Thursday 4 April 2024

Review - The Best Way to Bury Your Husband by Alexia Casale

The Best Way to Bury Your Husband by Alexia Casale
Publisher: Viking
Release date: 14 March 2024
Back cover blurb: 'Maybe if I do enough weird stuff in the run-up no one will suspect a thing when I move into the body-disposal phase of my life as a secret widow.' Sometimes a woman has to take matters into her own hands. Sally never meant to cave her husband's head in with a skillet. Or at least she didn't until suddenly, she did. But Sally isn't the only woman in town being pushed to breaking point. When coincidence brings four strangers together, a surprising solidarity is formed. So can they find the best way to bury their husbands – and get away with it? Darkly funny and with a big beating heart, The Best Way to Bury Your Husband takes the friendship between four very different women and unravels a complex issue with a light touch (and several spades). Hear more from Alexia Casale on her inspiration for The Best Way To Bury Your Husband in the author note at the beginning of the novel.

When Sally accidentally murders her husband with a skillet during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, she has no idea that her life is about to change for ever.

She makes a split second decision to not phone the Police. Her husband has tormented, bullied and abused her for years. She doesn't deserve to go to prison due to accident. She deserves to finally start living her life.

The pandemic will buy her some time whilst she figures out what to do next...

It is a unique set of circumstances only possible during the pandemic that determines what happens next.

For Sally isn't the only one whose husband has met a decidedly suspicious ending during lockdown. None of the women meant to kill, all were driven by years of suffering and abuse like Sally. Some in the same accidental scenarios, and some not so, but you could hardly call it premeditated.. or blame them.

Determined that none of her new found friends will go to prison, the women who have been bought together in the strangest of circumstances begin to devise a plan to hide their husbands bodies so that their crimes may never be recovered, and they can finally be free.

Will they succeed? You'll have to read it for yourself to find out!

I absolutely loved everything about this novel. It is so clever and funny. I appreciate it might not be too everyone's taste, but I really enjoyed it.

The Best Way to Bury Your Husband 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 3 April 2024

Review - Every Move You Make by C.L. Taylor

Every Move You Make by C.L. Taylor
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Release date: 28 March 2024
Back cover blurb: The only way to stop a stalker is to become one yourself… Your new obsession starts here. Get hooked by C.L. Taylor’s next impossible-to-put-down thriller. Available to pre-order now! Alex, Lucy, River and Bridget. Four people with one thing in common: they are all being stalked. Their lives are filled with daily terror. Always watching. Always waiting. And never knowing what – or who – is hiding in the shadows. But this group of four used to be five, until the terrible day their friend Nat was followed home by her stalker…Coming together for Nat’s funeral, they are handed a wreath saying RIP. However, this isn’t a wreath in memory of Nat – it’s for them, with a card dated in ten days’ time. It’s a clear message: in ten days, one of them will die. And the only way to stop the killer is to get closer than they ever dared to their stalkers. The very people who want them dead…

Another brilliant, but this time quite different novel from C.L. Taylor, who has drawn upon her own experiences of being stalked by an ex boyfriend.

Alex, Lucy, River, Bridget and Nat are members of a club that no one wants to be part of, an online support group for victims of stalkers. They each look out for each other, and are supporting Nat getting home from work when the unthinkable happens. 

Her ex finds her and murders her on her own doorstep.

At Nat's funeral, they come together in person for the first time, more determined than ever to take a stand against their stalkers. Amongst the congregation of mourners one of them is handed a wreath, with a hand written note, 'ten days to live'.

But it's not addressed to any one of them, so who is danger? Maybe they all are?

Determined not to let their stalkers win, River devises a plan that will see the tables turned and their stalkers becoming the victims. Because if they can keep tabs on them, then surely they will all be able to keep themselves safe?

If only it were that simple.

Stalkers are clever, manipulative and inventive. They will leave no stone unturned in their quest, no matter the consequences..

Every Move You Make is a brilliantly written thriller, which will have you second guessing all the way through. Highly recommended. 

