Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Bring Me Back – B.A. Paris

Psychological Thriller
4*s

There are certain authors I go to that fit my varying reading needs. B.A. Paris has confirmed with this, her third book that she is someone to ensure is on my bookshelf for when I want a psychological thriller that is fast-moving and totally gripping.

Bring Me Back starts twelve years back in time when Finn on the way back from holiday in France with his girlfriend Layla. He stops at a pretty much deserted layby to use the conveniences and by the time he returns to the car she’s disappeared. Finn was questioned over her disappearance but since he had no motive to harm the woman he intended to marry, and no clues left as to where she could have gone, he is allowed to return to the UK to live his life.

And live his life he does. When we catch up with him Finn is about to get married to Ellen, he’s moved away from the home he shared with Layla and although you never forget something that enormous, he has a good job, a nice home and a future to look forward to. And then, the detective that has been looking for Layla says that a woman matching her description has been spotted near their old home. This is put down to the faulty memory of the elderly neighbour who reported it until a sign is left that the past isn’t staying put. Finn begins to worry that everything is going to come tumbling around his ears.

The skill in this type of psychological novel is to instantly immerse you in the story, to wrap you up in the character’s beliefs so that the reader doesn’t have time to wonder why doesn’t X character do Y etc. And B.A. Paris performs this act swiftly and without fuss. Not for this author endless explanations of this disorder or that objection, we are with Finn and his need to keep things under wraps whilst he sets out on his own personal mission.

Now I’ll confess that I did crack one line of the mystery, perhaps because I’d come across something similar, although not the same, in another recent read, but this didn’t hamper my enjoyment or halt my swift turning of the pages in any way whatsoever. This type of psychological thriller isn’t mystery story, it isn’t just how or who but the whole package that is needed to be unwrapped and the aftermath examined in context of the characters. So, even though I solved one piece, I couldn’t know how the ending would play out, and I’m glad to say the final pages were absolutely perfect for the book that had preceded them.

This is perfect holiday reading, cosy weekend reading or in fact something to gee you up when life seems a bit flat. Read it anywhere or at any time and get swept up in a story that will keep you up all night.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the publishers HQ who allowed me to read an advance copy of Bring Me Back ahead of publication on 8 March 2018. This unbiased review is my thanks to them and the talented author B.A. Paris for keeping me thoroughly entertained.

First Published UK: 8 March 2018
Publisher: HQ
No of Pages: 384
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 21)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

Well at the moment I’m reading Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton which is the second of my Classic Club reads.

Blurb

‘He seemed a part of the mute melancholy landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm and sentient in him fast bound below the surface’

Ethan Frome works his unproductive farm and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his difficult, suspicious and hypochondriac wife, Zeena. But when Zeena’s vivacious cousin enters their household as a ‘hired girl’, Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and with the possibilities for happiness she comes to represent. In one of American fiction’s finest and most intense narratives, Edith Wharton moves this ill-starred trio towards their tragic destinies. Amazon

That was after finishing The Image of You by Adele Parks, a compulsive read that had me entertained throughout with a surprising amount of perception.

Blurb

Can you ever trust someone you meet online?

Anna and Zoe are twins. Identical in appearance, utterly different in personality, they share a bond so close that nothing – or no one – can rip them apart.
Until Anna meets charismatic Nick.
Anna is trusting, romantic and hopeful; she thinks Nick is perfect.
Zoe is daring, dangerous and extreme; she thinks Nick is a liar.
Zoe has seen Anna betrayed by men before. She’ll stop at nothing to discover if Nick is as good as he seems.

Lies may hurt. But honesty can kill.

Next I’m going to be reading the psychological novel by one of the mistresses of the genre; Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris.

Blurb

The Disappearance
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried… NetGalley

Having made a big effort to read some of my own books as well as joining The Classics Club has really mixed up my reading this year which means I’m approaching each new book with even more enthusiasm than previously. It was one New Year’s resolution that has been worth sticking to.

So what do you think? Do any of these titles take your fancy?

