Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Review - Come Back For Me by Heidi Perks

Come Back For Me bu Heidi Perks
Publisher: Randomhouse
Release date: 11 July 2019
Back cover blurb: A SHOCKING DISCOVERY. A COMMUNITY WRAPPED IN SECRETS. A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body. For Stella Harvey the news is doubly shocking. The body has been found in the garden of her childhood home - the home her family fled without explanation twenty-five years ago. Now, questioning her past and desperate to unearth the truth, Stella returns to the isolated island. But she quickly finds that the community she left isn’t as welcoming as she remembers – and that people in it will go to any length to protect their secrets. One thing rings true… You can’t bury the truth forever ...

When Stella Harvey leaves the fictional Evergreen Island in the middle of the night with her family, she is distraught. She is young and doesn't understand why they must leave in the middle of a storm, and can't wait at least until the following day.

Twenty Five years later and Stella is watching the evening news disinterestedly when her eye is caught by something familiar ... her childhood home. A body has been discovered on Evergreen, a remote Island, 20 minutes from Poole Harbour on the Mainland, practically in her back garden.

Stella is drawn back to Evergreen and the community that she grew up in, though she cannot say why. She knows it is doubtful that she will have know the murder victim, for the Police are adamant that this is the crime committed, but she still feels a connection with the island she believes she will never lose.

Stella is not entirely welcomed back on to Evergreen as she might have believed that she would be. Locals she knew back when her family inhabited the Island seem keen not to engage with her for some reason, and she is largely treated as as outsider, which to Stella is devastating.

But still, as the murder happened almost literally on her old doorstep, Stella is determined to find out what happened, if she knew the victim, and if unthinkably this could be the reason that her family fled the Island all those years ago.

Come Back For Me ends rather quickly, and rather abruptly, but it does so in keeping with the story, and didn't seem rushed, though I was a little disappointed not to have a slightly more conclusive ending.

Come Back For Me is available from 11 July 2019
You can pre-order it now from Amazon online and all good book shops.

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

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Review - The Doctor by Lisa Stone

The Doctor by Lisa Stone
Publisher: Avon books UK
Release date: 24 June 2019
Back cover blurb: How much do you know about the couple next door? When Emily and Ben move in next door to Dr Burman and his wife Anita, they are keen to get to know their new neighbours. Outgoing and sociable, Emily tries to befriend the doctor’s wife, but Anita is strangely subdued, barely leaving the house, and terrified of answering the phone. When Emily goes missing a few weeks later, Ben is plunged into a panic. His wife has left him a note, but can she really have abandoned him for another man? Or has Emily’s curiosity about the couple next door led her straight into danger? A gripping, sinister thriller with a twist you won’t see coming from the international bestseller Lisa Stone.

Emily is on extended maternity leave when she tries to befriend her next door neighbour, Anita. Anita is quiet, reserved and barely leaves the house, almost the complete opposite in personality to Emily and her young son Robbie.

Dr Burman, Anita’s husband is borderline rude, and has little to do with his next door neighbours. Preferring to keep himself hidden away in his garden shed at all hours of the day and night.

This draws Emily's suspicion, as a respected Doctor, she believes that he should spending quality time with his wife when he isn't working, but he seems to prefer to spend hours in his shed alone.

It isn't until her beloved Cat, Tibbs goes missing, that Emily begins to wonder if there is more to the Burman family than meets the eye. Despite Ben's concerns, Emily befriends Anita whilst her husband is at work, determined to help her quiet neighbour out of her shell.

Emily is shocked by what she discovers, but nothing can prepare her for the subsequent events that follow.

Without going in to too much detail, as I don't want to give anything away, The Doctor is a gripping read from start to finish.

It reminded me a lot of Ruth Rendell’s Thirteen Steps Down, I think probably because Amit is such a delusional character, convinced of his own self worth, who is also a little creepy. A must read.

