Book Review: That Night – Gillian McAllister

Book Review: That Night – Gillian McAllister


Release Date:
June 10th 2021
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Pages: 464
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

What would you do to protect your family?

ANYTHING.

That night everything changed.

The night Frannie committed a murder, but she didn’t mean to…

That night we helped her bury the body, what else could we do?

One hot summers night in Italy, Joe and Cathy Plant receive a phone call that will change their lives forever.

Their sister Frannie has killed a man, and she needs their help.

They were always close, some might say too close, siblings who worked together, lived next door to each other

And now they’ve buried a body together…

But when they return to England, Frannie, Joe and Cathy become tangled in lies in they’ve been telling,

to the police, to their friends, to each other…

But if you can’t trust your family, who can you trust?

Review

That Night is the newest dark and twisty thriller from Gillian McAllister and follows the Plant family. Whilst on holiday in Italy, Joe and Cathy receive a phone call – their sister Frannie has killed a man and needs their help. They decide to bury the body, pretend nothing ever happened. But as the police start asking questions, Joe, Cathy and Frannie must do everything they can to keep the truth from spilling out. But can you trust your family?

This was my first time reading a Gillian McAllister book and I absolutely raced through this one. The short, snappy chapters had me turning pages late into the night and there were so many tense, cliffhanger moments that I just had to keep reading. There is a brilliant atmosphere in the story, and I really enjoyed the way the tension climbed higher and higher as the story progressed. The story is pretty fast-paced and whilst I did guess a couple of the twists there were more than a few I didn’t see coming.

That Night has such an intriguing premise – how far would you go to protect your family? I thought it was fascinating seeing how one night could change so much for a group of siblings, particularly as the guilt and paranoia set in. I thought the characters were well crafted and I loved the way McAllister portrayed the sibling dynamic. That Night is a compelling read, one that physiological thriller fans are sure to devour. If you’re looking for something to keep you hooked right until the very last page, this one is a must-read.

Book Review: A Narrow Door – Joanne Harris

Book Review: A Narrow Door – Joanne Harris


Release Date:
4th August 2021
Publisher: Orion Books
Pages: 448
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Now I’m in charge, the gates are my gates. The rules are my rules.

It’s an incendiary moment for St Oswald’s school. For the first time in its history, a headmistress is in power, the gates opening to girls.

Rebecca Buckfast has spilled blood to reach this position. Barely forty, she is just starting to reap the harvest of her ambition. As the new regime takes on the old guard, the ground shifts. And with it, the remains of a body are discovered.

But Rebecca is here to make her mark. She’ll bury the past so deep it will evade even her own memory, just like she has done before. After all…

You can’t keep a good woman down.

Review

A Narrow Door is the brand new novel by acclaimed author Joanne Harris. A return to the world of St Oswald’s the story follows Rebecca Buckfast – the first female headteacher of the school. She’s determined to take down the old regime and she’s doing it by allowing female students for the first time in the school’s history. As plans are made to create new state of the art facilities on the premises, human remains are uncovered in the construction work. As Rebecca works to protect everything she has built, secrets that have long stayed buried will soon be revealed.

Joanne Harris is one of my favourite authors so as soon as I heard about this I was incredibly excited to pick it up. Harris weaves a complex and exhilarating story, one that hooked me from the very first chapter. A Narrow Door is well crafted and I loved the prickling sense of unease that continued to build and build as the story progressed. Joanne Harris has such a beautiful writing style and the excellent descriptions of the hallowed halls of St Oswald’s and King Henry’s really came to life. The story was well-paced and I ended up reading the second half of the book in a single afternoon. There were some surprising moments that I definitely didn’t expect and while this is the third book set around St Oswald’s, it can absolutely be read as a standalone.

The thing that fascinated me most was the complex and multi-layered characters that Harris has created. Rebecca Price is a fascinating character and I really enjoyed reading the story of her life. She is a determined and ambitious woman and will do anything to succeed in the man’s world she finds herself in. She made for a really compelling protagonist, even more so as the story grew darker. A Narrow Door is an incredibly gripping and clever read, one you absolutely won’t want to put down.

Book Review: The Last Girl – Goldy Moldavsky

Book Review: The Last Girl – Goldy Moldavsky


Release Date:
April 15th 2021
Publisher: Electric Monkey Books
Pages: 430
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 it comes to horror movies, the rules are clear:
– Avoid abandoned buildings, warehouses, and cabins at all times.
– Stay together: don’t split up, not even just to “check something out.…
– If there’s a murderer on the loose, do NOT make out with anyone …

New girl Rachel Chavez turns to horror movies for comfort, preferring them to the bored rich kids of her fancy New York High School. But then Rachel is recruited by the Mary Shelley Club, a mysterious student club that sets up terrifying Fear Tests; elaborate pranks inspired by urban legends and horror movies.

