. Despite being over 600 pages, I raced through this book and Stephens does a magnificent job of weaving the plot together. The story is well paced, giving the reader a chance to get to know this fascinating world that’s full of compelling characters. One of the things I loved most about Godblind was the level of worldbuilding and The Stone Knife is just as well developed. I loved learning about the magic in this world, about the song that envelopes everything and the magic of the tribes. The drowned were also completely fascinating and I can’t wait to learn more in book two.

The story has plenty of action scenes and there are more than a few dark and gruesome moments that fans of Godblind have no doubt come to expect. Stephens does a brilliant job of writing battle scenes that leap off the page, each one creating a tense atmosphere that leaves the reader on the edge of their seat. Where the story shines most is the captivating characters – there are a number of POV characters who are on opposing sides and seeing these characters and their beliefs clash made for some very compelling reading. All the POV characters felt incredibly well developed, each with their own motivations. Generally, I find when I read a big epic fantasy story like this there are particular characters that I am most interested in, but with The Stone Knife I felt invested in all of them and I cannot wait to see where the story takes them. I absolutely loved Xessa and Tayan and while she’s a bit terrifying, I was completely fascinated by Enet.

The Stone Knife is a brilliant, unputdownable epic fantasy story. It was an immediate five star read and I cannot wait to read more from Anna Stephens in the future.

Book Review: Godkiller – Hannah Kaner

Book Review: Godkiller – Hannah Kaner


Release Date:
January 19th 2023
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Pages: 304
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Kissen kills gods for a living, and she enjoys it. That is until she finds a god she cannot kill: Skediceth, god of white lies, who is connected to a little noble girl on the run.

Elogast fought in the god war, and helped purge the city of a thousand shrines before laying down his sword. A mysterious request from the King sends him racing back to the city he destroyed.

On the way he meets a godkiller, a little girl and a littler god, who cannot find out about his quest.

Review

Godkiller is a compelling and hard to put down fantasy tale that follows the Godkiller Kissen as she stumbles upon a young girl who has become connected to the god of white lies. Kissen cannot kill the god without harming the girl and so embark on a quest to help separate the two. On the journey, they meet Elo, a baker on a quest of his own. Will the three survive the quest long enough to find the answers they seek?

I loved every second of this book! It features a really fascinating world with intricate world building. I really enjoyed learning about the gods and magic in this story and was so impressed with the amount of detail and history. The world was so intriguing and I can’t wait to see where Kaner takes things in book two. The story is well-paced, there’s plenty of action to keep the reader on the edge of their seat but also plenty of time to get to know the characters and the magic. Godkiller felt like such a unique take on the fantasy tale and I definitely found myself hungry for more. Godkiller is a book that’s hard to look away from and I ended up reading the last hundred pages in a single sitting as I just had to know how it was all going to end.

Godkiller has a fantastic cast of characters and I grew quite attached to all of them. They are well crafted, each dealing with their own secrets and determined to do what’s right. Kissen is such a badass protagonist and she was probably my favourite, but I loved Elo, Ina and Skedi too. The relationship between Ina and Skedi is a really fascinating aspect of the tale, they’re bonded together and desperate to find out about their pasts, but as the story progresses their relationship begins to change and it was so compelling to read about. Godkiller is my first five star read of 2023 and it is one impressive debut. If you’re looking for an epic fantasy adventure that you won’t want to look away from, Godkiller is definitely a must read!

Book Review: The Stolen Heir – Holly Black

Book Review: The Stolen Heir – Holly Black


Series:
Elfhame #4
Release Date: January 3rd 2023
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 368
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I ordered a copy of this from Book Depository
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

A runaway queen. A reluctant prince. And a quest that may destroy them both.

Eight years have passed since the Battle of the Serpent. But in the icy north, Lady Nore of the Court of Teeth has reclaimed the Ice Needle Citadel. There, she is using an ancient relic to create monsters of stick and snow who will do her bidding and exact her revenge.

