Waiting on Wednesday: Harrow Lake – Kat Ellis

Waiting on Wednesday: Harrow Lake – Kat Ellis

Header (4)

Synopsis

Welcome to Harrow Lake. Someone’s expecting you . . .

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her.

But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone – or something – stalking her every move.

The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.

Thoughts

Copy of book cover (21)Harrow Lake is a book I’ve seen going around quite a lot on social media and lots of people have been absolutely loving it. It sounds like a perfect creepy thriller and I am honestly do excited to pick this one up. I love old horror movies and I think this is going to be the perfect book to binge in an afternoon. I haven’t yet had the chance to pick up any of Kat Ellis’ other books but I am definitely intrigued. The synopsis kind of gives me Night Film vibes, with the father who is a horror filmmaker and the creepy locations the films were set. I absolutely adored Night Film so I’m really hoping Harrow Lake has similar vibes. I’ve seen a fair few early reviews that have been five stars so this is giving me hope for the intense creepy thriller I’m craving. If like me you’re dying to read this one, you don’t have too much longer to wait – Harrow Lake is publishing July 9th 2020 from Penguin Books. 

Book Review: One Of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

Book Review: One Of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

Header (3)
Series:
One Of Us Is Lying #2
Release Date: January 7th 2020
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 375
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I picked up a copy of this in my local bookshop
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis

It is a year after the action of One of Us Is Lying, and someone has started playing a game of Truth or Dare.

But this is no ordinary Truth or Dare. This game is lethal. Choosing the truth may reveal your darkest secrets, accepting the dare could be dangerous, even deadly.

The teenagers of Bayview must work together once again to find the culprit, before it’s too late . . .

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T172732.088One Of Us Is Next is the sequel to YA thriller smash hit One Of Us Is Lying and returns to Bayview High a year after the events of the first book. A game of Truth or Dare has started among the high school students, but with a lethal twist. The students must work out who the mysterious person behind the game is and why they’re so determined to get vengeance on Bayview students.

I really enjoyed One Of Us Is Lying when I read it last year so I was really interested in the sequel. The story follows some new characters as well as Bronwyn’s younger sister Maeve who we meet in book one. The characters were well fleshed out and I really liked Maeve as a main character. She was one of the characters I was intrigued by in book one so it was nice to read a story from her perspective. We also get to see snippets of the characters from book one and what has happened to them since the story finished. I really enjoyed seeing where they had ended up.

Like McManus’ other books, the story is action packed and full of twists and turns. It’s a fast paced story and perfect for binge reading on a quiet afternoon. The story is a little predictable – I’m not really one for guessing plot twists and I figured it out quite early on – but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story. If you’ve read the first one it’s definitely worth checking out the sequel and If you haven’t yet tried them out these books are perfect for YA thriller fans.
4 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday: The Curator – M. W. Craven

Waiting on Wednesday: The Curator – M. W. Craven

July 23, 2019

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…

Thoughts:

Copy of book coverThe Curator is the third instalment in the Washington Poe series by M. W. Craven. This series has become one of my all time favourite crime thriller series and I am eagerly awaiting this release. The series follows detective Washington Poe and analyst Tilly as they attempt to solve some of the grisly murders going on in Cumbria. The first two books in the series – The Puppet Show and Black Summer were five star reads for me, each one having me on the edge of my seat and staying up way past my bedtime. If you haven’t had a chance to check this series out yet I’d highly recommend it. They both had twists I absolutely would not have seen coming and they were unputdownable. I have no doubt The Curator is going to be exactly the same and luckily there isn’t too much longer to wait – The Curator is publishing June 4th from Constable.

Blog Tour: Strangers – C. L. Taylor

Blog Tour: Strangers – C. L. Taylor

July 23, 2019 (10)
Release Date:
April 2nd 2020
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: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.
Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.
And Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.

Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

The million-copy bestseller returns with a gripping new novel that will keep you guessing until the end.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-08T131041.036C. L. Taylor is one of my favourite thriller writers and I was incredibly excited to pick up her latest release, Strangers. The story follows three strangers – Ursula, Gareth and Alice. They each have secrets, but when their worlds collide they have to stick together to survive. Strangers is an addictive and gripping tale full of twists you absolutely won’t see coming.

The story is told in alternating view points between the three characters. It was so fascinating seeing how these three seemingly unrelated people were intertwined. The differing points of view also give you the chance to get to know the three main characters in more depth, and discover their secrets. C. L. Taylor always creates really vivid and realistic characters and our three protagonists in Strangers are no exception.