But when a sinister masked figure appears, Rachel realises that her past has caught up with her. It’s time for the ultimate prank to play out…

Review

I’m a big horror movie fan so when I heard about The Last Girl I was immediately intrigued. The story follows Rachel, a young girl that attends a fancy school full of rich kids. Rachel finds comfort in the horror movies she loves, but when she stumbles across the Mary Shelley Club – a group of students who carry out clever pranks designed to make their classmates scream. But Rachel soon learns everyone in the group has secrets, including her.

This was such a fun read and is absolutely perfect for getting swept up in over the Summer. I loved the premise of this book, the idea of a group of horror movie fanatics getting together to design these spine-tingling fear tests. The tests were probably the bit of the story I enjoyed most, seeing the way the group pull of the pranks and get away with it. I really enjoyed the writing style in this and I found some of the scenes really quite scary. It’s a fast-paced read and one that will have you reading past bedtime.

The characters in this were really fascinating and I was so intrigued to find out who the masked figure was. Pretty much everyone in the group is not what they seem and there were a couple of twists that I guessed and a few I definitely did not. The Last Girl is an entertaining and creepy read and if you love books like One Of Us Is Lying or Harrow Lake this will definitely be your cup of tea. This is my first book from Goldy Moldavsky and I will definitely be picking up more from them in the future.

Blog Tour: The Family Tree – Steph Mullin & Nicole Mabry

Blog Tour: The Family Tree – Steph Mullin & Nicole Mabry


Release Date:
June 10th 2021
Publisher: Avon 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

The DNA results are back. And there’s a serial killer in her family tree…

Liz Catalano is shocked when an ancestry kit reveals she’s adopted. But she could never have imagined connecting with her unknown family would plunge her into an FBI investigation of a notorious serial killer…

The Tri-State Killer has been abducting pairs of women for forty years, leaving no clues behind – only bodies.

Can Liz figure out who the killer in her new family is? And can she save his newest victims before it’s too late?

A gripping, original thriller for fans of My Lovely Wife, Netflix’s Making a Murderer, and anyone who’s ever wondered what their family tree might be hiding…

Review

The Family Tree is the gripping story of Liz Catalano, a young woman living in New York with her cousin Andie. When Andie gets her a DNA ancestry kit as a present Liz signs up only to discover she’s adopted. As she goes in search of her biological family she is contacted by the FBI and becomes entangled in an investigation to discover the Tri-State Killer – a serial killer who has been abducting and murdering pairs of women for forty years. Can Liz uncover the truth behind her family, and can she do it in time to save his latest victims?

This was such a compelling read and I ended up reading it in one day. I thought this was such a unique concept and it was so well executed. It was a dark and engrossing read and I definitely did not want to look away. I loved the way the story was told from Liz’s perspective and from all the different victims of the Tri-State Killer. This definitely added to the suspense as we learn more about how the killer is getting away with his crimes all these years. As you would expect this story has plenty of twists and turns and there were more than a few creepy scenes that sent a shiver up my spine.

The Family Tree contains some really compelling characters and it was fascinating seeing Liz attempt to cope with learning about her birth family and what happened to them. I really liked the close bond between Liz and Andie and their portrayal felt really realistic. I loved the short chapters that had me turning pages faster and faster and the ending definitely wasn’t what I expected. The Family Tree is an inventive and chilling read, unlike any thriller I’ve read before. If you’re looking for something to keep you completely hooked on a long summer day, The Family Tree is exactly what you’re looking for.

Blog Tour: The Maidens – Alex Michaelides

Blog Tour: The Maidens – Alex Michaelides


Release Date:
June 15th 2021
Publisher:  W&N
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.

Review

The Maidens is the all-new thriller by The Silent Patient author Alex Michaelides. The Silent Patient was one of my favourite thriller reads of 2019 and I was really excited to see what Michaelides did next. The story follows Mariana, a group therapist who becomes obsessed with the maidens when a friend of her niece is found murdered in Cambridge. Mariana knows for sure that even though he has an alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of murder and she will do anything to prove it. As Mariana becomes more and more obsessed, she soon finds her credibility and her closest relationships falling away from her – but can she stop the killer?

Just like The Silent Patient, I found myself getting completely lost in this story and raced through it in a few gripping sittings. The story captivated me from the outset and Michaelides has such a brilliant writing style that I was completely swept away in this story. It’s fast-paced with pretty short chapters that kept me completely hooked. The story is full to the brim with twists and turns and given the surprises in his first book I knew anything was possible. Michaelides has such a great way of making you a bit suspicious of everyone and the final reveal definitely wasn’t what I expected.

