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

Watching You – Lisa Jewell

Psychological Thriller

Lisa Jewell just goes from strength to strength as she serves up different scenarios with a whole cast of different characters in this her sixteenth novel and I for one was hooked from page one, where there is out and out darkness in the form of a body on a kitchen floor. The police are in attendance and an investigation is opened.

First of all the author paints us a picture of perfection, a group of colourful houses perched on a hill, the type of house that Joey (Josephine) has always wanted to live in but that seemed unlikely after four years working in Ibiza, and now she’s home with her new husband Alfie in tow. Fortunately her older brother Jack and his pregnant wife Rebecca live in the cobalt coloured house in Melville Heights and her and Alfie had moved in while they sorted out where there life was going next.

Lisa Jewell’s latter books have all had some level of darkness about them but this one hurtles headlong into the undeniable thriller territory. After listening to Joey describing her life to her mum at her grave, we are launched into a transcript of a police interview held at Bristol police station nearly three months past this point. A word of warning, keep your eye on the changing dates, which are easily signposted, because this book does hop backwards and forwards until the past catches up with the present.

There are as in many of this author’s books a number of issues which are sensitively portrayed but with realism at its core rather than the reader getting the feeling that they’ve been used to bolster an otherwise flabby storyline.

At the centre of this book is Tom Fitzwilliam, the head of the local school who is married to Nicola. They also live at Melville heights with their teenage son, Freddie. Joey quickly becomes infatuated with Tom and is watching him. Tom’s son Freddie was documenting the neighbourhood using his digital binoculars but more recently has been using his spy equipment to watch the teenage girls in the vicinity while down in Lower Melville Frances Tripp is convinced that there is a mass of people watching her, so she is watching everyone else.

You might be able to tell from that very short synopsis, apart from a lot of watching, there are lots of characters in this book. And what characters they are, even the teenage girls are kept distinct by Lisa Jewell’s keen eye (and pen) for the little things that make each person unique.
In short I found this latest novel absolutely gripping. I wanted to know who had been murdered, who would want to murder but most of all I wanted to truly understand this eclectic bunch of people who became my neighbours for the duration of the book. Of course it wasn’t that simple with impeccable timing we are drip-fed pieces of information, some of which are red-herrings, so that my opinion on the characters altered the more I learned about them all.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again here, if you haven’t read one of Lisa Jewell’s books you really should, she has a very easy to read style but that isn’t to say that they are superficial, in fact they are anything but!

I’d like to thank the publisher Random House UK for allowing me to read a copy of Watching You and thank you to Lisa Jewell for such a gripping read.

First Published UK: 12 July 2018
Publisher: Random House UK
No of Pages: 496
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Lisa Jewell Novels

Then She Was Gone (2017)
I Found You (2016)
The Girls (2015)
The Third Wife (2014)
The House We Grew Up In (2013)
Before I Met You (2012)
The Making Of Us (2011)
• After The Party (2010)
The Truth About Melody Browne (2009)
• 31 Dream Street (2007)
• Vince and Joy (2005)
• A Friend of the Family (2004)
• One Hit Wonder (2001)
• Thirtynothing (2000)
• Ralph’s Party (1999)

Posted in #20 Books of Summer 2018, Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads, Mount TBR 2018

Sanctum – Denise Mina #20BooksofSummer

Psychological Thriller

My 20 Books of Summer 2018 challenge is a great opportunity to catch up with the back catalogue of some of my favourite authors and so this book, which I found at the local book sale last November was guaranteed a place on the list. As the book was originally published in 2002 I was amazed to see when writing this review that it is now being published as an eBook on 5 July 2018.

Susie Harriot, a forensic psychologist has just been found guilty of murdering a serial killer in her care, Andrew Gow. Susie’s husband Lachlan (Lachie) believes her when she says she is innocent. What we read is Lachie’s recently discovered diary or notes on the case. Lachie having been convinced that she would be found innocent now becomes obsessive, trying to understand his wife’s relationship with Andrew Gow and he is in his element when he finds the notes she wrote about Andrew Gow when she was treating him along with a mountain of other documentation hidden away in her study. I couldn’t help feeling that some of this effort should have been made before, rather than after, the trial. As Lachie digs he begins to realise that the life he thought they were living as a family, wasn’t quite what it seemed.

