Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

I See You – Clare Mackintosh

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Psychological Thriller
5*s

I loved Clare Mackintosh’s debut novel I Let You Go I really did wonder whether her second book would reach anywhere near the same standard, I’m delighted and relieved to say there is no doubt that it does – if anything I was even more glued to I See You.

Not being a Londoner but having visited my Grandmother there many times over my formative years I am someone who has a great deal of affection for the underground, albeit from afar. When I take a trip these days I admit I’m less enamoured by the endless stairs, rushing on the escalators and sweaty bodies but I have never tired of working out the length of time my journey will take using her prescribed average of three minutes per stop, a ruse I think she employed to make doubly sure that every journey was packed full of maximum learning opportunity, and this was the mental maths section! Childhood memories of feeling the warm rush of air telling me the next tube was on its way and to ‘stand well away from the line or you’ll get sucked in’ will now be replaced with a whole different perspective because of I See You.

The premise of the book centres on Zoe Walker, a woman in her early forties who sees an advert in the London Gazette in amongst the escort services and chat lines which seems to be her picture. Slightly flustered she takes the paper home to her family who are less convinced than she is that it is her picture, but the seed has been sown and Zoe is unable to dismiss it. She tries the phone number which only returns a single tone indicating it is not in use and the website link only has a white square in the centre of a black page. Zoe turns herself into a bit of a Nancy Drew character when she realises that there is a series of similar adverts.

More than that I can’t tell you about the plot because this is one of those books where you rush along a straight road of a plot-line only to have to swerve an obstacle at high-speed before doubling back on yourself and ending back at the beginning. There is misdirection aplenty so that if even like me you manage to work out the smallest of mysteries you feel like whooping as if you’ve passed an extremely difficult exam under pressure.

The tension created in this book is enormous so prepare to do some extreme mystery solving and the author raises it almost subtlety with the scenes switching between Zoe and a British Transport Police officer who is following up on some missing property from the tube. With Zoe unravelling under her suspicions and Kelly Swift trying to convince her superiors that an unfortunate event in the past should not be holding her career back any more than it already has, both women are motivated by their investigations. With the stakes being raised almost imperceptibly this is proper on the edge of your seat reading.

Clare Mackintosh doesn’t just manage an imaginative plot she also manages to portray her characters with real insight making their foibles and motivation absolutely believable in a way that goes far beyond the identikit police officer or victim. We have a wide range of characters from a journalist, local businesswoman, aspiring actress and estate agent all of whom are fleshed out, almost while the reader isn’t watching, and yet without seeming to depend on the preconceptions we may have about their profession, ages or gender. This is an exceptional skill which I think marks this author out from many others who are battling this increasingly popular genre and one which makes her books a joy to read beyond the thrill of the ride.

My advice, don’t miss out go get your own copy of I See You and read it for yourself, although perhaps not on the tube!

I want to say a huge thank you to The Little Brown Book Group who allowed me to read an advance copy of this book, in return I offer this unbiased review.

 

Published UK: 28 July 2016
Publisher: Little Brown Book Group
No of Pages 384
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (July 27)

This Week In Books

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

Still struggling with reading hence the missing This Week in Books for last Wednesday, which was identical to that of the week before!

At the moment I’m reading Liane Moriarty’s latest novel Truly, Madly, Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty

Blurb

Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you’d think.
For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again. But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them. Which is how it all spirals out of control… NetGalley

I have recently finished The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells, a deep and chilling psychological thriller which was published on 26 July 2016

The Beauty of the End

Blurb

“I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. . .”
So begins the testimony of Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer with a sideline in armchair criminal psychology. Now living an aimless life in an inherited cottage in the English countryside, Noah is haunted by the memory of the beguiling young woman who left him at the altar sixteen years earlier. Then one day he receives a troubling phone call. April, the woman he once loved, lies in a coma, the victim of an apparent overdose–and the lead suspect in a brutal murder. Deep in his bones, Noah believes that April is innocent. Then again, he also believed they would spend the rest of their lives together.
While Noah searches for evidence that will clear April’s name, a teenager named Ella begins to sift through the secrets of her own painful family history. The same age as April was when Noah first met her, Ella harbors a revelation that could be the key to solving the murder. As the two stories converge, there are shocking consequences when at last, the truth emerges.
Or so everyone believes. . .
Set in a borderland where the past casts its shadow on the present, with a time-shifting narrative that will mesmerize and surprise, The Beauty of the End is both a masterpiece of suspense and a powerful rumination on lost love. NetGalley

Next I am planning on reading I See You by Claire Mackintosh

I See You

Blurb

You do the same thing every day.
You know exactly where you’re going.
You’re not alone.
When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.
Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . . NetGalley

What are you reading this week? Any of these catch your eye?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (May 22)

Weekly Wrap Up

 

Last Week on the Blog

I started the week with a review for one of my favourite contemporary crime series; Play Dead by Angela Marsons which I awarded five stars for this brilliant fourth book.

On Tuesday I featured the intro from my favourite series of all time featuring Roy Grace in readiness for publication of the twelfth book in the series later in the week.

And on Wednesday I kept you updated on my reading choices for the week which include the exciting looking My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

My review of Love You Dead by Peter James went up on publication day 19 May 2016 and this book met all my expectations and more – a superb read!

Friday saw me looking at the recent phenomenon of authors producing short stories to tie-in with longer novels. What’s your opinion?