The Maidens is a dark and compelling read, one I think thriller fans will completely adore. Mariana is an interesting protagonist she is someone dealing with grief who very quickly spirals into obsession. I really liked the Cambridge setting in the story, which definitely came to life in the vivid descriptions. If you’re a fan of gripping psychological thrillers you can’t look away from, The Maidens should definitely be your next read.

Blog Tour: You Had It Coming – B. M. Carroll

Blog Tour: You Had It Coming – B. M. Carroll


Release Date:
May 13th 2021
Publisher: Viper Books
Pages: 320
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

WOULD YOU SAVE THE MAN
WHO DESTROYED YOUR LIFE?

When paramedic Megan Lowe is called to the scene of an attempted murder, all she can do is try to save the victim. But as the man is lifted onto a stretcher, she realises she knows him. She despises him. Why should she save his life when he destroyed hers?

Jess Foster is on her way home when she receives a text from Megan. Once best friends, the two women haven’t been close for years, not since the night when they were just the teenage girls whom no one believed; whose reputations were ruined. All Jess can think is, you had it coming.

Now Megan and Jess are at the centre of a murder investigation. But what secrets are they hiding? Can they trust one another? And who really is the victim?

Review

You Had It Coming is the newest gripping and twisty thriller from B. A. Carroll. The story follows Megan Lowe, a paramedic who is called to the scene of a shooting. As the victim is being loaded into the ambulance she realises that she knows him. He is the man who ruined her life. Why should she save him when he ruined hers? When Megan and her old friend Jess become tangled up in a murder investigation their secrets start to unravel, but who can be trusted and who is telling the truth?

You Had It Coming is one of those books that you pick up to read a few chapters of and then get immediately sucked in. Full of twists and turns, this story had such a unique premise that I absolutely could not look away. It’s a fast-paced story and I ended up reading the whole book in one day. The story has multiple perspectives – giving the reader the chance to see things from both Megan and Jess’ point of view as well as Bridget the detective investigating the murder. The fast, short chapters definitely had me turning pages faster and faster because I was desperate to know how it was all going to end. This is my first book from B. A. Carroll and I really enjoyed the writing style. There were plenty of surprise moments that I didn’t see coming and I definitely did not expect that ending.

Carroll creates some really fascinating characters and I liked all three of our main characters. The characters felt well developed and I particularly liked Bridget who is trying to solve a murder investigation and manage her family life. You Had It Coming is an utterly compelling read and if you’re looking for a story that will have you glued to the page, definitely make this your next read.

Blog Tour: The Whole Truth – Cara Hunter

Blog Tour: The Whole Truth – Cara Hunter

Series: DI Adam Fawley #5 (See my review of book four here!)
Release Date: April 29th 2021
Publisher: Viking
Pages: 416
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.75/5 stars

Synopsis

When an Oxford student accuses one of the university’s professors of sexual assault, DI Adam Fawley’s team think they’ve heard it all before. But they couldn’t be more wrong.

Because this time, the predator is a woman and the shining star of the department, and the student a six-foot male rugby player.

Soon DI Fawley and his team are up against the clock to figure out the truth. What they don’t realise is that someone is watching.

And they have a plan to put Fawley out of action for good…

Review

Cara Hunter is back with an all-new thriller in the DI Fawley series. This time Fawley and the team are dealing with a sexual assault case at Oxford University, but the victim is a six-foot rugby player and the accused is a professor at the top of her field. As the team work to uncover the truth they soon learn there’s more to this case than meets the eye. As the team race against the clock, the body of a missing woman is discovered and as the investigation begins it seems the only real suspect is Fawley himself.

Cara Hunter is one of my favourite thriller writers and I was so excited to read the latest instalment in this series. All the Rage completely captured my attention, and The Whole Truth was exactly the same. When I picked up The Whole Truth I didn’t move from that spot for several hours and I ended up a very tired person at work because I’d spent the whole night reading. This series is one of the most gripping I have ever read and I could not put the book down.

Just like the previous instalments, The Whole Truth is entertaining, full to the brim with twists and turns with an extremely quick pace. I love the way Hunter weaves in different kind of media with interview transcripts, podcasts and tweets. I think this is such a fascinating addition and really brings the story to life. I also love getting to know the different officers in Fawley’s team as the investigation is mixed in with their personal lives. All of the characters in the team have different personalities and it’s fascinating watching them come together to solve the mystery. The story is incredibly well executed and I hope the wait for book six isn’t too long because I am in desperate need of more!