The Doctor is available from 24 June 2019.
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.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Review - Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary

Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary
Publisher: Headline
Release date: 16 May 2019
Back cover blurb: Children are dying on London’s streets. Frankie Reece, stabbed through the heart, outside a corner shop. Others recruited from care homes, picked up and exploited; passed like gifts between gangs. They are London’s lost. Then Raphaela Belsham is killed. She’s thirteen years old, her father is a man of influence, from a smart part of town. And she’s white. Suddenly, the establishment is taking notice. DS Noah Jake is determined to handle Raphaela’s case and Frankie’s too. But he’s facing his own turmoil, and it’s becoming an obsession. DI Marnie Rome is worried, and she needs Noah on side. Because more children are disappearing, more are being killed by the day and the swelling tide of violence needs to be stemmed before it’s too late.  NEVER BE BROKEN is a stunning, intelligent and gripping novel which explores how the act of witness alters us, and reveals what lies beneath the veneer of a glittering city.

Never Be Broken is book number 6 in Sarah Hilary's DI Marnie Rome series. As with all of these books, they can certainly be read as standalone, but I would highly recommend that you read the others in the series as they are all so brilliant!

Sarah Hilary also has a knack of writing about contemporary issues; this time focusing on gang culture and violent crime in London.

Never Be Broken focuses on the drive by shooting of teenager Raphaela Belsham. She is the child of wealthy parents, and not the usual gun crime victim the police are used to dealing with. Her death is somewhat of a mystery.

For a start, she is white, from an affluent area, and not part of a gang.

DI Marnie Rome and colleague, DS Noah Jake are determined to find the perpetrator, and fast, because whilst Raphaela doesn't fit the usual gang member profile, it is clear that her death is not isolated, that it is related to the spate of gang crime and murders rampaging London's streets, and that another young person could die if they don't act quickly.

Their superiors are not as convinced that Raphaela's death could be connected and Rome and Jake must work tirelessly to convince them. Raphaela's family are equally as determined that her death could not possibly be related to gang crime, and start to take matters in to their own hands.

Never Be Broken is, as all Sarah Hilary's novels are, totally gripping from start to finish, and once again, I can't wait for the next!

Never Be Broken 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, 29 May 2019

Review - Unfollow Me by Charlotte Duckworth

Unfollow Me by Charlotte Duckworth
Publisher: Quercus Books
Release date: 1 June 2019 
Back cover blurb: You can't stop watching her. Violet Young is a hugely popular journalist-turned-mummy-influencer, with three children, a successful husband and a million subscribers on YouTube who tune in daily to watch her everyday life unfold. Until the day she's no longer there. But one day she disappears from the online world - her entire social media presence deleted overnight, with no explanation. Has she simply decided that baring her life to all online is no longer a good idea, or has something more sinister happened to Violet? But do you really know who Violet is? Her fans are obsessed with finding out the truth, but their search quickly reveals a web of lies, betrayal, and shocking consequences...

Although I am not a mummy, or indeed a mummy blogger, as a regular online user, I can truly understand how easy it could be to get sucked in to the world of the online 'celebrity'.

Violet Young is hugely popular mummy 'influencer', with a million subscribers on YouTube who tune in daily to watch her every move. Violet has the perfect life, a loving husband, three beautiful children and a successful career.

But we all know that online life can be fake, right?

Violet's millions of followers are left puzzled and distraught as she suddenly disappears from the online community, and all her Social Media accounts are deleted, with no warning or explanation.

Speculation is rife about what has happened to Violet. Has she simply had enough of the online world? Or has something more sinister happened to her?

Is Henry really the perfect husband?

Is Violet really the perfect wife and Mummy?

Violet's fans are obsessed with trying to find out the truth, but what they discover may be far more shocking than any of them could have imagined.

Unfollow Me is available from 1 June 2019.
You can pre-order it now via Amazon online and all good book shops. 