When I picked up Strangers I planned to read a few chapters before bedtime – really I should have known better – I ended up staying up until the wee hours of the morning and I read the majority of the book practically in a single sitting. Strangers is full to the brim with tense atmosphere, which ramps up more and more towards the end. It is an addictive, heart pounding read and definitely one you won’t want to miss.

While I’ve loved every book by C. L. Taylor, this one is my favourite. A cleverly woven tale that you won’t be able to put down, this is one you need to get your hands on right away.
4 Starsstrangers_blog-tour-banner-1

Blog Tour: Witness X – SE Moorhead

Blog Tour: Witness X – SE Moorhead

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-02-05T141533.791
Release Date:
February 6th 2020
Publisher: Orion Books
Pages: 368
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I received an E-ARC in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

“Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner. A dark and gripping crime novel set in a convincing near future – SE Moorhead is the future of crime writing.” STEPHEN BAXTER

“Set in the near-future, Witness X is an intelligent and highly inventive take on the traditional serial killer thriller.” ASHLEY DYER, author of Splinter in the Blood

From one of the most original new voices in fiction comes a startling vision of a world where hero Kyra must fight the past to save our future. A genre-bending thriller for the Netflix generation, for fans of Altered Carbon, Dark and Mindhunter.

She’s the only one who can access the truth…

Fourteen years ago, the police caged a notorious serial killer who abducted and butchered two victims every February. He was safe behind bars. Wasn’t he?

But then another body is discovered, and soon enough, the race is on to catch the real killer. Neuropsychologist Kyra Sullivan fights to use a new technology that accesses the minds of the witnesses, working with the police to uncover the truth. Will Kyra discover the person behind the murders, and if so, at what cost? And how far will she go to ensure justice is served?

An addictive futuristic thriller, perfect for fans of Stranger Things.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-02T170502.146Witness X is a fast paced thriller set in the future, the story follows a neuropsychologist named Kyra Sullivan as she races to uncover who is behind a recent murder. Using technology that allows Kyra to access the memory of those who were witnesses, she must work to uncover the truth – but at what cost?

This was such an addictive read! It’s tagged ‘Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner’ and I think that’s a really apt description. It’s the perfect blend of technology filled future and fast paced crime mystery. It will appeal to fans of both genres, and it certainly had me turning pages faster and faster to know what was going to happen next.

The world is built incredibly well and I really enjoyed Moorhead’s writing style – it was so easy to sink into this world and I really liked the unique and engaging premise. Moorhead does a great job ramping up the tension in this atmospheric read and it will definitely have you on the edge of your seat for the ending.

Kyra is a really interesting protagonist and the characters are well fleshed out and realistic. She’s a really intelligent, determined character and it was fascinating to see her become more and more obsessed as she sought the truth behind the murders fourteen years ago.

If you’re looking for something that is fast paced, compulsively readable and will leave your heart pounding, Witness X is exactly the book you’re looking for.
4 stars
moorheadse-witnessx-blogtourcard

Blog Tour: All the Rage – Cara Hunter

Blog Tour: All the Rage – Cara Hunter

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-19T152000.873
Series:
DI Adam Fawley #4
Release Date: January 23rd 2020
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 416
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

A teenage girl is found wandering the outskirts of Oxford, dazed and distressed. The story she tells is terrifying. Grabbed off the street, a plastic bag pulled over her face, then driven to an isolated location where she was subjected to what sounds like an assault. Yet she refuses to press charges.

DI Fawley investigates, but there’s little he can do without the girl’s co-operation. Is she hiding something, and if so, what? And why does Fawley keep getting the feeling he’s seen a case like this before?

And then another girl disappears, and Adam no longer has a choice: he has to face up to his past. Because unless he does, this victim may not be coming back . . .

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-05T203203.131When a young girl is abducted off the street, DI Adam Fawley and his team jump to investigate this horrific incident. The young girl refuses to press charges and doesn’t want to talk to the police. The team get the feeling she’s hiding something – but what could it be? Another girl goes missing and suddenly a case from Fawley’s past is back to haunt him – but could the two be linked and will they find the missing girl before it’s too late?

This is the fourth book in Cara Hunter’s hugely popular DI Fawley series. I’m actually completely new to this series, I haven’t read the other instalments. I was completely hooked on this story and am definitely going back to read books 1-3 but All the Rage can easily be read as a stand alone, and you can easily dive into the books now and go back and read the others without getting lost in the story.