In the aftermath of the trial Lachie’s parents visit along with an Aunt of Susie’s and he retreats to her previously private study to try to make sense of what has happened. He doesn’t sleep but he has a daughter to care for which causes a stir amongst the staff and other mothers at the nursery she attends – more psychological studies as we observe their behaviour! Denise Mina has a keen eye for observation made all the more delicious because we get to observe the reactions whilst taking a different message from some of the encounters than the Lachie does.

The real beauty of this book is the fact that each of the characters, and the relationships they have, is an individual psychological study. The plot is an original one and I couldn’t wait to see what Lachie would find next, and more intriguingly, what he would make of the information. Let’s just say Lachie is not perhaps as clear-sighted as he might be. There are elements of dark humour as well for instance his dismay when seeing his photo is in the paper, not just because the media are on to him but mainly because it isn’t a flattering picture. As the story progressed I became involved not only in his discoveries but his motivation and ‘take’ on what had happened.

The style of the book begins with a preface explaining the provenance of the document and the ending is in a similar style, ramming home the ‘true-crime’ feel that the book has, for instance the mini exploration around women who are attracted to and become romantically involved with murderers, their motivation and expectations, this device just increased the books appeal as far as I was concerned.
Whilst the characters are on the whole not too pleasant, the exploration of their lives was absolutely fascinating and I was completely hooked. It’s true this isn’t quite like the Paddy Meehan series, nor is it the exploration that I read most recently about Peter Manuel called The Long Drop but it has what I’d call a true psychological base which I love.

An absolute winner of a read and one that absolutely convinced me that I really must read the other books by Denise Mina that I missed when they were first published.

First Published UK: 2002
Publisher: Bantam Press
No of Pages: 304
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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

Our Kind of Cruelty – Araminta Hall

Psychological Thriller

Verity and Mike are an example of a classic love story. They met at university, fell in love and then seven years later, circumstances meant that they had to continue their relationship long-distance to further their careers and ultimately to enable them to buy their dream house in London.

Then it all went wrong and the couple split up.

“I must be cruel only to be kind / Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.”

We meet Mike who in the first half of the book explains his history both before and after he met the love of his life Verity. I’m not really spoiling anything to say that you may find this young man a little hard to warm to, but that’s not to say this isn’t one fascinating story. If you like your psychological themed books of the variety where you see into the minds that view life in a very different way to the norm, you’ll love it.

While they were together Mike and Verity played a game, not of the tame board variety but one of a more adult nature. This game was called ‘The Crave.’ So when Mike receives an invitation to Verity’s wedding to a rich older man, Angus, he interprets this as a continuation of the game and acts accordingly. To the man on the street his behaviour would be classed as stalking, but not to Mike who is convinced that despite losing in act one, he is in with a definite chance in act two. This book tells us how this plays out for the couple.

That’s all I’m going to say about the plot because the power of the book is in the structure and the many layers that have clearly been lovingly thought out to give the reader an insight into stories which reflect the talking points that you probably discuss with friends even if only in the context of your combined relationship history. Someone you know is bound to have known a Mike, and a Verity. What gave me conviction that this is a brilliantly crafted piece of psychological fiction was the way that although I rattled through the book, wondering what was going to happen next, it was only after I had finished that some of the talking points were really revealed. It is one of those books which tempted me to go back to the beginning armed with the knowledge of the ending.

One of the obvious joys in this book was to read a good psychological thriller from a male perspective. I have often said I don’t need to like the protagonists of the books I read and so to read about a damaged man in his own words was fascinating in itself and really was a change from the other way around. Mike is obsessive in his love for Verity and we learn why that may be from his internal thoughts that occupy the first half of the book but we learn about those who inhabit his world and what his view of it does to them too. So very, very clever and utterly compelling.

