Blog Tour: The Island – C. L. Taylor

Blog Tour: The Island – C. L. Taylor


Release Date: January 21st 2021
Publisher: HQ Stories
Pages: 384
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher sent me an E-ARC to review
Rating: 3.75/5 stars

Synopsis

Lost meets The Hunger Games in the thrilling new young adult novel from C.L. Taylor, the Sunday Times and million-copy bestselling author.

Welcome to The Island.
Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re coming true.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?

Review

The all new addictive YA thriller from C. L. Taylor, the story follows six families who holiday together every year. This time they’re in Thailand and the six teenagers are taking part in a week long survival trip on a remote island. When their guide dies suddenly the teenagers are stranded and the trip quickly takes a dark turn. As the group attempt to survive they quickly learn someone on the island knows their worst fears – but who is making them come true?

This was such a fast paced read and I raced through it in just over a day. I always love C. L. Taylor’s books and this one is no exception. Full of twists and turns, I didn’t guess the ending until it was revealed. Taylor has such a great writing style that it’s really easy to get absorbed in the story. I really adored the premise of this one – the idea of a once in a life time trip gone horribly wrong and the sinister notion of whether they are in fact the only people on the island.

The characters were well developed and I liked some of them and hated others. They made for a fascinating group and it was really interesting seeing the dynamics change as they fought to survive and grew suspicious of each other. Like the other C. L. Taylor books I’ve read there’s a tense, unsettling atmosphere that continues to climb right to the very last page.

If you’re a fan of C. L. Taylor or you love compelling YA thrillers, this is absolutely a must read. This is my fifth read by this author and I cannot wait to see what she does next.

Book Review: The Burning Girls – C. J. Tudor

Book Review: The Burning Girls – C. J. Tudor



Release Date:
January 21st 2021
Publisher: Michael Joseph Books
Pages: 400
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

500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death
30 years ago: two teenagers vanished without trace
Two months ago: the vicar committed suicide

Welcome to Chapel Croft.

For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo it’s supposed to be a fresh start. New job, new home. But, as Jack knows, the past isn’t easily forgotten.

And in a close-knit community where the residents seem as proud as they are haunted by Chapel Croft’s history, Jack must tread carefully. Ancient superstitions as well as a mistrust of outsiders will be hard to overcome.

Yet right away Jack has more frightening concerns.

Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls?
Who’s sending them sinister, threatening messages?
And why did no one mention that the last vicar killed himself?

Chapel Croft’s secrets lie deep and dark as the tomb. Jack wouldn’t touch them if not for Flo – anything to protect Flo.

But the past is catching up with Chapel Croft – and with Jack. For old ghosts with scores to settle will never rest . . .

Review

The Burning Girls is the newest dark and twisty thriller from The Chalk Man author C. J. Tudor. As soon as I read the synopsis for this one I was dying to read it. The story follows Jack and her daughter follow as they move to Chapel Croft, a small village incredibly different from the busy city life they’ve left behind. Chapel Croft is the fresh start they need and Jack is taking the spot of the new Vicar in the close knit community. As Jack and Flo begin to settle in they learn that there’s much more going on in Chapel Croft than meets the eye – will Jack be able to uncover the truth and protect her daughter from the sinister goings-on in Chapel Croft?

The Burning Girls is the type of book you pick up at the weekend to occupy you for a few hours and before you know it, it’s the middle of the night and you’ve read to the very last page. This is such an addictive read, full of surprise moments and I read it pretty much in one sitting. It was absolutely worth being exhausted from staying up so late, the story had twists I absolutely didn’t see coming and the whole story was incredibly well executed. This is a fast paced tale and one that will hook you in right from the very first page.

C. J. Tudor has crafted a really clever tale, mixing in ancient superstition, a decades old disappearance and some sinister goings on. I loved the way Tudor weaved the different strands together created a complex multi-layered story. The characters in the book were also well created, I really liked Jack and Flo as main characters and it was so fascinating to learn about the history of Chapel Croft and their burning girls. The story has quite a sinister, unsettling atmosphere and I loved the slight supernatural element Tudor brought into the story. It’s a brilliantly addictive read and one I think thriller fans will completely adore.

Book Review: Last One to Die – Cynthia Murphy

Book Review: Last One to Die – Cynthia Murphy


Release Date:
January 7th 2021
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 294
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

One of Us is Lying meets This Lie Will Kill You but with a chilling supernatural twist that will keep you guessing until the very end . . .

