Book Review: After the Silence – Louise O’Neill

Book Review: After the Silence – Louise O’Neill


Release Date:
September 3rd 2020
Publisher: Riverrun Books
Pages: 439
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

Nessa Crowley’s murderer has been protected by silence for ten years.
Until a team of documentary makers decide to find out the truth.

On the day of Henry and Keelin Kinsella’s wild party at their big house a violent storm engulfed the island of Inisrun, cutting it off from the mainland. When morning broke Nessa Crowley’s lifeless body lay in the garden, her last breath silenced by the music and the thunder.

The killer couldn’t have escaped Inisrun, but no one was charged with the murder. The mystery that surrounded the death of Nessa remained hidden. But the islanders knew who to blame for the crime that changed them forever.

Ten years later a documentary crew arrives, there to lift the lid off the Kinsellas’ carefully constructed lives, determined to find evidence that will prove Henry’s guilt and Keelin’s complicity in the murder of beautiful Nessa.

In this bold, brilliant, disturbing new novel Louise O’Neill shows that deadly secrets are devastating to those who hold them close.

Review

After the Silence is the dark and brilliantly told story of the small island of Inisrun which was devastated by the murder of Nessa Crowley at the Kinsella’s party ten years ago. The islanders believe they know who killed her, but it was never proven and the murderer walks free. Ten years later a film crew from Australia arrive to film a documentary about the murder that shook the islanders and perhaps also uncover the truth about what happened that night.

I’ve previously read Louise O’Neill’s The Surface Breaks and while this was a completely different kind of story it was just as compelling and unforgettable. O’Neill brings you right into the heart of Inisrun, getting to know the villagers and the events that led to the death of Nessa Crowley. I loved the way the story was written, flitting between the present day and the past with some parts told in an interview style. O’Neill has a really captivating writing style and it was so easy just to get lost in this story.

The story is a tense one and focuses particularly on domestic abuse. It was a chilling read and one that will stick with the reader long after they’ve finished reading. The story has a few twists and turns – ones I wasn’t particularly expecting. After the Silence feels like an incredibly well researched and executed tale, with really fascinating and complex characters. We mainly follow Keelin Kinsella, who on the surface has it all – she’s wealthy, has the perfect husband and two beautiful children. But there’s so much more going on behind the scenes and I think Louse O’Neill portrayed that perfectly.

After the Silence is much more than a typical psychological thriller. It’s a dark and fast paced story and one that fans of Louise O’Neill are sure to love.

Book Review: The Search Party – Simon Lelic

Book Review: The Search Party – Simon Lelic

Header (53)
Release Date:
August 20th 2020
Publisher: Viking
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

16-year-old Sadie Saunders is missing.

Five friends set out into the woods to find her.

But they’re not just friends…

THEY’RE SUSPECTS.

You see, this was never a search party.

It’s a witch hunt.

And not everyone will make it home alive…

THE CHALK MAN meets THE HUNTING PARTY in this gripping story; witness four suspects as, alongside DI Fleet, you attempt to discover the truth about what happened to Sadie…

Review

Copy of book cover (89)The Search Party is one of those books that completely captivates you from the very first chapter. The story follows a group of teenagers who go into the woods to look for their friend Sadie Saunders who has gone missing. When the police finally find the group they have a body with them – but the body isn’t Sadie, so what happened in the woods?

The Search Party is a dark and twisty read, one I didn’t want to end. This is my second book from Simon Lelic and it was completely unputdownable. I read the book in one day, and definitely stayed up long past my bedtime to finish it. Lelic has a brilliant writing style, ramping up the tension as we get to the final reveal. If you love thrillers with endings you won’t see coming this is definitely a must read.

The story is told in alternating perspectives of the teenagers as well as DI Robin Fleet who is in charge of the investigation into Sadie’s disappearance. The characters are well written and it was fascinating seeing the group recount the tale of what happened in the woods. I really liked DI Fleet, he’s a determined police officer and I really enjoyed seeing him puzzle out what was really going on.

The Search Party is a gripping read that will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s one of my favourite thrillers of the year and if you’re looking for something to keep you hooked on a hot summer day, this is definitely one to pick up.
5 Stars

Blog Tour: F.O.X.E.S – M. A. Bennett

Blog Tour: F.O.X.E.S – M. A. Bennett

Header (52)
Series:
S.T.A.G.S. #3 (See my review of book one here!)
Release Date: August 6th 2020
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 388
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

Greer has just recovered from her terrifying experience during the STAGS play. Was she really put on trial by the sinister Dark Order of the Grand Stag? Or was it purely her overheated imagination? The imprint of an ‘M’ for murderer that has appeared on her thumb, though, is puzzling but incomplete evidence . . .