If you love fast-paced police procedurals, this series is an absolute must-read. All the books in the series can be read as a standalone, but I definitely suggest buying more than one at a time, as soon as you finish one you’ll definitely want to pick up another.

Blog Tour: The Imposter – Anna Wharton

Blog Tour: The Imposter – Anna Wharton


Release Date:
April 1st
Publisher: Mantle
Pages: 416
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Chloe lives a quiet life. Working as a newspaper archivist in the day and taking care of her Nan in the evening, she’s happy simply to read about the lives of others as she files away from the news clippings from the safety of her desk.

But there’s one story that she can’t stop thinking about. The case of Angie Kyle – a girl, Chloe’s age, who went missing as a child. A girl whose parents never gave up hope.

When Chloe’s Nan gets moved into a nursing home, leaving Chloe on the brink of homelessness, she takes a desperate step: answering an ad to be a lodger in the missing girl’s family home. It could be the perfect opportunity to get closer to the story she’s read so much about. But it’s not long until she realizes this couple aren’t all they seem from the outside…

But with everyone in the house hiding something, the question is – whose secrets are the most dangerous?

Review

The Imposter is an expertly woven tale that tells the story of Chloe, a quiet girl who spends her time working as an archivist and looking after her Nan. She becomes obsessed with the story of a missing girl and the parents that never stopped hoping for her return. When her Nan is moved to a nursing home and she finds herself with nowhere to live, Chloe answers an ad for a lodger with the missing girls’ parents. When she moves in she learns there’s much more going on with the couple than she ever expected.

This was an absolutely cracking read. Wharton mixes this mystery story with an exploration of grief and loss, and it is incredibly well executed. This is such a captivating read and one that’s quite slow-paced. The reader is given plenty of opportunities to get to know the characters and the sad story of the missing child. There is a sense of unease throughout the story and this build and builds as the story reaches its ending.

Wharton has created some really complex and fascinating characters in this story and has done a brilliant job portraying grief. The story has many twists and turns, with a few I definitely didn’t see coming. It makes for a really compelling read, and I raced through the last half of the book in one sitting.

I thought Wharton crafted a really brilliant story and the premise was definitely something I haven’t encountered before. This sinister mystery is beautifully written and if you’re looking for a story that will keep you hooked right to the very last page, The Imposter is exactly what you’re looking for.

Blog Tour: Sleep Tight – C S Green

Blog Tour: Sleep Tight – C S Green


Series:
DC Rose Gifford #1
Release Date: March 4th 2021
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 320
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

Even in your dreams you’re not safe…

The nightmare is only just beginning…

When DC Rose Gifford is called to investigate the death of a young woman suffocated in her bed, she can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to the crime than meets the eye.

It looks like a straightforward crime scene – but the police can’t find the killer. Enter DS Moody – an eccentric older detective who runs UCIT, a secret department of the Met set up to solve supernatural crimes. Moody wants Rose to help her out – but Rose doesn’t believe in any of that.

Does she?

As the killer prepares to strike again, Rose must pick a side – before a second woman dies.

Book Review

Sleep Tight is the first in an all new thriller series – but with a supernatural twist. The story follows DC Rose Gifford as she investigates the death of a woman who dies in her bed. The cause of death is suffocation, but Rose is determined there is more going on than a typical crime scene. When Rose meets DS Moody – a detective from UCIT who solves supernatural crimes – he offers to help with the case, but does Rose even believe any of that stuff is possible? Rose has to everything she can to find the killer, before they strike again.

This was such an addictive read! I’m normally pretty much a sci-fi/fantasy reader but lately I’ve been reading quite a lot of thrillers and this felt like the perfect mix of the two genres. This is my first time reading a paranormal thriller, but it definitely won’t be the last. The pacing of the plot was excellent – the story had me hooked in right from the very beginning and it had plenty of twists I didn’t see coming. The ending also wasn’t what I expected either, which was great because I don’t think I put the book down during the last hundred pages.

I thought the story was really well executed – especially given the mix of supernatural elements. I was really intrigued by the sleep paralysis aspects of the story and it definitely made for some unsettling moments in the book. Even with the supernatural parts the story felt very believable. It felt like an incredibly unique read and one I did not want to end.

Rose makes for a really interesting protagonist and it was fascinating seeing her trying to uncover the killer and also deal with her personal life. I really liked her and I look forward to seeing what happens to her in future books. The story is a pretty fast paced one, but it has brilliant writing and a compelling plot. If you love police procedurals with a bit of a twist, this is absolutely going to be one for you.

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.