Young, brunette women are being attacked in the city of London.

16-year-old, Irish-born Niamh has just arrived for the summer, and quickly discovers that the girls being attacked look frighteningly similar to her.

Determined to make it through her Drama Course, Niamh is placed at the Victorian Museum to put her drama skills to the test, and there she meets Tommy: he’s kind, fun, attentive, and really hot! . . . Nonetheless, there’s something eerie about the museum.

As the two strands of present-day serial attacker and sinister Victorian history start to collide, Niamh realises that things are not as they seem. Will she be next?

Review

Last One to Die is a fast paced and addictive tale that follows Niamh, a young Irish girl who can come to London for the Summer to study. She soon discovers that women are being attacked all around the city, women who look alarmingly like herself. As Niamh attempts to focus on her studies and her work placement at the sinister Victorian Museum, she soon discovers there might be even more to this serial attacker than she first thought.

Last One to Die is one of those books that sends a shiver up your spine. It’s creepy and unsettling, but you absolutely cannot look away. I raced through this book in one heart pounding sitting and it had an ending I definitely did not see coming. I loved the way Murphy mixed Victorian history and modern day thriller, it was such a brilliant premise and the plot was incredibly well executed. I kept coming up with theories about who was behind it all and ended up being wrong every single time. The final few chapters had be on the edge of my seat and I cannot wait to read more from Cynthia Murphy.

Murphy has a great writing style, one that hooks you in right from the very first chapter. I loved our main character Niamh, and the friends she finds along the way as she attempts to uncover the mysteries that surround her. This is the perfect YA thriller and if you’re a fan of books like One of Us is Lying or Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, you absolutely need to pick this one up.

Book Review: The Split – Sharon J. Bolton

Book Review: The Split – Sharon J. Bolton


Release Date:
April 30th 2020
Publisher: Orion Books
Pages: 382
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

No matter how far you run, some secrets will always catch up with you…

The remote Antarctic island of South Georgia is about to send off its last boat of the summer – which signifies safety to resident glaciologist Felicity Lloyd.

Felicity lives in fear – fear that her ex-husband Freddie will find her, even out here. She took a job on this isolated island to hide from him, but now that he’s out of prison, having served a term for murder, she knows he won’t give up until he finds her.

But a doctor delving into the background of Felicity and Freddie’s relationship, back in Cambridge, learns that Felicity has been on the edge for a long time. Heading to South Georgia himself to try and get to her first is the only way he can think of to help her.

Review

This is my first time reading a book by Sharon Bolton and I can absolutely say it won’t be the last. This fast paced psychological thriller is a complex tale full of twists and turns with an ending I absolutely didn’t see coming. The Split follows scientist Felicity Lloyd who has taken a job in the remote Antarctic to escape the horrors of her past. She fears that even South Georgia isn’t remote enough to escape her ex-husband Freddie who has recently been released from prison. But Felicity has gaps in her memory and as a doctor begins to unravel the truth of her past, he heads out to Georgia in an attempt to help her.

The Split is a really quick paced book and I couldn’t put this one down. It was so compelling and the short chapters had me turning pages late into the night. It follows two timelines – when Felicity lived in Oxford and the events leading up to her leaving for the Antarctic as well as current day as she feels someone had followed her to South Georgia. I was fascinated by both timelines and couldn’t wait to see how everything connected up. The story if full of twists and turns and pretty much every guess I made was wrong – I love getting to the end of a story and haven’t a completely surprised ending and that’s exactly what happened with The Split.

Felicity is a fascinating protagonist – she’s an unreliable narrator and I was never really sure if what she was seeing was true. Overall I liked Felicity and felt quite sympathetic towards her given she had all these moments of memory loss and no idea what was wrong. I similarly liked Dr Grant who was also an interesting character that I really liked. One of the things I liked most was the setting of South Georgia in the story. The harsh remote landscape really comes to life and combined with the sense of doom that Felicity feels knowing someone might step off one of the ships to look for her really came through in the story. It was an addictive read and one I didn’t want to end.

If you’re looking for a compelling thriller to keep you hooked over the winter this is absolutely a must read. I enjoyed every minute of this and I cannot wait to read more from Sharon J Bolton.

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

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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

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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

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Book Review: The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

Book Review: The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

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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!

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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

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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.
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