Every Move You Make 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

Thursday 14 March 2024

Review - Anna O by Matthew Blake

Anna O by Matthew Blake
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Release date: 1 February 2024
Back cover blurb: Anna Ogilvy hasn’t opened her eyes for four years. Not since that night at The Farm when she was found asleep with a kitchen knife in her hand, her clothes bloodstained, the bodies of her two best friends lying close. She’d committed the crime of the century – but nothing and no-one could wake her from the nightmare. Believers in her innocence call her Anna O. Believers in her guilt call her Sleeping Beauty. But no-one can take their eyes off the story . .


Sometimes when a novel gets a lot of hype I don't want to read it straightaway. I've never been one for following trends... However, I think this is justifiable of the hype (so please just read it!) and I have been a little behind on reviews for personal reasons, so hopefully this review won't get lost amongst all the others. Because I really want you to understand how good this book is....!

It is SO clever.

I've seen a couple of reviews comparing it to Alex Michaelides Silent Patient, and whilst I can (sort of) see why you would compare the two. I personally don't think it's necessary. For me, they are two totally different books, and I actually think I preferred this one.

Anno Ogilvy hasn't opened her eyes for four years. Not since that night at The Farm when she was found with a knife in her hand, her two best friends lying close. 

Blood everywhere... 

It was the crime of the century. 

But Anna slept through it all, and hasn't woken since.

Believers in her story call her 'Anna O', those more cynical call her 'Sleeping Beauty'. And everyone wants to know how the story ends.

The Ministry of Justice are keen to get her on trial. Which they obviously can't do whilst she's asleep, so they take the step to move her to an infamous sleep clinic 'the Abbey'. Used by the rich and famous and known for it's discretion.

One of the Abbey's best 'Sleep Doctors', Dr Benedict (Ben) Prince is called in late one night under mysterious circumstances to find his boss and mentor, Dr Bloom, and a representative from the Ministry of Justice asking him to sign the official secrets act before they will disclose why they are there at the ungodly hour.

Ben is reluctant at first, he has his own thoughts and theories about the 'Anna O' case, and he isn't sure he wants the responsibility of trying to wake her. But he can't resist the chance to prove one of his own research theories right. 

But at what cost?

Anna O 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 13 March 2024

Review - Five Nights by Rachel Wolf

Five Nights by Rachel Wolf
Publisher: Aria and Aries (Head of Zeus)
Release date: 29 February 2024
Back cover blurb: A powerful family. A luxury cruise. A killer on board… You’re invited to join the infamous Scarmado family on a five night voyage aboard their glamorous new ship. It’s a chance to see your best friend, Belle, newly married to Mattia Scarmado. You haven’t seen her in years. FIVE. On the first night, you’ll be wrapped up in the glamour of the ship. FOUR.  On the second night, you’ll wonder who is sending you threatening notes. THREE. On the third night, someone will die. TWO.  On the fourth night, you’ll discover that someone knows the truth of what you did. ONE. On the last night, you’ll be left for dead...Will you make it back to shore alive?

When Emily receives an invitation for a five night cruise onboard a prestigious new ship she only hesitates for the smallest moment. She doesn't want to leave her elderly Father and young Son, and isn't really sure of Belle's motives, as she hasn't seen her best friend in Five years. 

But her Father insists she needs a break and encourages her to go. Emily agrees. Perhaps it is time for them to build some bridges...

Belle is now married to Mattia Scarmado, one of the wealthiest businessman. He is old enough to be her own Father, but Belle appears to be very much in love. Much to the disgust of Mattia's own children, still mourning the sudden loss of their Mother, and all vying for their Father's affections ... and inheritance.

They are the very definition of spoilt brats. Every single one of them is so entitled, it's vulgar (but brilliant), and they all seem to share a hatred of Belle. But you would never know. The four words; 'appearances can be deceiving' have never been so apt.

When Emily tentatively makes her way on to the ship to meet with Belle for the first time in Five years, she can't deny that she's nervous, but they've been friends for so long, that they should be able to pick up where they left off. Right?

Well maybe once. But now their worlds are so different, that Emily feels hideously out of place. She can't keep up with the Scarmado's. Even if she wanted to. And it's clear that somebody doesn't want her too. Whether it's because she friends with Belle, or they just don't think her face fits, somebody in the party has taken a dislike to Emily and is sending her threatening notes.

