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?

Posted in Books I have read

Behind Closed Doors – Elizabeth Haynes

Crime Fiction 4*s
Crime Fiction
4*s

Scarlett Rainsford has been missing since that morning ten years ago when her family woke up on the last day of their holiday in Greece to find her missing. DCI Louisa Smith was a DC at the time and worked on the case, it was one of those she never forgot, after all Scarlett was a vulnerable fifteen year old girl! When she receives the call to tell her not only is Scarlett alive but she is back in Briarstone, having been found by Lou’s colleagues during a raid on a local brothel, Louisa is keen to find out what has happened in the intervening ten years. But Scarlett is only a part of the investigation into local gangs but the police suspect some factions to be involved in people trafficking, if so are they linked to the reappearance of Scarlett?

This harrowing story which delves into the murky world of people trafficking is neatly told from two viewpoints, in the present day from Lou’s point of view detailing the investigation into what happened to Scarlett in order to take some of those involved in her disappearance off the streets, and then in the past from Scarlett’s point of view working from 2003 forward. I liked the format, with the questions raised by the police, who to be frank aren’t getting much cooperation from Scarlett despite their best officers, and best efforts, are answered in Scarlett’s story. Scarlett’s part is simply told, and all the more shocking for that, as she details how she was spirited away and how she made it back to Briarstone, the place where her family live. But lots of questions are raised early on, such as why she is refusing contact with her parents?

Elizabeth Haynes worked as a police analyst and the procedural part of this tale, as that in Under a Silent Moon, has intelligence forms inserted into the text, which gives the reader a feeling that they are in on the investigation, although at times I found it hard to work out the links between the names given in this documentation and the crimes being investigated, as that was all they were – pieces of information which is a far cry from actual characters.

Scarlett’s tale is horrifying, I’m not a squeamish reader and although there are minimal descriptions of gruesome violence, and the story is never ‘over-egged’, this is a difficult one to read, all the more powerful because it has such a feeling of reality.
The structure of the book alone begs the reader to do the ‘just one more chapter’ bit, but Elizabeth Haynes also manages to make us care about the characters. DCI Louisa Smith portrayal is everything that we hope are in charge of an investigation like this; tenacious, caring and thorough and as a plus she gets on really well with her team. OK, she may be a bit of a commitment-phobe in her personal life but she’s well-rounded and likeable. Conversely, although she has the role of the victim and we are able to empathise with Scarlett, we are also able to admire her too.

A well-told tale and I like author’s who deliver something different each time. Despite this being the second in the series, it had a unique feel with less emphasis on the roles of the police which dominated Under a Silent Moon. Although I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series, this story works perfectly well as a stand-alone read.

I’d like to thank the publishers Little, Brown Book Group UK who let me read a copy of this book ahead of the publication of the paperback on 8 October 2015.

Other books by Elizabeth Haynes

Elizabeth Haynes first book Into the Darkest Corner was one of those books that everyone seemed to be reading.
Into the Darkest Corner

This book leaps straight in with a transcript from a court case in May 2005. After this most of the book is written in two alternate stories, one starting in 2003, the other in 2007. The story of Cathy is about a young woman struggling to cope with OCD which causes her to spend much of her life checking and counting.

This is amazingly well written which gives the reader an insight into how OCD rules the lives of those that live with it. Tension is built and each time Cathy seems to be getting a grip on things something else happens to disturb her both in the past and the present. This is one of those stories which stay with you long after you have read it.

Her second Revenge of the Tide was not my cup of tea at all

Revenge of the Tide

Genevieve is former pole dancer had a good job and was pole dancing for exercise and money to buy the boat. Her former life in London was full of shallow people (except her fellow pole dancer friend) and the boat people are the most generous she’d ever met, Genevieve then finds herself in the most predictable of situations given that she was hiding something on the boat…..

However her third Human Remains was another outstanding read. Please click on the book cover to see my review.

The fourth, Under a Silent Moon was our introduction to DI Louisa Smith and a far more traditional police procedural than any of her other novels. Please click on the book cover to read my review.

Under A Silent Moon

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (September 30)

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

This week I am currently reading 24 Hours by Claire Seeber

24 Hours

Blurb

Here today. Dead tomorrow?
My best friend, Emily, is dead – killed last night in a hotel fire.
But it was meant to be me.
Now I have 24 hours to find my daughter.
Before he finds out I’m still alive. NetGalley

I have recently finished Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes

Behind Closed Doors

Check out yesterday’s post for the synopsis and a taster from this book, my review will follow shortly.