Meanwhile Ty is staying on at Longcross Manor and Greer, Nel and Shafeen are increasingly worried for her safety. When Ty sends a cryptic message directing them to Cumberland Place, the de Warlencourts’ palatial home in London, they decide to risk a visit. There they meet Henry’s grieving parents, Rollo and Caro. Rollo is arrogant, entitled and not overly grieving. Caro, however, while superficially charming, is clearly pushed to the brink of madness by Henry’s death, insisting that Henry is still alive. Which is clearly impossible . . . but Greer has her own troubling doubts about Henry’s death which make it hard to dismiss Caro completely . . .

Can Greer, Shafeen and Nel work out what Rollo de Warlencourt is planning for his deadly Boxing Day Hunt at Longcross in time to save Ty – who has now gone silent? Or will history horribly repeat itself?

A thrilling, richly complex instalment in the STAGS series

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-12T115512.600F.O.X.E.S is the third instalment in the S.T.A.G.S series. When I read the first book I hadn’t realised there was going to be more than one book. I picked up D.O.G.S and absolutely devoured it so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the third book in the series. The story picks up straight after the events of book two, following Greer, Shafeen and Nel as they continue to uncover the secrets behind The Dark Order of the Grand Stag. Determined to find out the truth, the visit Cumberland Place – the residence of Henry’s parents. There they find his mum Caro insisting that Henry is still alive and his Dad Rollo putting all his efforts into reinstating fox hunting. But is Henry really alive and will history repeat itself at Longcross?

I absolutely love this series and I’m so glad that we’re continuing to follow the same characters. Greer, Shafeen and Nel make a really brilliant group of protagonists and I really enjoyed watching them work together to uncover the twisted secrets behind the Order. The story is told from Greer’s perspective so there are plenty of film references as she narrates this gripping tale.

The story if full of twists and turns and is really fast paced. M. A. Bennett writes these short snappy chapter that have you immediately starting the next one. I often found myself sitting down to read a few pages and then still being there fifty pages later. F.O.X.E.S is a tense and thrilling read I definitely did not want it to end.

The book touches on a lot of themes, particularly class and grief. The story is an atmospheric one and M A Bennett has clearly done an exceptional amount of research for this series. Bennett has a brilliant writing style that keeps the reader hooked and I am so excited to see what the next instalment brings. If you haven’t had the chance to pick up D.O.G.S or F.O.X.E.S yet, these are the perfect summer books to get lost in.
4 Stars

foxes-banner1

Book Review: The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

Book Review: The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

Header (50)
Release Date: August 6th 2019
Publisher: Vintage
Pages: 343
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I was gifted a copy of this at Christmas
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

When she stumbles across the advert, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious ‘smart’ home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she’s made mistakes. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Full of spellbinding menace, The Turn of the Key is a gripping modern-day haunted house thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

Review

Copy of book cover (19)Ruth Ware is an author I’ve always wanted to read but hadn’t gotten around to picking up. The Turn of the Key caught my eye because it sounded so creepy and I had heard so many people raving about it. I ended up completely devouring this chilling book and I am definitely going to be picking up more from Ruth Ware.

The story follows a young woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote home in the Scottish Highlands. Her employers are architects and their home is a smart home, with all aspects of life made easier by technology. The job seems perfect – intuitive home, beautiful location and an excellent salary. But when Rowan finds out that a string of nannies have left the role very suddenly, suspicions begin to be raised and Rowan quickly finds herself in the midst of a nightmare.

I loved everything about this book. It starts off with Rowan in the present day, recounting her story. Right from that very first chapter I was absolutely hooked and I got completely sucked into this story. Rowan was a brilliant protagonist and I was glued to the story that was unfolding. She makes for the perfect unreliable narrator and I was always questioning what was going on around her. The characters in this story are well created and fleshed out. The story is well paced, with the story becoming more and more fast paced as the tension continues to climb.

The Turn of the Key is full of twists and turns and had more than a few surprises that I didn’t see coming. It has a really brilliant sense of atmosphere, there were so many moments that sent a shiver up my spine. If you’re looking for one of those Gothic reads that will have you reading way past bedtime then this is definitely one to pick up. This has made me eager to try more from Ruth Ware and I can’t wait to check out some of her other books.
4 Stars

July Wrap Up!