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Books I have read

Behind Closed Doors – B.A. Paris

Psychological Thriller 4*s
Psychological Thriller
4*s

I’m delighted that it is my turn on the blog tour for Behind Closed Doors as I can now share my review with you all…

Behind the very stylish door to the home of Jack and Grace Angel things aren’t all they initially appear. We first meet the successful couple, Jack a lawyer who spends his time standing up for victims of domestic violence and Grace who was a buyer for Harrods, hosting an elegant dinner party. Grace no longer has her high-powered job though, she’s a housewife, perhaps waiting for the patter of tiny feet.

The food served by Grace is exquisite and the conversation quickly turns to Jack and Grace’s first meeting. Neither had been married before despite Jack being highly sought after by his female colleagues; Grace’s marriage prospects had been hampered by her commitment to looking after her younger sister Millie, who has Down syndrome. Jack wasn’t put off by this life-long task though and the couple talk about welcoming Millie into their home when she leaves the school she attends.

What happens behind the scenes though is deeply disturbing and not in the conventional way but is it really possible that no-one can see the truth. I can’t really say much more except that despite the horror there is something compellingly realistic about the way that the action unfolds.

With the book split between the past and the present, so we see how the relationship progressed through a perfect courtship to marriage and then the honeymoon in Thailand where revelations made cast a whole different light on what had gone before. In the present we see that things aren’t quite the way the dinner party guests imagine but there is a deadline looming and a plan is needed, and fast.

This is real edge of your seat stuff and is so truly horrific a certain amount of suspense of belief is required but with the characters being so credible I found myself questioning whether or not this could happen, and I came down in favour of the author mainly because while I would hope this wouldn’t happen given the characters and circumstances of all involved I can believe that it might. The pace of the story is unrelenting which only serves to raise the tension and the mixture between past and present, especially as the gap between the two closes, works really well in giving the reader no opportunity to catch their breath.

A must read for all those lovers of the most popular recent psychological thrillers, you know the ones I mean, the ones that are populated by vile characters and keep you turning the pages just to see quite how bad things can get!
I’d like to say a huge thank you to the publisher HarperCollins who kindly arranged for me to receive a copy of this book and invited me to take part in this book tour.

Even better news, there is a whisper that the author already has another book in the making which I for one will be looking forward to reading.

B.A.ParisBlog tour banner Behind Closed Doors

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 3)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

Well due to visitors over the last week there has been little reading done so please forgive the overlap.

At the moment I’m reading The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft , a psychological thriller.

The Girl You Lost

Please see yesterday’s post for the synopsis and excerpts from this book

I have just finished The Ex by Alafair Burke, a gripping attorney led thriller.

The Ex

Blurb

In this breakout standalone thriller in the tradition of Gillian Flynn, William Landay and Paula Hawkins, a lawyer agrees to help an old boyfriend who has been accused of murder-but begins to suspect that she is the one being manipulated.
Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene since the shooting of his wife by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman who eerily but thrillingly echoes his past. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a “Missed Moment” item online and days later, a woman responds…
Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she gets the phone call informing her that her former fiancée, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him – and why?
For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, and the hurt she caused him, but as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him? NetGalley

Next I plan on reading Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris a debut thriller!

Behind Closed Doors

Blurb

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie. Amazon

So that’s my choices for this week. What do you all have to read at the moment? Do share!

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (December 19)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared.

Mindful of the TBR, and you can see quite how bad this is in this post, I have only added a few quite a few books to my pile in the last two weeks but I think they are good ones, what do you think?

From the publisher MIRA I have a copy of Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris which will be published on 11 February 2016

Behind Closed Doors

Blurb

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace.
He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie. Goodreads

Then I saw that two of the Lake District Mysteries written by Martin Edwards were on special offer on the kindle. Having vowed to read more by this talented author after enjoying Dancing for the Hangman plus a very enticing review of his latest, The Dungeon House by Fiction Fan’s blog and a short story in An Anthology of Murder I would have been silly to ignore this – the first The Coffin Trail wasn’t on offer but I need to start at the beginning so I have this one…

The Coffin Trail

Blurb

Oxford historian Daniel Kind and his partner Miranda both want to escape to a new life. On impulse they buy a cottage in Brackdale, an idyllic valley in the Lake District. But though they hope to live the dream, the past soon catches up with them. Goodreads

and… The Cipher Garden (Lake District Mysteries #2)

The Cipher Garden

Blurb

Warren Howe is surprised by a hooded visitor whilst working in a garden in Old Sawrey. Soon he is dead – murdered with his own scythe. As the years pass, the culprit has yet to be found. However, after an anonymous tip-off, DCI Hannah Scarlett is soon on the case. Then there is yet another horrifying death.