Suren, child queen of the Court of Teeth, and the one person with power over her mother, fled to the human world. There, she lives feral in the woods. Lonely, and still haunted by the merciless torments she endured in the Court of Teeth, she bides her time by releasing mortals from foolish bargains. She believes herself forgotten until the storm hag, Bogdana chases her through the night streets. Suren is saved by none other than Prince Oak, heir to Elfhame, to whom she was once promised in marriage and who she has resented for years.

Now seventeen, Oak is charming, beautiful, and manipulative. He’s on a mission that will lead him into the north, and he wants Suren’s help. But if she agrees, it will mean guarding her heart against the boy she once knew and a prince she cannot trust, as well as confronting all the horrors she thought she left behind.

Review

The Stolen Heir was one of my most anticipated releases for 2023. The Cruel Prince trilogy is one of my favourite YA series of all time and I was really excited to return to the world of Elfhame. The story is full of magic and adventure, but for me, I didn’t fall in love with it quite as much as I did The Cruel Prince.

The Stolen Heir tells the story of Suren, once the child queen of the Court of Teeth, she has been exiled to the human realm. She spends her time foraging in the woods, releasing mortals from their bargains with the fae and longing to return to the human family she once lived with. When Suren runs into Bogdana from the Court of Teeth, she is saved by Prince Oak, heir to the throne of Elfhame. Oak requires Suren’s help in a dangerous quest to rescue his father, but doing so will take her back to the Court of Teeth and the life she left behind. Will she survive returning to that deadly place and can Prince Oak really be trusted?

There was lots about The Stolen Heir that I really enjoyed. Holly Black really is the queen of faerie and I love her writing style and the way she brings this world to life. While the story did feel a little slow in some parts, overall it was engaging and compelling enough that I ended up reading half the book in one sitting. There is a reveal that happens at the end of the story that I guessed pretty early on, but I am nonetheless very intrigued to see where the story will go in book two.

Suren is probably what made this book for me. She’s a really interesting and complex character, dealing with a harrowing childhood and just trying to find her place in the world. I liked seeing her relationships develop with the other characters in the story and I can’t wait to see where the story is going to take her. Overall this a fun, entertaining read, full of Black’s trademark writing. If you’ve read The Cruel Prince series and are intrigued by this one I would definitely say it’s worth picking up.

Blog Tour: The Witches of Vardø – Anya Bergman

Blog Tour: The Witches of Vardø – Anya Bergman


Release Date:
January 5th 2023
Publisher: Manilla Press
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Norway, 1662. A dangerous time to be a woman, when even dancing can lead to accusations of witchcraft. When Zigri, desperate and grieving after the loss of her husband and son, embarks on an affair with the local merchant, it’s not long before she is sent to the fortress at Vardø, to be tried and condemned as a witch.

Zigri’s daughter Ingeborg sets off into the wilderness to try to bring her mother back home. Accompanying her on this quest is Maren – herself the daughter of a witch ­- whose wild nature and unconquerable spirit gives Ingeborg the courage to venture into the unknown, and to risk all she has to save her family.

Also captive in the fortress is Anna Rhodius, once the King of Denmark’s mistress, who has been sent to Vardø in disgrace. What will she do – and who will she betray – to return to her privileged life at court?

These Witches of Vardø are stronger than even the King of Denmark. In an age weighted against them they refuse to be victims. They will have their justice. All they need do is show their power.

Review

Set in Norway in 1662, The Witches of Vardø is a beautifully told historical fiction tale about a group of women accused of witchcraft. When Zigri starts an affair with the merchant’s son, she is denounced as a witch and taken to the island of Vardø to await trial. Her daughter Ingeborg is determined to rescue her from a terrible fate, so joins forces with Maren, the daughter of the infamous witch Liren Sand. Will the two girls be able to save Zigri and the other women accused of witchcraft? Those in the witches hole are not the only women captive on the island. Noblewoman Anna Rhodius has been sent to Vardø in disgrace. She has lost everything, but what will she do to regain the King’s favour and return to her previous life of privilege?