July Wrap Up!

Header (49)
Today I’m back with a July Wrap up. Things have been slowly returning to normal and I’ve been in work more so I’ve had less time to read. I did manage a total of 8 books, so lets dive in!

Copy of book cover (95)1. Music and Malice in Hurricane Town – Alex Bell
This was a book I picked up on a whim and ended up absolutely loving it. It follows a young girl living in a magical New Orleans as she becomes wrapped up in the murder of the cajou Queen. Forced to find out who killed her, Jude goes on a whirlwind adventure through the underworld of Baton Noir. It was a really gripping read and I ended up racing through it. (4.25/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (4)2. The Dark That Dwells – Matt Digman & Ryan Roody
This epic space adventure was my favourite book of the month. Full of action and adventure, I couldn’t put this one down. It’s a brilliant blend of science fiction and fantasy, following four strangers who become swept up in an epic adventure to stop an ancient evil from returning. I loved everything about this one, from the world building to the character and I highly recommend picking it up. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (59)3. If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha
If I Had Your Face follows a group of women living in contemporary Seoul. In this society plastic surgery rules all and everyone is obsessed with looking beautiful. Each women is dealing with her own struggles of living in this society and it was such a fascinating story. The writing is gorgeous and I definitely recommend if you’re looking for some gripping contemporary fiction. (3.75/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (21)4. Harrow Lake – Kat Ellis
I absolutely love horror movies so when I heard about this story about the daughter of a famous horror movie director, I was instantly hooked. The story follows Lola as she returns to her mothers hometown and the place where her father filmed his cult classic. When she arrives she finds a town stuck in the past, with a number of mysterious secrets. This book was brilliantly creepy and I had such a fun time reading it. It’s a perfect read for Halloween! (4.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (77)5. Hinton Hollow Death Trip – Will Carver
Hinton Hollow Death Trip is completely unlike anything I have ever read before. It follows Detective Pace who is returning to his hometown after many years. The story is narrated by Evil, as over the course of a few days he inspires and nudges people to do evil things. This story has really short snappy chapters that had me turning pages faster and faster. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (96)6. The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi
This is one I’ve wanted to read for a while and it was so much fun. A heist style novel about a group of individuals looking to steal magical artefacts, it very much gave me Six of Crows vibes. I really liked the characters and the plot was excited but I would have liked a bit more of a chance to get to know the world and the magic system before diving into the main story. (3.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (85)7. The Cry of the Lake – Charlie Tyler
This debut thriller might be short but boy it packs a punch. The story is set in a small town and follows a number of characters during the disappearance of a young school girl. When her body is discovered police find evidence to suspect one of her teachers. The evidence appears too neat, raising suspicions in police officer Annie and the suspect’s daughter Flo. But who would want to frame him and why? Full of twisty secrets, this was a mysterious and gripping read that I ended up reading in one day. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (86)8. The Resident – David Jackson
This book honestly freaked me out so much. Serial killer Thomas Brogan is on the run when he finds refuge in an abandoned house. Whilst exploring he discovers he can access the homes of the neighbours through the attic and decides to have some fun while he’s lying low. I live in the type of house where this seems possible so it definitely creeped me out. A completely terrifying read, it hooks you in right from the very first page. (5/5 stars)

So those are the eight books I read in July! If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought as well as what books you’ve been reading in July!

Blog Tour: The Resident – David Jackson

Blog Tour: The Resident – David Jackson

Header (45)
Release Date:
July 16th 2020
Publisher: Viper
Pages: 320
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly provided me with an E-ARC to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

Thomas Brogan is a serial killer, and he has nowhere left to hide. At least until he finds an abandoned house at the end of a terrace on a quiet street. And when he discovers that he can access three other houses through the attic space, the real fun begins. Because the one thing that Brogan enjoys even more than killing, is playing games with his victims. And his new neighbours have more than enough dark secrets to make this game his best one yet…

Review

Copy of book cover (86)David Jackson has taken my worst nightmare and brought it to life. Thomas Brogan is a serial killer on the run and he seeks refuge in an abandoned house. While hiding out he discovers that he can access the attic of the neighbouring houses and so decides to have some fun with his latest victims.

This book is honestly a brilliant read. It’s dark and gripping – the kind of novel that will send a shiver up your spine. I think part of the reason that I loved this so much is because it freaked me out so much. I live in a mid-terraced house with an attic and it’s a really old building so it made the story feel infinitely believable. Every time I heard a noise in the house whilst reading this it made me nervous – if that’s not the mark of a brilliant read I don’t know what is.