From NetGalley I have a copy of The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths, book eight in the Ruth Galloway series; The Woman in Blue will be published on 4 February 2016.

The Woman in Blue

Blurb

Forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway returns in a new thrilling mystery from the best-selling Elly Griffiths.
The murder of women priests in the shrine town of Walsingham sucks Dr Ruth Galloway into an unholy investigation.
When Ruth’s friend Cathbad sees a vision of the Virgin Mary, in a white gown and blue cloak, in the graveyard next to the cottage he is house-sitting, he takes it in his stride. Walsingham has strong connections to Mary, and Cathbad is a druid after all; visions come with the job. But when the body of a woman in a blue dressing-gown is found dead the next day in a nearby ditch, it is clear Cathbad’s vision was all too human, and that a horrible crime has been committed. DCI Nelson and his team are called in for the murder investigation, and soon establish that the dead woman was a recovering addict being treated at a nearby private hospital.
Ruth, a devout atheist, has managed to avoid Walsingham during her seventeen years in Norfolk. But then an old university friend, Hilary Smithson, asks to meet her in the village, and Ruth is amazed to discover that her friend is now a priest. Hilary has been receiving vitriolic anonymous letters targeting women priests – letters containing references to local archaeology and a striking phrase about a woman ‘clad in blue, weeping for the world’.
Then another woman is murdered – a priest.
As Walsingham prepares for its annual Easter re-enactment of the Crucifixion, the race is on to unmask the killer before they strike again… NetGalley

Back in 2012 I read Cambridge Blue by Alison Bruce and she was put on my ‘must read more of’ list and indeed I have one book on the TBR but then I saw The Promise which is to be published on 4 February 2016 (I now have three books to be reviewed before this date!)

The Promise

Blurb

In a single night, Kyle Davidson’s life is derailed. His relationship is over, he is denied access to his young son and everything important to him is at risk.
His thoughts stumble between fear and revenge. Kyle Davidson has a choice to make.
Meanwhile, after the tragic end to a previous case, DC Gary Goodhew finds himself questioning his reasons for returning to work until the badly beaten body of a homeless man is found on Market Hill. Having known the homeless man for several years Goodhew feels compelled to be part of the investigation – but routine lines of enquiry soon take a dark and unexpected turn.
Suddenly the Cambridge back streets hold deadly secrets for Goodhew and the only person who has the answers is planning one final, desperate act. NetGalley

And I’ve left the best to last – I have a copy of Coffin Road by Peter May. I absolutely adored the Lewis Trilogy so am so looking forward to this one which was sent to me by Midas PR.

Coffin Road

Blurb

A man stands bewildered on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris. He cannot remember who he is. He is physically shaken, borderline hypothermic, and overwhelmed by fear and uncertainty. The only clue to his identity is a folded map of a path named The Coffin Road. He does not know where this search will take him.
A detective from across the border in Lewis sits aboard a boat, filled with doubt. DS George Gunn knows that a bludgeoned corpse has been discovered on a remote rock twenty miles offshore. Though, having grown used to a quiet and predictable routine, he does not know whether he has what it takes to uncover how and why.
A teenage girl lies in her Edinburgh bedroom, desperate to discover the truth about her father. Two years on from the pioneering scientist’s disappearance, Karen Fleming still cannot accept that he would wilfully abandon her, regardless of the extreme pressure placed on him by his research. She does not know his secret. Goodreads

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH
Since my last count I have read 5 books, and gained 6, leading to a grand total of 171 books!
83 physical books
72 e-books
16 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?