Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Review - My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber

My Name is Anna - Lizzy Barber
Publisher: Century 
Release date: 10 January 2019
Back cover blurb: Two women – desperate to unlock the truth. How far will they go to lay the past to rest? ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park. She has never been allowed to go – so why, when she arrives, does everything seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives on the same day? ROSIE has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads. Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the media circus resumes in full flow, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth. But will she find the answer before it tears her family apart?

My Name is Anna is a novel that will grip you from its first pages; where you meet Anna, quietly frightened of her own Mother, known as Mamma, a fanatically clean, overly religious and quietly controlling woman.

On her Eighteenth birthday, Anna defies her Mother and visits Florida’s biggest and most popular theme park, Astroland with her boyfriend William. She knows that she has never been there before, for her Mother has forbidden it.

But Anna feels like everything there is familiar to her. Like she has somehow been there before ...

In the U.K., Rosie has grown up in the shadow of her missing older sister, Emily. The sister she can barely remember, but is forced to celebrate every anniversary in the media spotlight with her family in the hope that it will unearth a new piece of evidence that will bring her missing sister home.

Her sister, Emily has now been missing for fifteen years. And the money in the Emily Archer trust, funding the investigation into her disappearance is about to run out...

Rosie more than ever wishes that she could help to find her sister, as she knows that it is the only thing that will keep her fragile family from falling apart at the seams.

My Name is Anna deals with some difficult subjects brilliantly, and really makes you care about its characters. I know it's only January, but I truly think that this will be one of my favourites for 2019!

My Name is Anna is available from 10 January.

You can pre-order it now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Review - The Rumour by Lesley Kara

The Rumour by Lesley Kara
Publisher: Bantam Press
Release date: 27 December 2018
Back cover blurb: When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back . . . Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea. Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman. So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realises what it is she’s unleashed?

When Joanna Critchley hears a rumour at the school gates, she dismisses it as idle gossip. The sort that she wouldn’t usually associate herself with.

But Joanna has only recently returned to Flinstead after moving back from London, and her son Alfie is struggling to make friends at school.

If Joanna can get in with 'in crowd' of Mum's at school, then Alfie will have invitations to parties galore, and instantly become more popular.

Joanna should hate herself for what she is about to do, but she is desperate, and desperate people do desperate things ... particularly for the ones that they love.

Sally McGowan, was ten years old when she stabbed five year old Robbie Harris to death. She claimed it was an accident, but the jury didn’t believe her, and she has faced public judgement and persecution ever since.

Speculation has always been rife about where Sally might be residing in the present day, and what kind of person she is now. The latest rumour is that she is living in Flinstead, and it’s a rumour that doesn’t sit well with the locals.

Particularly not Joanna and her new friends ...

I can’t say too much more as I don’t want to give anything away. But this book will definitely make you think the next time you hear a bit of ‘juicy’ gossip.

The Rumour is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Review - A Woman of War by Mandy Robotham

A Woman of War by Mandy Robotham
Publisher: Avon Books
Release date: 7 December 2018
Back cover blurb: For readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Kate Furnivall comes a gritty tale of courage, betrayal and love in the most unlikely of places. Germany, 1944. Taken from the camps to serve the Fuhrer himself, Anke Hoff has been assigned as midwife to one of Hitler’s inner circle. If she refuses, her family will die. Torn between her duty as a caregiver and her hatred for the regime she’s now a part of, Anke is quickly swept into a life unlike anything she’s ever known – and she discovers that many of those at the Berghof are just as trapped as she is. Soon, she’s falling for a man who will make her world more complicated still. Before long, the couple is faced with an impossible choice – for which the consequences could be deadly. Can their forbidden love survive the horrors of war – and, more importantly, will they?

What would you do given the choice of life or death?

If you were forced to live in hell like freezing conditions full of pain and suffering and had a choice to get out back out into the real world, but that world is being run by a murderous mad man.

What would you do?

Anke Hoff is a respected and experienced midwife, when she is forced to make a choice for the sake of her family. She has been summoned by the fuhrer for her experience to attend to one of his inner circle, as their midwife.

If she refuses then her life in camp will surely become worse, she may be killed, her family certainly will die.

Anke puts her family first and soon finds herself amongst unimaginable luxury at the Berghof.

The pregnant member of Hitlers inner circle is not who Anke was expecting it to be, and she almost instantly wishes that she could leave. Being in the house itself is bad enough. But being that close to someone she despises is almost too much.

But Anke is a good woman, and despite her reservations she begins to form a reluctant friendship with the expectant Mother. A friendship she never expected. But there are a lot of things that Anke doesn't expect to experience at the Berghof,  particularly love.

But Anke’s love comes at a high price. It is dangerous, forbidden, and could be deadly. A Woman of War is a beautifully written historical novel, that is set to become a firm favourite.