The Witches of Vardø is a harrowing tale, one full of cruelty and brutality. The story is well paced, giving the reader the chance to get to know Ingeborg and her family before the paranoia and accusations begin. I really enjoyed Bergman’s writing style and I found myself reading big sections of the book in one sitting. The story has a really captivating setting and the remote, snowy Norwegian landscape really comes to life in Bergman’s writing. Bergman also does a great job of increasing the tension as the story progresses and I was completely glued to the book for the last hundred pages to find out how it was going to end.

The characters in this story are certainly compelling and you really feel for the horrendous way they are treated. Both points of view characters are really interesting, they’re both such different people but are ultimately trying to get back what they’ve lost. I did prefer Ingeborg’s POV to Anna’s, however, both were really engaged and concluded in a way I didn’t expect. I also thought Maren was a fascinating character, she was fearless and determined to stand against those in power. Bergman does a fantastic job showcasing the relationships and loyalty between the female characters in this story, particularly as they are tested in the most horrible ways imaginable. Based on true events from history, this is a thought-provoking and beautifully told story, one that historical fiction fans won’t be able to put down.

Book Review: Skyward Flight – Brandon Sanderson & Janci Patterson

Book Review: Skyward Flight – Brandon Sanderson & Janci Patterson


Series:
Skyward Flight
Release Date: April 5th 2022
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 623
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

In Sunreach, after a planet-destroying Delver suddenly appears in the sky of Detritus and vanishes just as suddenly, FM knows that the last free human society got lucky. Her Skyward Flight companion Spensa figured out how to draw this Delver away, but it won’t be so easy next time. Humanity has to be prepared . . . and when FM’s flight leader Jorgen finds a large group of Taynix – the space slugs then enable hyperdrives – they may have found their chance, if FM, Jorgen, the engineer Rig and the mysterious alien Alanik, can unlock the secrets in time . . . .

In ReDawn, Alanik has recovered from the shock of answering a distress call and finding a planet of humans making a stand against the Superiority, only to be dismayed to discover they’re considering a peace overture from their enemy. Worse, when she returns to her home planet of ReDawn, she find her own people falling into exactly the same trap. With her mentor captured, she turns to her new friends to help: can Alanik, FM, Jorgen and Rig coax an ancient technology into life in time to save both their planets from disaster?

And in Evershore, the government of Detritus is still in disarray following Superiority treachery, and no word has come from Spensa, on her mission deep in the Nowhere, leaving Alanik, Jorgen, FM and Rig to pick up the pieces. So when the Kitsen send word from the planet Evershore, saying they have some humans and wish to return them, they have to decide if the strange message can be trusted . . . all while Jorgen struggles to master his new cytonic powers which threaten to spin out of control . . .

A gripping collection of novellas, told from the perspectives of three different characters, these superb adventures are essential Skyward reading!

Review

The Skyward series is the first full series I’ve picked up from Brandon Sanderson and I’ve really been enjoying this epic space story. I was really intrigued by this series of novellas set in the Skyward world and featuring some of Spensa’s crew. In each of the three novellas, we follow someone different – FM in Sunreach, Alanik in ReDawn and Jorgen in Evershore. This collection is a great opportunity to see the characters from a different perspective and learn even more about the world of Skyward Flight.

All three stories have plenty of action in them and on the whole, I really enjoyed reading them. I did feel in places they were a little long. I really enjoyed Sunreach and Evershore but I did find myself struggling a little bit toward the end of ReDawn. Overall the stories are fun and fast paced, with lots of the humour I’ve come to expect from the series. While it was really nice to have the perspective of different characters, I did find myself missing Spensa a little bit. Evershore was probably my favourite out of the three and that final novella does set things up for the final installment in the series and I am definitely intrigued to see where Sanderson is going to take the story next.

If you’re a fan of the Skyward series this collection is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something to keep you going until the release of Defiant!