Cara Hunter’s writing style is so addictive and easy to fall into, I got absorbed in this tale so quickly. I loved the mix of formats in the story, there’s tweets, court reports, maps and interview transcripts that are all added in to bring the story to life. It really added another layer to the plot and make me want to turn the pages faster and faster. I also really grew to love the characters in this story – the team are a really interesting mix and I loved that the story gave you the opportunity to see not only their police work and how they cope on the job but also peaks into their home lives.

All the Rage isn’t a small book but I ended up reading it nearly over the course of a single day because I honestly just couldn’t put the book down. The story is a fast paced one and there’s plenty going on in this cleverly executed plot. Hunter has weaved a complex tale with quite a few things going on under the surface. The book also touches on a whole range of subjects from hate crime, revenge, grief, relationships and a whole lot of things in between. All the topics are handled well in Hunter’s writing and the story has so many clever twists and turns that you absolutely will not see coming.

If you’re a fan of fast paced police procedurals with brilliant characters, an unforgettable story and plenty of shock twists, All the Rage should definitely be the next book you pick up.
5 stars
ATR final blog banner 1

Waiting on Wednesday: One of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

Waiting on Wednesday: One of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-07T222031.961
Synopsis

Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now.

This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game.

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe’s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.

Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.

Thoughts

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-07T221455.371Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday! This week I’m talking about the newest release by Karen M. McManus. One of Us Is Next is the sequel to One of Us Is Lying, the YA thriller that so many people loved. I’ve read both One of Us Is Lying and her other thriller Two Can Keep A Secret and while they weren’t my favourite reads of all time, I found them both to be quite addictive page turners. One of Us Is Lying isn’t the sort of book I would have thought would have a sequel, so I’m quite looking forward to reading it and finding out what direction she takes the story in. If you enjoy twisty turny stories with big shock endings, her books are definitely worth a read. One of Us Is Next was actually published yesterday on January 7th, so the book is out now from Penguin Books!

Blog Tour: The God Game – Danny Tobey

Blog Tour: The God Game – Danny Tobey

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-05T205542.105
Release Date:
January 9th 2020
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 464
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

You are invited!
COme inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It;’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!

With those words, Charlie and his friends enter the G.O.D. Game, a video game run by underground hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI that believes it’s God. Through their phone-screens and high-tech glasses, the teens’ realities blur with a virtual world of creeping vines, smoldering torches, runes, glyphs, gods, and mythical creatures. When they accomplish a mission, the game rewards them with expensive tech, revenge on high-school tormentors, and cash flowing from ATMs. Slaying a hydra and drawing a bloody pentagram as payment to a Greek god seem harmless at first. Fun even.

But then the threatening messages start. Worship me. Obey me. Complete a mission, however cruel, or the game reveals their secrets and crushes their dreams. Tasks that seemed harmless at first take on deadly consequences. Mysterious packages show up at their homes. Shadowy figures start following them, appearing around corners, attacking them in parking garages. Who else is playing this game, and how far will they go to win?

And what of the game’s first promise: win, win big, lose, you die? Dying in a virtual world doesn’t really mean death in real life—does it?

As Charlie and his friends try to find a way out of the game, they realize they’ve been manipulated into a bigger web they can’t escape: an AI that learned its cruelty from watching us.

God is always watching, and He says when the game is done.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-05T203428.948The God Game is the story of Charlie Lake and his friends who enter into a mysterious online game known only as the G.O.D Game. The rules are simple – if you win you win big but if you lose? You die. As the group of friends find themselves getting wrapped up in the dark mysteries of the game, they begin to wonder if they’ll ever be able to escape.

This book had me HOOKED. I picked it up expecting to read the first couple of chapters and before I knew it I was 120 pages in and I was running late. This is a fast paced wild ride and I definitely didn’t want the story to end. It’s a clever tale that blends virtual reality and real life. It’s Black Mirror meets Stranger Things and honestly I couldn’t get enough.

I loved everything about this book, the way the atmosphere starts off quite light hearted and becomes much more sinister, the misfit video game nerds that have to use everything they’ve got to survive. It’s a compelling tale which really kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters are particularly well executed and I loved the explorations of friendship, love and grief that were displayed in the story. I loved watching the characters growing and it was so interesting watching the group dynamics change as they delve deeper into the game. The science and technology is also really fascinating, and I loved the use of augmented reality.