A Woman of War is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the Publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Review - The Last Lie by Alex Lake

The Last Lie by Alex Lake
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Release date: 3 December 2018
Back cover blurb: The twisty new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of After Anna, Killing Kate and Copycat. Everyone lies…but some lies are deadly. For Claire Daniels, life is good. She has everything she’s ever wanted – a career she loves, friends she can rely on and a husband who dotes on her. All she needs is to start a family of her own and things will be even better than good. They’ll be perfect. For Alfie, it couldn’t be more different. His life with Claire is built on a lie. A lot of lies. And she can never find out. Because Alfie has plans for her. Plans which must never come to light. But lies have a way of taking on a life of their own, and when his do, the consequences threaten to destroy everything. For him and Claire.

Claire Daniels has everything she wants. A loving husband, a fantastic career, great friends and family. All she needs to complete her perfect life is a baby.

Alfie Daniels’ life is a world away from his wife Claire’s. True. He has everything that a man could possibly want. A beautiful wife, a lovely home..

Expect that he doesn’t... want it. Any of it.

Alfie hates his life, it is all built on lies. An ex jobbing musician, who fell only for his wife’s wealth, Alfie is desperate to end his marriage in any way that he can, without losing everything.

After all, he’s worked hard to get where he is.

Alfie thinks that he has it all worked out, the perfect plan to fix all of his problems and allow him to start enjoying his life again. As with most things in Alfie’s life, this plan is dependant on a little stretching of the truth.

The problem with lies is, that they complicate everything, and very often take on a life of their own, and signal the beginning of the end.

The Last Lie is a novel that will probably leave you infuriated at and cheering on both of its main protagonists at some point, whilst wanting to pull your hair out and shout at them... a great read.

The Last Lie is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 28 December 2018

My 2019 Top Picks

I can't quite believe that it's that time of year again...

This year has been such a crazy one for me, that it barely seems 5 minutes ago that I was looking forward to what I was going to read in 2018.

I've read some amazing books this year, and I know that there are some great titles ahead for 2019, so here's my annual pick;

Never be broken - Sarah Hilary / The Hidden - Mary Chamberlain / Looking for Garbo - Jon James Miller / 
The Huntress - Kate Quinn / Daisy Jones & The Six - Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Last - Hanna Jameson / We Must Be Brave - Frances Liardet / The Wych Elm - Tana French / 
The Lost Man - Jane Harper / A version of the truth - BP Walter

Little Darlings - Melanie Golding / To the edge of sorrow - Aharon Appelfeld / The Cassandra -Sharon Shields /
Sleep - C.L. Taylor / Lies, Lies, Lies - Adele Parks

 The Suspect - Fiona Barton / An Anonymous Girl - Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen /
After the end - Clare Mackintosh / The night before - Wendy Walker / Surgeon's Hall - E.S. Thomson

The light over London - Julia Kelly / The Silent Patient - Alex Michaelides / Blood & Sugar - Laura Shepherd-Robinson / The night Olivia fell - Christina Macdonald / Bitter Orange - Claire Fuller

Summer of 69 - Elin Hilderbrand / Finding Grace - K.L. Slater / Nine perfect strangers - Liane Moriarty /
 The girl next door - Phoebe Morgan / A Cotswold Family life - Clare Mackintosh

As always this is not an exhaustive list, and I’m sure that I’ll be adding lots more as time goes on! Other releases that I'm looking forward to include;
  • The Silence [Title TBC] - Luca Veste
  • The evidence against you - Gillian McAllister
  • No Way Out- Cara Hunter
  • Never go there - Rebecca Tinnelly
  • The Couple on Cedar Close - Anna-Lou Weatherley
  • The Doll Factory - Elizabeth Macneal

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Review - Too Close by Natalie Daniels

Too Close by Natalie Daniels
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Release date: 24 November 2018
Back cover blurb: How close is too close? Connie and Ness met in the park while their children played. As they talked, they realised they were neighbours. Perhaps it was only natural that they and their families would become entirely inseparable. But when Ness’s marriage ends in a bitter divorce, she is suddenly at Connie’s house all the time. Connie doesn’t have a moment to herself, no time alone with her husband, not a second to chat to her kids. It’s all too much. Something has to give. Connie has woken up in a psychiatric hospital. They say she committed a terrible crime but she says she can’t remember a thing.

When Connie meets Ness in the park she thinks nothing of it. Even when she discovers that they are neighbours she doesn’t expect that their paths will cross again. She doesn’t even notice Ness’ beauty as others do.

In fact, it isn’t until Ness is entwined into their lives that Connie realises how beautiful and powerful Ness is.

Ness suddenly becomes much more than a neighbour as her marriage irretrievably breaks down. Ness is there at Connie's house, constantly demanding Connie’s attention, until Connie ... remembers nothing.

Connie wakes up in a psychiatric hospital with no recollection of how she got there. She knows that she has been accused of committing a terrible crime, but she doesn’t know what that is, or how she is supposed to have gotten where she is now.

Piece by piece Connie’s forensic psychologist tries to help her put the pieces of the puzzle back together.

But Connie’s life is now so broken, that we wonder if it can ever truly be put back together.

Too Close is very cleverly written and it’s title could be perceived to be about any one of the many complex relationships explored in this novel.

Too Close is a great read if you are looking for something a little different, and I look forward to more from this author.

Too Close is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.