The Resident is a creepy read, one that will have the reader on the edge of their seat. This is my first book from David Jackson, but it absolutely will not be the last. Thomas is a fascinating character and he makes for a very compelling protagonist. He’s a serial killer but you sort of grow to like him a bit as you learn more about his life.

There is plenty of tension and atmosphere in this one and the tension continues to climb towards the ending. I ended up reading the last hundred pages in one go, I absolutely could not look away from the book. If you’re looking for a chilling and unsettling read that will no doubt have you reading long into the night, The Resident is definitely one to check out.
5 StarsThe-Resident-tour-banner

Blog Tour: The Cry of the Lake – Charlie Tyler

Blog Tour: The Cry of the Lake – Charlie Tyler

Header (44)
Release Date:
July 21st 2020
Publisher: Darkstroke Books
Pages: 263
Find it on: Goodreads. Amazon.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review for the blog tour
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

A gruesome discovery unravels a dark trail of murder and madness.

A six-year-old girl sneaks out of bed to capture a mermaid but instead discovers a dead body. Terrified and unable to make sense of what she sees, she locks the vision deep inside her mind.

Ten years later, Lily is introduced to the charismatic Flo and they become best friends. But Lily is guilt-ridden – she is hiding a terrible secret which has the power to destroy both their lives.

When Flo’s father is accused of killing a schoolgirl, the horrors of Lily’s past come bubbling to the surface. Lily knows that, whatever the consequences, she has to make things right. She must go back to the events of her childhood and face what happened at the boat house all those years ago.

Can Lily and Flo discover what is hiding in the murky waters of the lake before the killer strikes again?

Review

Copy of book cover (85)The Cry of the Lake follows the story of Lily and her best friend Flo. When a girl from their school is murdered, Flo’s father is accused of killing her. Lily is hiding a number of secrets about her past and wracked with guilt over the murder, Lily knows she has to make things right, but can she face the truth before the real killer strikes again?

The Cry of the Lake is one of those books that sucks you in from the very first page and doesn’t let you go. I started this one on a quiet Sunday morning and ended up reading it in one sitting. Dark, addictive and with a cast of really compelling characters, The Cry of the Lake is not to be missed.

The Cry of the Lake is quite a short book, but it certainly packs a punch. The story has plenty of twists and turns but the thing that really made this one for me was the fascinating characters. I really liked Lily and Flo and I found Grace to be a really interesting protagonist. and I enjoyed the alternating POVs between the different characters, it gave you the opportunity to see things from different perspectives and it definitely helped to ramp up the tension.

The Cry of the Lake is a dark and gripping psychological thriller, full of twists and turns.  If you’re looking for an unputdownable thriller to read this summer, The Cry of the Lake should definitely be on your wishlist.
4 Stars
107571559_10159314689423974_7530319764980944622_o

Book Review: In Plain Sight – Marion Todd

Book Review: In Plain Sight – Marion Todd

Header (22)
Series:
Detective Clare Mackay #2
Release Date: February 20th 2020
Publisher: Canelo
Pages: 311
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis

A child’s life is at stake. Which of the residents of St Andrews is hiding something – and why?

When a baby girl is snatched from the crowd of spectators at a fun run, the local police have a major investigation on their hands. DI Clare Mackay  and her team are in a race against the clock when they learn that the child has a potentially fatal medical condition.

As Clare investigates she realises this victim wasn’t selected at random. Someone knows who took the baby girl, and why. But will they reveal their secrets before it’s too late?

The second instalment from an exciting new Scottish detective series. Perfect for fans of Alex Gray, Rachel Amphlett and D. K. Hood. 

Review

Copy of book cover (21)In Plain Sight is the second instalment in the DI Clare Mackay series and this time around Clare and her team are called in after a child is snatched during a fun run. The child has a serious medical condition, and without her medication her life could be at stake. As the team investigates they learn it wasn’t just a random kidnapping, there is more going on beneath the surface. But will Clare and her team discover the truth before it’s too late?

Although this is the second book in the series this is my first time reading a DI Clare Mackay book. It can definitely be read as a standalone and I found this to be such a gripping read that I am definitely going to go back and pick up book one See Them Run. This police procedural is set in St Andrew’s in Scotland and having lived in Scotland all my life and visited St Andrew’s many times, it was fun seeing the city come to life within the pages.