Next I plan on reading The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan

The Good Neighbor

Blurb

Things are a little rough for Izzy Lane. Still reeling from the break-up of her marriage, the newly single mom moves back to the Philadelphia home she grew up in, five-year-old Noah in tow. The transition is difficult, but with the help of her best friends—and her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Feldman—Izzy feels like she’s stepping closer to her new normal. Until her ex-husband shows up with his girlfriend. That’s when Izzy invents a boyfriend of her own. And that’s when life gets complicated.
Blogging about her “new guy” provides Izzy with something to do when Noah’s asleep. What’s the harm in a few made-up stories? Then, her blog soars in popularity and she’s given the opportunity to moonlight as an online dating expert. How can she turn it down? But when her friends want to meet the mysterious “Mac,” someone online suspects Izzy’s a fraud, and a guy in-real-life catches her eye, Izzy realizes just how high the stakes are. That’s when Mrs. Feldman steps in, determined to show her neighbor the havoc that lies can wreak. If Izzy’s honest, she could lose everything, and everyone. Is the truth worth any cost? NetGalley

What are you reading this week?

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (September 29)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

My opening comes from Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes, the second in the DCI Louisa Smith series which began with Under a Silent Moon.

Behind Closed Doors

‘To begin with, nothing was certain except her own terror . . .’
Ten years ago, fourteen-year-old Scarlett Rainsford vanished without a trace during a family holiday to Greece. Not being able to find Scarlett was one of the biggest regrets of DCI Louisa Smith’s career and when Scarlett is discovered back in her home town after all this time, Lou is determined to find out what happened to her and why she remained hidden for so long. Was she abducted or did she run away?
As Lou and her team delve deeper into Scarlett’s past, their investigation throws up more questions than it answers. But as they edge closer to the truth about what really went on behind closed doors, it is more sinister and disturbing than they had ever imagined. NetGalley

~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

SCARLETT – Rhodes, Saturday 23 August 2003, 04:44

To begin with, nothing was certain except her own terror.
Darkness, and stifling heat, so hot that breathing felt like effort, sweat pouring off her so her skin itself became liquid and she thought she would simply melt into a hot puddle of nothing. She tried crying out, screaming, but she could barely hear her own voice above the roar of the engine, the sound of the wheels moving at speed on tarmac. All that did was give her a sore throat. Nobody could hear her.

Please note that this excerpt is taken from a proof copy

Do you want to know more? Or perhaps you’ve already read this book?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking The Shelves (August 22)

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!

Just a few additions to the bookshelves this week all from NetGalley.

First up is Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight which I’ve seen good reviews of around the blogosphere. This is due to be published on 24 September 2015.

Where They Found Her

Blurb
The very worst crimes are those we commit against the ones we love

Motherhood hasn’t come at all easy for Molly Anderson. But she’s finally enjoying life as mother to five-year-old Ella and as Arts reporter for the small but respectable Ridgedale Reader. That is, until a body is found in the woods adjacent to Ridgedale University’s ivy-covered campus. This is a discovery that threatens to unearth secrets long buried by the town’s most powerful residents, and brings Molly to two women who are far more deeply connected than they have ever realised.
Where They Found Her is a riveting domestic thriller which offers a searing portrait of motherhood, marriage, class distinctions and the damage wrought by betrayal. NetGalley

Next is the second in Louise Smith series, Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes. Having really enjoyed Under A Silent Moon this had been sat on my wishlist since publication in January this year but the lovely NetGalley have it on their site ready for the paperback release dated 8 October 2015.

Behind Closed Doors
Blurb

‘To begin with, nothing was certain except her own terror . . .’
Ten years ago, fourteen-year-old Scarlett Rainsford vanished without a trace during a family holiday to Greece. Not being able to find Scarlett was one of the biggest regrets of DCI Louisa Smith’s career and when Scarlett is discovered back in her home town after all this time, Lou is determined to find out what happened to her and why she remained hidden for so long. Was she abducted or did she run away?
As Lou and her team delve deeper into Scarlett’s past, their investigation throws up more questions than it answers. But as they edge closer to the truth about what really went on behind closed doors, it is more sinister and disturbing than they had ever imagined. NetGalley

Lastly I have a copy of The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan which I have to confess was chosen in error… I thought it was the book with the same name by Beth Miller but this one sounds good too! This one is due to be published on 13 October 2015.

The Good Neighbor

Blurb

Things are a little rough for Izzy Lane. Still reeling from the break-up of her marriage, the newly single mom moves back to the Philadelphia home she grew up in, five-year-old Noah in tow. The transition is difficult, but with the help of her best friends—and her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Feldman—Izzy feels like she’s stepping closer to her new normal. Until her ex-husband shows up with his girlfriend. That’s when Izzy invents a boyfriend of her own. And that’s when life gets complicated.

Blogging about her “new guy” provides Izzy with something to do when Noah’s asleep. What’s the harm in a few made-up stories? Then, her blog soars in popularity and she’s given the opportunity to moonlight as an online dating expert. How can she turn it down? But when her friends want to meet the mysterious “Mac,” someone online suspects Izzy’s a fraud, and a guy in-real-life catches her eye, Izzy realizes just how high the stakes are. That’s when Mrs. Feldman steps in, determined to show her neighbor the havoc that lies can wreak. If Izzy’s honest, she could lose everything, and everyone. Is the truth worth any cost? NetGalley

Any of these take your fancy or perhaps you’ve already read them?
What have you found to read this week? Please do share in the comments below