If you’re looking for a dark and mesmerising tale that will suck you in deeper and deeper, The God Game is the perfect binge read, be warned though – you definitely won’t be able to put this one down.
5 starsGOD GAME BLOG TOUR.png

Blog Tour: Black Summer – M. W. Craven

Blog Tour: Black Summer – M. W. Craven

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-12-12T191801.133
Series:
Washington Poe #2 (Read my review of book one here!)
Release Date: December 12th 2019
Publisher: Constable
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

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

Review

When I picked up The Puppet Show (book one in the Washington Poe series) I had no idea what to expect. I finished up with my mind completely blown and The Puppet Show racing to the top of my favourite crime books. My expectations for Black Summer were incredibly high, I couldn’t wait to see what was next in store for Poe and Tilly and honestly if it’s possible, Black Summer is even more brilliant.

This book pretty much consumed my life while I was reading it. I had a few bleary eyed days because I stayed up way too late reading it and I almost missed my bus stop on more than one occasion. Black Summer is a fast paced, addictive read. It’s a wild ride of a book, and you definitely won’t want to get off. This instalment follows Poe as one of his cases comes back to haunt him. Jared Keaton is in prison for murdering his daughter, he’s there because Poe helped convict him. But when a young woman announces she is Jared’s daughter alive and well, Poe finds himself mixed up in the investigation once again but this time it could be the end of his career.

I won’t say too much more about the plot because it’s definitely best left for the reader to enjoy. It’s a gripping story, with plenty of twists and turns that I definitely didn’t see coming. Black Summer could also be read as a standalone if you haven’t picked up The Puppet Show, but they are both highly addictive and well worth the read.

One of the things that really makes this story for me is the characters. Poe and Tilly are a brilliant partnership, it’s fascinating to watch them interact and I loved seeing their relationship develop over the course of a second book. They’re both vivid, well fleshed out and great protagonists. Tilly is definitely one of my all time favourite characters, there’s no puzzle she can’t solve.

Black Summer is an exhilarating read and if you’re looking for the perfect books to binge read over Christmas, the Washington Poe books are a must buy. Your only problem is going to be waiting for the release of book three in 2020!

5 stars

Blog Tour: Ghoster – Jason Arnopp

Blog Tour: Ghoster – Jason Arnopp

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-11-20T180345.833
Release Date:
October 22nd 2019
Publisher: Orbit Books
Pages: 496
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Kate Collins has been ghosted.

She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty apartment. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared.

Except for his mobile phone.

Kate knows she shouldn’t hack into Scott’s phone. She shouldn’t look at his Tinder, his calls, his social media. But she can’t quite help herself.

That’s when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn’t recognise. Scratch marks on the walls that she can’t explain. And the growing feeling that she’s being watched.

Kate refuses to leave the apartment – she’s not going anywhere until she’s discovered what happened to Scott. But the deeper she dives into Scott’s digital history the more Kate realises just how little she really knows about the man she loves.

Review

Copy of book cover (88)Ghoster is the kind of book that hooks you in right from the very beginning, and absolutely does not let you go. The story follows Kate, a young woman who is moving in with her boyfriend Scott. When Scott mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing behind but his mobile phone, Kate has no choice but to start looking through his social media and online profiles. Strange things start to happen that Kate can’t explain and the deeper she digs into Scott’s past, the more she begins to realise she didn’t really know him at all.

Ghoster is a smart and engaging tale and one that I found difficult to put down. It’s incredibly well paced, heightening the tension as Kate attempts to uncover the mystery behind Scott. Ghoster really felt like a brilliant fresh perspective on the mystery genre and I found myself thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading it. The story is one of obsession and the effects being so present online can have on us. It’s a really fascinating read and there are some moments that will definitely send a shiver up your spine.

The story has a really realistic and plausible feel to it, and I think that’s part of what makes this story so chilling. I really liked Kate as a main character and I enjoyed watching her unravel this puzzle. I also enjoyed seeing the relationship between Kate and Scott and how it has changed over time. As always with a mystery/thriller I love it when I’m completely surprised by the turns it takes, and I definitely felt that way with Ghoster. It was an intricately woven tale, and I didn’t want it to end.

Ghoster is the perfect read for a dark and chilly evening. It’s intense, exciting and unforgettable. But be warned, it will have you reading well past bedtime and you might just need to sleep with the light on.
4 stars
img-4836_orig