Monday, 19 April 2021

Review - The Good Neighbour by R.J. Parker

The Good Neighbour by R.J. Parker
Publisher: One More Chapter (Harper Collins UK)
Release date: 18 March 2021
Back cover blurb: He isn’t who you think he is… When Leah Talbot crashes her car one night, she spots a light on in a nearby house and approaches, hoping that someone is home. He is. Charming, handsome, Martin Tate answers the door to the bedraggled and traumatised Leah, inviting her in. Though she’s not there for long, Leah feels an indescribable pull to the man who has helped in her hour of need. But when she returns the next morning to say thank you, it isn’t Martin who answers the door this time. It’s the police. There’s been a brutal murder and the female homeowner is lying dead in a pool of blood upstairs in bed. There’s no sign of Martin… Until he comes looking for Leah.

Leah Talbot is only minutes away from home when she hits a deer and is forced to abandon her vehicle at the side of the road. The conditions are awful, so she walks to the nearest house for help, clearly in shock, and is allowed to use the telephone and await the vehicle recovery services in the kind strangers home.

Martin Tate does everything he can to make Leah feel at ease, and despite her fear she feels a magnetic pull towards him. But that could be because it's valentine's night, she can't get hold of her husband, has no idea where he is in fact, and this stranger is being kinder to her than anyone has been in years.

When Leah returns the next day to gift a bottle of wine to her neighbour, he has gone and instead the police are on the doorstep wanting to know why she is at the house of a murdered woman. 

Martin Tate is nowhere to be seen.

Leah is understandably shocked, and more than a little confused as she explains the previous nights events to the police. They tell her not to worry, that they will look after her, and her husband, whilst they attempt to find Tate, their prime suspect.

Leah is pacified by this, until she gets a phone call from Tate, and then the real 'fun' begins ....

The Good Neighbour is an addictive read, that will keep you hooked until the end.

The Good Neighbour 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.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Review - Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka

Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka
Publisher: Random House UK
Release date: 1 April 2021
Back cover blurb: Five killers are on a bullet train from Tokyo competing for a suitcase full of money. Who will make it to the last station? An original and propulsive thriller from a Japanese bestseller. Satoshi looks like an innocent schoolboy but he is really a viciously cunning psychopath. Kimura's young son is in a coma thanks to him, and Kimura has tracked him onto the bullet train heading from Tokyo to Morioka to exact his revenge. But Kimura soon discovers that they are not the only dangerous passengers onboard. Nanao, the self-proclaimed 'unluckiest assassin in the world', and the deadly partnership of Tangerine and Lemon are also travelling to Morioka. A suitcase full of money leads others to show their hands. Why are they all on the same train, and who will get off alive at the last station? A bestseller in Japan, Bullet Train is an original and propulsive thriller which fizzes with an incredible energy as its complex net of double-crosses and twists unwinds to the last station.

Bullet Train is a very difficult novel to review without giving anything away. A fast paced crime thriller, with some dark humour, it is a very addictive read, and will make an incredible film.

Bullet Train begins with our main characters boarding the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) at Tokyo station, each of them boarding the train with a purpose. The train is headed for Morioka, but not of all them will reach the final destination. 

Satoshi looks like an innocent schoolboy, but he is anything but. Kimura's young son is in a coma thanks to him, and he will stop at nothing to get revenge.

Nanao is unlucky, possibly the unluckiest man in Japan. None of his jobs ever go to plan, and the task that he has boarded the train in order to complete, isn't going to be any different.

And Tangerine and Lemon, are ... well I think I will leave that up to the reader to discover for themselves, as I say this is a really hard novel to review without letting something slip!

Bullet Train is available now via Amazon and all good book shops.

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

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

[Blog tour] Review - The Perfect Nanny by Karen Clarke and Amanda Brittany

The Perfect Nanny by Karen Clarke and Amanda Brittany
Publisher: HQ Digital
Release date: 31 March 2021
Back cover blurb: You trust her with your home, your husband, your baby… but she is about to destroy it all. Sophy Pemberton is struggling to cope with the pressures of becoming a new mother. Her nine-month-old son never settles in her arms and the unrelenting tiredness from late night feeds is all consuming. So, when Liv Granger from the mother and baby group offers her services as a nanny, Sophy is overcome with relief. Now she can finally get some sleep… She can stop failing at being a mother. But Liv has a secret. She is convinced that Sophy was accountable for her brother’s tragic death and she has been searching for her for years. And now that Liv’s found her, she’s outraged Sophy seems oblivious to the pain she has caused her family. Sophy’s perfect house, perfect husband and perfect baby are too much for Liv to bear… and she’s going to make her pay.

Liv Granger is still grieving the death of her brother more than a decade on when she takes a job as a nanny in an affluent area. Although very much adored by the little girl that she is looking after, she is under appreciated by the family, and actually has an ulterior motive for being in the area.

Sophy Pemberton lives streets away from Liv, so when Liv glances her across the room at a Mother and Baby meeting she attends and sees how much she is struggling with her little boy, she knows what she must do.

Offering her services to Sophy is easy, she desperately wants to leave the family she is with, and Sophy desperately needs help, although she won't admit it. But Liv also has another reason for wanting to get close to Sophy - revenge for her brother's death. For Liv is convinced that Sophy is the person responsible.

Once inside the family home, Liv is intent on causing Sophy pain by any means possible, whether it's stealing a necklace, or leaving an anonymous note about her overpowering mother in law causing Sophy unnecessary worry.

Or is it unnecessary...

Because it seems like something else is going on in the Pemberton household, that neither Sophy or Liv are aware of, and if they don't act fast then it could be dangerous for all involved. The Perfect Nanny is a quick, thrilling and enjoyable read, with some decent twists and turns.