Book Review: Hope to Die – Cara Hunter

Book Review: Hope to Die – Cara Hunter


Series:
DI Adam Fawley #6
Release Date: July 21st 2022
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 416
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this book in my local supermarket
Rating: 4.75/5 stars

Synopsis

When a body is found in a farmhouse in a gruesome state, DI Adam Fawley is one of the first on the scene. The murder leads Fawley to a convoluted investigation from the past, and a family torn apart by a devastating crime involving the disappearance of a child.

Can Fawley piece together the facts of history with the clues in the present? Sometimes the truth is the hardest answer to face up to…

Review

The DI Adam Fawley series is without a doubt my favourite police procedural series. Everything about this series is so well done and Hope to Die is another terrific installment. In Hope to Die we follow Fawley and the team as they are called to investigate a shooting at a remote farmhouse. Shootings don’t happen often and there are a few things about the scene that don’t seem quite right. As the team dig deeper they soon discover that this was far from a burglary gone wrong and may have connections to one of the country’s most infamous crimes.

There are so many things to love about this series. Hunter has once again crafted a story that is so fast paced, so full of twists and turns and so well researched that I honestly couldn’t have put the book down even if I wanted to. I really enjoy Hunter’s writing style and I find it absolutely fascinating the way she includes interview transcripts, newspaper clippings and TV scripts to bring the story to life. I was also really intrigued to learn that the story is inspired by a real life case in Australia which for me made the story even more compelling.

While I haven’t read all the books in the Fawley series (this is my third and I am definitely planning on going back to read the first three), I’ve become quite attached to the characters and really enjoy reading about both the police investigation and the lives of the team. We are introduced to some new characters in this installment and I really liked seeing how they fit into the dynamics of Fawley’s team.

Hope to Die is an intricately plotted story and the last few chapters absolutely had me on the edge of my seat. If you’re looking for a crime book that will have you guessing right to the end, Hope to Die and the rest of the DI Adam Fawley series is a must read.

Book Review: The Guilty Couple – C. L. Taylor

Book Review: The Guilty Couple – C. L. Taylor


Release Date:
June 23rd 2022
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this book from my local supermarket
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

Five years ago, Olivia Sutherland was wrongfully convicted of plotting to murder her husband.

Now she’s finally free, Olivia has three goals: repair her relationship with her teenage daughter, clear her name, and bring down her husband – the man who framed her.

Just how far is she willing to go to get what she wants? And how far will her husband go to stop her? Because his lies run deeper than Olivia could ever have imagined – and this time it’s not her freedom that’s in jeopardy, but her life…

Review

As a reader I’m not someone who reads crime thrillers very often, however C. L. Taylor is without a doubt one of my auto-buy authors. Her latest release follows Olivia Sutherland who was convicted of plotting to murder her husband. Olivia swears she is innocent and now she has finally been released from prison, she’s determined to do everything she can to fix her relationship with her daughter and clear her name. But will she be able to uncover the truth about her husband in time and how far will he go to protect his secrets?

When it comes to C. L. Taylor I have pretty much given up attempting to guess the plot twists. This book was razor sharp, fast paced, and had lots of surprising moments. How Taylor manages to continually come up with endings you won’t see coming I’ll never know, but once again I was left guessing right until the very end. Taylor’s writing style is very accessible and it’s so easy to get completely caught up in her clever stories. The Guilty Couple is no exception and I was absolutely hooked on seeing whether Olivia would be successful in clearing her name.

The story is told from both Olivia’s and her husband Dominic’s perspectives and I enjoyed seeing things from both points of view as the tension continued to build. Taylor has a knack for crafting these really believable characters and it was particularly apparent as we see Olivia attempt to rebuild her life and her relationship with Grace. Olivia is a really compelling protagonist but my favourite character had to be Smithy who stole the show just a little bit.

The Guilty Couple is an addictive and compelling tale, one that thriller fans will find difficult to put down. If you’re a fan of C. L. Taylor or you’re looking for something that will have you turning pages long into the night, this one is not to be missed.