There are many twists in this story, but I think it's safe to say that the 'main' twist in this novel isn't the one that I thought I saw coming, but it works very well within the context of this story.

By the time you get to it, you'll know exactly what I mean!

A thoroughly enjoyable novel, which hasn't put me off cruising - Thankfully I don't move in the same circles as the Scarmado's!

Five Nights 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 12 March 2024

Review - the Shadow Network by Deborah Swift

the Shadow Network by Deborah Swift
Release date: 15 February 2024
Back cover blurb: One woman must sacrifice everything to uncover the truth in this enthralling historical novel, inspired by the true World War Two campaign Radio Aspidistra… England, 1942: Having fled Germany after her father was captured by the Nazis, Lilli Bergen is desperate to do something pro-active for the Allies. So when she’s approached by the Political Warfare Executive, Lilli jumps at the chance. She’s recruited as a singer for a radio station broadcasting propaganda to German soldiers – a shadow network. But Lilli’s world is flipped upside down when her ex-boyfriend, Bren Murphy, appears at her workplace; the very man she thinks betrayed her father to the Nazis. Lilli always thought Bren was a Nazi sympathiser – so what is he doing in England supposedly working against the Germans? Lilli knows Bren is up to something, and must put aside a blossoming new relationship in order to discover the truth. Can Lilli expose him, before it’s too late?

Lilli Bergen's life is turned upside down when her Father is captured by the Nazi's. 

His crime? 

Having been married to Lill's Mother, who was a Jew. Lilli herself being half Jewish is told to flee and hide by her Father before he is captured. 

She doesn't want to leave him, but eventually see common sense, and flees to a neighbouring apartment. She soon learns that it was her Irish ex-boyfriend who has betrayed the family, and see vows to steer well clear of him.

Lilli soon finds herself in England, working as a singer in nightclub, before she is made to flee again, this time to the Isle of Man. It is here that she is recruited (for her voice) by the Political War Executive as part of a secretive mission to foil the Nazi's.

Lilli may be German, but she has no loyalty to the country or political party that cost her her Father. She wants to help in anyway that she can. If that means she has to pose as a singer for a fictional radio station, then so be it.

Lilli's new world is shattered when a new 'recruit' appears at the station. Her ex-boyfriend, Bren. 

She doesn't understand what he is doing there, as she is certain that he would never betray the Nazi's, as he holds so many of their views himself. She pretends not to know who he is, so she can find out what he is doing, and who for.

She doesn't realise until it is too late that she has put herself in grave danger. 

Can she save herself, and those around her before it's too late?

The Shadow Network is another brilliant WW2 novel from Deborah Swift, and I can't wait for the next.

The Shadow Network 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.

Monday 11 March 2024

Review - A Guilty Secret by Philipa East

A Guilty Secret by Philippa East
Release date: 18 January 2024
Back cover blurb: 2003: Carrie and her friends spend their days studying at boarding school, and their nights sneaking out to the woods. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. They agree never to reveal the truth about what happened. But someone won’t keep that promise… 2019: Finn receives a shocking call from his ex-wife, Mhairi, informing him of their friend Kate’s death. The pair have a complicated past, but psychotherapist Kate was always the one who solved their problems, so neither is prepared for what they uncover. Kate had secrets, leading Finn and Mhairi to unearth a history that others would do anything to keep buried.

This is the first Philippa East novel that I've read, and I'm certain it won't be the last!

2019: Finn receives a shocking call from his ex-wife, Mhairi informing him of their mutual friend Kate's death.

It is sudden, unexpected and tragic.

Their past has always been complicated but Kate was usually the one who solved the problems, not caused them...

It's almost inconceivable that she had secrets.

2003: Carrie and her friends spend their days studying at a remote boarding school, and their nights sneaking out in to the woods

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

They agree to never reveal the truth of what happened.

But sometimes the past comes back to haunt us.

What happens when the truth can't stay buried?

But what possible connection could there be between these Kate's death, and a boarding school?

Well, it's a little complicated... and I don't want to give anything away, as I really think you need to read this one for yourself...

Told from multiple perspectives, and time lines, this novel requires an element of concentration, but it is well worth it when the complexities all start coming together.

A Guilty Secret is available 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.