Todd has a brilliant writing style and the book is well paced. I really liked our main protagonist Clare, who works hard to solve the crime as well as dealing with the politics and problems of life as a police officer. There are quite a few twists and turns in this story and I thought the ending was very well executed. As the deadline for finding the child gets closer and closer, I could feel the tension ramping up and I ended up reading the last half of the book in one sitting. In Plain Sight is certainly a page turner and it’s the perfect type of book to binge over a weekend. If you love enthralling police procedurals, I’d definitely recommend checking out this series.
4 Stars

Book Review: Little Creeping Things – Chelsea Ichaso

Book Review: Little Creeping Things – Chelsea Ichaso

Header (10)
Release Date:
June 2nd 2020
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 336
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3.75/5 stars

Synopsis

When she was a child, Cassidy Pratt accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor. At least, that’s what she’s been told. She can’t remember anything from that day, and her town’s bullies, particularly the cruel and beautiful Melody Davenport, have never let her live it down.

But then Melody goes missing, and Cassidy thinks she may have information. She knows she should go to the cops, but she recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned out the perfect way to do it. And then she gets a chilling text from an unknown number: I’m so glad we’re in this together.

Now it’s up to Cassidy to figure out what really happened before the truth behind Melody’s disappearance sets the whole town ablaze.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140551.502Little Creeping Things is a dark and compulsively readable thriller from Chelsea Ichaso. The story follows Cassidy, a teenage girl struggling with the guilt of starting a fire that killed her neighbour when she was a child. On top of the guilt she is frequently bullied by Melody Davenport, one of the most popular girls in town. At party Cassidy jokes about murdering Melody and days later Melody goes missing in the exact way Cassidy suggests. As Cassidy begins to panic she receives a text – I’m so glad we’re in this together. Cassidy must race to discover who murdered Melody and prove she had nothing to do with it.

Little Creeping Things is a fun and really solid YA thriller. Cassidy is a fascinating unreliable narrator, constantly questioning if what she’s seen is real. She is plagued by her guilt over the fire and it’s interesting to watch her tangle herself deeper and deeper in this mystery. The story also has plenty of typical high school drama with crushes and mean girls in this small town. There is also a romance plot which I found a little on the irritating side, being much more interested in the murder and the mysteries surrounding the fire.

Little Creeping Things is an addictive read. It’s one of those books you sit down to read a chapter or two and you look up and you’ve been reading for hours. I read this nearly in one sitting, it’s such an easy story to get lost in. There are a few twists and turns and although I guessed who did it pretty early on, that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story. If you love fast paced YA thrillers (with delightfully creepy covers), this is a perfect summer read.
4 Stars

Blog Tour: The Curator – M W Craven

Blog Tour: The Curator – M W Craven

Header
Series:
Washington Poe #3 (See my review of book one here!)
Release Date: June 4th 2020
Publisher: Constable
Pages: 384
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6. Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again…

Review

Copy of book coverThe Curator is the third instalment in the Washington Poe series, following Detective Sergeant Washington Poe and the team at the National Crime Agency as they attempt to uncover the truth behind murders happening in the Cumbria area. In this instalment Poe and Tilly are called in to investigate a seemingly random set of murders, with the mysterious message #BSC6 left at the scene. As Poe and Tilly attempt to uncover the truth things take a darker turn and Poe will need everything he’s got to stop the man known as The Curator.

The Washington Poe series is without a doubt one of my favourite crime series. Dark, engrossing and full of surprise twists – each new instalment is high on my anticipated releases list. I think I say this every time a new one is released but this one is even more incredible than the previous two. The story hooks you in right from the very first chapter and sets a quick pace the whole way through. It’s an addictive read and I ended up staying up way past my bedtime because I absolutely could not put this one down. Craven weaves a clever and complex tale, one that contains plenty of twisty turny moments I definitely didn’t see coming.

Part of the reason I love this series so much is the fantastic characters. Clever and stubborn Poe, combined with his best friend genius Tilly Bradshaw make for an incredible partnership and I love seeing their friendship continue to grow over this latest instalment. I love the dialogue between the two of them, there’s a fair few funny moments as well as them looking out for each other.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot as this is definitely the kind of book you go into knowing as little as possible. It’s eerie, full to the brim with mystery and intrigue. If you love crime series that will have you guessing right to the very end, the Washington Poe series is a must read. If you’ve read the first two I definitely recommend picking up The Curator – just make sure you give yourself lots of free time to read it, you won’t want to put it down.
5 Stars