The Perfect Nanny is available now via Amazon online and to pre-order from all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who sent me an advanced copy of the Perfect Nanny in exchange for an honest review.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour - 

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Review - The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Release date: 18 March 2021
Back cover blurb: 1940. Three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything-beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses-but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Awkward local girl Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles beneath her shy exterior. 1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter-the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together...As the nation prepares for the royal wedding they must race against the clock to save one of their own.

The Rose Code is the third novel (I think) of Kate Quinn's that I have read, and it is my favourite yet. Regular readers of my blog will know that I adore historical fiction, particularly that set in WWII, and this is one of the best novels for the period that I have read in a long time. I don't usually say (or think) this, but I think it would make a great film or tv series.

1947. Osla is trying to ignore the hype about the Royal Wedding when a mysterious encrypted note appears through her door, more of an SOS really, from a former colleague who she would never be able to admit to knowing if anyone asked. For Osla signed the official secrets act during the war, and never expected to hear from any of her former colleagues ever again.

She has no choice but to contact another former colleague, the formidable Mab, now trying to live a quiet life, with her family, post war. She has also recieved a note from their former colleague Beth, who appears to be attempting to bring the trio of friends back together.  

Beth, no doubt the brainiest of the three, has written to them both in desperation. Confined to an institution for a crime that she is adamant she did not commit, she needs her former colleagues help, desperately.  Her hope is that the three of them can work together one final time to discover the real reason that Beth was committed and ensure that any wrongdoings are resolved to a satisfactory outcome. 

1940. Osla, Mab and Beth are thrown together. The most unlikely of friendships is formed when Osla and Mab lodge with Beth at her parent's house. Osla and Mab having recently secured positions at the secretive Bletchley Park, with no knowledge of the importance of the work they are about to undertake.

When it becomes clear that their rather dreary house mate Beth has an excellent and quick problem solving mind, she is asked to join them at Bletchley, and together they embark on a journey that none of them were expecting.

The Rose Code is a beautifully written, quietly thrilling historical fiction novel that comes highly recommended.

The Rose Code 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, 19 March 2021

[Blog tour] Review - The Guilty Husband by Stephanie DeCarolis

The Guilty Husband by Stephanie DeCarolis
Publisher: HQ Digital
Release date: 19 March 2021
Back cover blurb: THE PERFECT HUSBAND… Vince Taylor has everything he could dream of. He’s the CEO of a tech firm in New York City, owns a beautiful home, and most importantly, he is married to Nicole – the woman who stole his heart the first moment he set eyes on her. Together they have built the perfect life. ONE GUILTY SECRET But when Layla, a stunning young intern at Vince’s company is found dead, all eyes are suddenly on him. Vince has a secret that threatens to tear their perfect world apart… He was having an affair with Layla. And he’ll do anything to cover his tracks. DO YOU BELIEVE HIM? When the police discover Vince lied about their relationship, they are convinced they have found Layla’s killer. If Vince kept quiet about the affair… what else is he guilty of?

Vince Taylor has everything he could possibly want in life; a beautiful wife, a beautiful home, and a great career, as the CEO of the start up tech firm he founded. 

Some might say his life is perfect.

So why would Vince risk everything for an affair with the seductive young office intern, Layla?

When Layla is found dead, Vince is the obvious suspect.

At first he is reluctant to even admit his affair, scared that his relationship with his wife will be crumble. But when it becomes clear that he has no choice, he confesses, but only to protect his reputation. 

He is adamant he did not kill Layla.

But if he didn't, then who did?

As an avid crime reader, it is often inevitable that I will guess the perpetrator from the outset, but that wasn't the case here, and in fact I was kept guessing until the very end, with plenty of twists, turns and red herrings along the way.

This is Stephanie DeCarolis' debut, and I can't wait to read more from this author.

The Guilty Husband is available now via Amazon online and to pre-order from all good book shops. 

Thank You to the publishers who sent me an advanced copy of The Guilty Husband in exchange for an honest review.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour - 

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Review - the Secretary by Zoe Lea

The Secretary by Zoe Lea
Release date: 20 August 2020
Back cover blurb: The teachers thought they knew her. They were wrong... A page-turning and deeply compulsive psychological thriller about a school secretary and how dangerous it can be to make enemies at the school gates. For fans of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and The Rumour by Lesley Kara. When single mum Ruth has a brief fling with Rob, she's mortified to discover that he lied to her. He lied to her, because he's married. Worse still, he's the husband of Janine, head of the PTA at the primary school where Ruth works as secretary, and when the truth of their fling is discovered, Ruth suddenly has a lot of enemies at the school gates. Threatening texts begin to arrive, rumours abound and the staff room becomes hostile. But when it also starts to affect her son, a student at the school, Ruth realises you can do anything if you convince yourself it's for the sake of your child.

The Secretary is an intriguing novel from the outset, and it is probably safe to say that nothing is as it seems.

Ruth, the school secretary of the novel's title, is struggling with life. 

Her son suffers from crippling anxiety, her relationship with her Mother and ex-husband are strained, and now seemingly everyone at the school she works despises her.

For Ruth unwittingly committed the unforgiveable sin of sleeping with someone else's husband, not only that, but his wife is head of the PTA where Ruth works, and she has an unhealthy amount of influence over the school's headteacher and the rest of the school's staff.

As soon as Ruth discovers that Rob is not single, as he had assured her he was, she attempts to apologise to Janine, but Janine isn't interested in Ruth's apologies, and is instead seems only interested in making Ruth's life a misery.

As her colleagues begin to turn against her, Ruth realises that she must do something to help them see that she just made a simple mistake, and that she is not the homewrecker that she is being labelled as.

She will do anything to protect her reputation, but at what cost? 

The Secretary 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.