Yesterday I looked at book discoveries I’d found by chance and for which I’m eternally grateful.

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News

Bloggers Bash Awards 2016

On Thursday I was thrilled, and quite frankly amazed, to find out I’d been nominated at 2nd  Annual Bloggers Bash Awards 2016 in the category Best Book Review Blog Award

Which book reviewer do you love? This isn’t about being prolific this is about quality reviews. Who’s the most thoughtful reviewer? Perhaps their thoughts on a book persuaded you to read it, maybe they use their blog as a platform for authors as well, or perhaps you love them for their scathing honesty!

If you click on the logo you can view all the categories and the nominees.

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Stacking the Shelves

I’ve had a few additions to the TBR this week – I confess to a NetGalley splurge but in my defence the publication dates are for the most part way away.

First up I have a genealogy mystery which the author M J Lee kindly gave me called The Irish Inheritance and it will be published on 16 June 2016

The Irish Inheritance

Blurb

June 8, 1921. Ireland.
A British Officer is shot dead on a remote hillside south of Dublin.
November 22, 2015. United Kingdom.
Former police detective, Jayne Sinclair, now working as a genealogical investigator, receives a phone call from an adopted American billionaire asking her to discover the identity of his real father.
How are the two events linked?
Jayne Sinclair has only three clues to help her: a photocopied birth certificate, a stolen book and an old photograph. And it soon becomes apparent somebody else is on the trail of the mystery. A killer who will stop at nothing to prevent Jayne discovering the secret hidden in the past
The Irish Inheritance takes us through the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish War of Independence, combining a search for the truth of the past with all the tension of a modern-day thriller.
It is the first in a series of novels featuring Jayne Sinclair, genealogical detective. Amazon

I also pounced before the sale ended in the kindle sale and bought the second in the Callum Doyle series; The Helper by David Jackson on the strength of my enjoyment for A Tapping At My Door

The Helper

Blurb

An anonymous caller is willing to give you clues that will help you solve a series of murders.
But there’s a catch: You can’t tell anyone about the help you’re getting.
What do you do?
If you turn the offer down, you will have nothing to go on, and more people could die.
But if you accept it, and fail to interpret the clues correctly, they will still die, and you will have concealed information that could have stopped a killer.
Such is the dilemma faced by New York detective Callum Doyle.
The decision he takes will have consequences that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Amazon

Too Close by Gayle Curtis is to be published in eBook format on 30 June 2016 by Twenty7 books, who publish debut novelists.

Too Close

Blurb

A devastating and unsettling story of a powerful and unshakeable twin bond, Too Close is a twisty and gripping tale of secrets and lies. For fans of The Twins by Saskia Sarginson.
Cecelia and Sebastian have a connection like no other – more than just brother and sister, they’ll go to any lengths to protect each other. Growing up in a bleak old farmhouse, their mother gone and their father violent and abusive, the twins have only each other to keep them alive.
But when the secrets of their mother’s disappearance start to emerge, and truth and lies are thrown into question, events take a terrifying turn . . .
As Cecelia tries to break away from the ties that bind her to her brother, Sebastian is determined that the twins should be together – whatever the costs. Amazon

I also have another from Twenty7, this time due for publication in eBook on 16 June 2016; My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor, another psychological thriller

 

My Husband's Son

Blurb

Heidi and Jason aren’t like other couples.
Six years ago, Heidi’s daughter was murdered. A year later, Jason’s son Barney disappeared. Their shared loss brought them together.
By chance, Heidi meets a boy she’s certain is Barney.
But Jason is equally convinced it’s not him.
Is Heidi mad? Or is Jason hiding something? And can their fragile marriage survive Heidi’s newfound quest for the truth . . . NetGalley

From the publishers Zaffre (also part of the Bonnier publishing house) I have yet another psychological thriller The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe – so my vow to cut back on this genre seems to have fallen by the wayside! But how could I resist this compelling sounding synopsis?

The Ice Beneath Her

Blurb

The Ice Beneath Her is a gripping and deeply disturbing story about love, betrayal and obsession that is impossible to put down. Fast-paced and peopled with compelling characters, it surprises at every turn as it hurtles towards an unforgettable ending with a twist you really won’t see coming . . .
A young woman is found beheaded in an infamous business tycoon’s marble-lined hallway. The businessman, scandal-ridden CEO of the retail chain Clothes & More, is missing without a trace.
But who is the dead woman? And who is the brutal killer who wielded the machete? Rewind two months earlier to meet Emma Bohman, a sales assistant for Clothes & More, whose life is turned upside down by a chance encounter with Jesper Orre. Insisting that their love affair is kept secret, he shakes Emma’s world a second time when he suddenly leaves her with no explanation. As frightening things begin to happen to Emma, she suspects Jesper is responsible. But why does he want to hurt her? And how far would he go to silence his secret lover? NetGalley

Lastly from NetGalley I was extremely surprised and excited to be invited to read a copy of I See You by Clare Mackintosh, the author of I Let You Go which was a huge hit last year.

I See You

Blurb

You do the same thing every day.
You know exactly where you’re going.
You’re not alone.
When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.
Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . . NetGalley

I See You will be published on 28 July 2016!

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH
Since my last count I have read 2 books, discarded 1 as I’d already read it and shifted 3 shorts – I have however gained 6 books – the total this week is now standing at 178 books!
94 physical books
68 e-books
16 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week? Please don’t tempt me too much!