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

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Review - The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan

The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan
Publisher: Random House UK
Release date: 1 May 2019
Back cover blurb: Seven-year-old Jocelyn loves her nanny more than her own mother. When her nanny disappears one night, Jo never gets over the loss. How could she vanish without saying goodbye? Thirty years on, Jo is forced to return to her family home and confront her troubled relationship with her mother. When human remains are discovered in the grounds of the house, Jo begins to question everything. Then an unexpected visitor knocks at the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again as, one by one, she discovers her childhood memories aren’t what they seemed. What secrets was her nanny hiding – and what was she running away from? And can Jo trust what her mother tells her? Sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.

Jocelyn (Jo) Holt is bought up in a privileged world of parties, hunting, portraits and extravagant wealth. The daughter of a Lord and Lady, she wants for nothing.

But Jocelyn has a closer relationship with her Nanny, Hannah than she does with her own Mother, Virginia. So when Hannah disappears from the family home one night, Jocelyn is distraught and blames her Mother,

Jocelyn's upbringing from thereon is miserable. She resents her Mother and her relationship with her Father also starts to deteriorate.

Grown up Jocelyn, becomes Jo and is living in the United States when her Father dies. But it isn't until the death of her own husband that Jo decides to return home. She returns to Lake Hall with her 10 year old daughter Ruby.

Her relationship with Virginia is still fraught, though both women are hoping that their recent bereavements will bring them closer together. When an unexpected visitor turns up unannounced at Lake Hall, it turns both women's lives upside down for very different reasons.

When Ruby and a friend make a gruesome discovery in the grounds of Lake Hall, it is clear that life for the Holt family will never, ever be the same again.

Without saying much more, The Nanny is a novel full of surprises, and the ending is just brilliant and I can't wait to see what Gilly Macmillan has up her sleeve next! 

The Nanny is available now via Amazon online and all good bookshops.

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

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Review - Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
Publisher: HQ 
Release date: 2 May 2019
Back cover blurb: THE TWINS ARE CRYING. THE TWINS ARE HUNGRY. LAUREN IS CRYING. LAUREN IS EXHAUSTED. Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting . . . Lauren is alone on the maternity ward with her new-born twins when a terrifying encounter in the middle of the night leaves her convinced someone is trying to steal her children. Lauren, desperate with fear, locks herself and her sons in the bathroom until the police arrive to investigate. When DS Joanna Harper picks up the list of overnight incidents that have been reported, she expects the usual calls from drunks and wrong numbers. But then a report of an attempted abduction catches her eye. The only thing is that it was flagged as a false alarm just fifteen minutes later. Harper's superior officer tells her there's no case here, but Harper can’t let it go so she visits the hospital anyway. There's nothing on the CCTV. No one believes this woman was ever there. And yet, Lauren claims that she keeps seeing the woman and that her babies are in danger, and soon Harper is sucked into Lauren's spiral of fear. But how far will they go to save children who may not even be in danger?

Little Darlings was a little different to the novel that I was expecting, but that’s not to say that I enjoyed it any less.

Lauren Tranter is the exhausted mother of newborn twins, Morgan and Riley. She is alone on the maternity ward in the middle of the night, when she has a terrifying encounter that leaves her believing her children are in danger of being abducted.

A traumatic birth, a near death experience and the exhaustion and anxiety of being a new Mother are blamed for her 999 call to the Police. Hospital security investigate and the Police are stood down, as the hospital blame the incident on Lauren's post birth mental health.

When she arrives to work the following morning, DS Joanna Harper wonders if there is more to the call than initially thought, and decides to investigate further. When she visits Lauren in hospital, she is intrigued by Lauren's story, and reviews the CCTV footage of the night.

There is nothing there.

But Harper cannot let the case go. Lauren's story was too convincing, her fear too real, for it not to be true.

When Lauren is released from the hospital and allowed home with her babies, she feels safe for a while. Until she believes that she sees the abductor from the hospital again, and that this time she has definitely come for the twins.

Little Darlings is part thriller, part Grimm style fairy-tale and borderline supernatural. I don't usually enjoy this type of novel, but I loved this one.

Little Darlings 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.