I have been a fan of Araminta Hall ever since I read her first novel Everything and Nothing way back in 2011, which was followed by Dot in 2013 (which made my top ten reads of that year,) so I was absolutely delighted to be provided with an advance copy of Our Kind of Cruelty by the publishers Century. This unbiased review is my thank you to them and the exceptional author.

First Published UK: 3 May 2018
Publisher: Century
No of Pages: 368
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Secrets She Keeps – Michael Robotham

Psychological Thriller

This is one of those psychological thrillers that is designed to keep you on your toes with the story of two pregnant women.

Agatha is working in the local supermarket when she spies one of the customers Meghan meeting with the other local mothers, ones like her who go to yoga and meet for coffee. Meghan is also pregnant and it looks like their due dates are similar.

Agatha wants Meghan’s life and she soon engineers a situation so that they can bond over their upcoming new arrivals, but Meghan’s life isn’t quite what Agatha perceives it to be… and maybe Agatha is becoming a little too obsessed for both of their sakes.

The novel employs the dual-narrative device with great success giving the reader the ability to see behind the doors of both women’s lives and raising the tension to sometimes unbearable levels which meant this reader spent nearly the whole duration of the book on the edge of her seat.

With the two women coming from entirely different backgrounds and approaching their lives in very different ways it is hard to see how a friendship would ever be possible, but that doesn’t take into account Agatha’s devious nature, when she wants something, she will go for it. The fact that Meghan has become adept at presenting a mask to the world results in some preconceptions that those around her are only too willing to accept as the truth. The success of this book is that more than one character has a secret but which one will cause the most devastating results?

Michael Robotham has shown his skill at creating characters we should dislike but given them enough humanity that the result was I felt a measure of compassion for them. This takes this psychological thriller away from the realms of the deeply unpalatable character doing crazy things and the reader’s thrill is in seeing how bad things can get; In The Secrets She Keeps, even when it was obvious that the story wasn’t heading to a good place, I almost wanted it all to turn out all right, for everyone. This is in part to the flaws in the secondary characters too, no one in this book is saintly but nor are they outright sinners, which gives depth to what is undoubtedly a compulsive read.

This book could also be read as a modern fable so strong is the deadly sin of envy running through each and every page. Agatha thinks that because Meghan has a handsome husband, a beautiful child, a big house and can shop without worrying about what she spends that her life is more successful than hers where she resents taking her shop overall home to wash, preferring to hide it in the storeroom away from the eyes of the disagreeable owner. By being privy to Meghan’s thoughts we know that Agatha’s assessment of her life isn’t quite true and in the end Meghan realises exactly what matters most to her.

I was grateful to receive a review copy of The Secrets She Keeps from the publishers Sphere via NetGalley and this unbiased review is my thanks to them and the author for a fabulous read.

First Published UK: 11 July 2017
Publisher: Sphere
No of Pages:  448
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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

White Bodies – Jane Robins

Psychological Thriller

I can’t deny I was excited to hear that Jane Robins whose non-fiction books The Magnificent Spilsbury and the case of The Brides In The Bath and The Curious Habits of Doctor Adams  I thoroughly enjoyed and which sit proudly on my bookshelf, was writing a psychological thriller. I also can’t deny that I am reading far fewer books in this genre, because many fail to delight me in the way that they once did. But boy did this one work. The plot was tight, the writing engaging and the characters were weird enough to be chilling but normal enough to be believable.

Callie and Tilda are twenty-seven year old twins with Tilda being the more outgoing and outwardly successful of the two, Callie somewhat hampered by an obsessive nature who dwells on every conversation, every look and every perceived slight to the nth degree. It is Callie that waits for invitations for movie nights with her sister but rarely meets up with Tilda’s fun-loving friends. So imagine her excitement when Tilda introduces her to her new man, Felix. But Callie’s overwhelming need to make sure her twin is safe means that she is on her guard.

It isn’t long before Callie hears and sees things that convince her that Tilda is in an abusive relationship and she trawls an on-line forum, obsessively, for confirmation and advice.

This is one of the creepiest psychological thrillers I have ever read. The premise is similar to many others in the genre – these are not people on the whole that you’d want to spend any length of time with, but there are so many aspects of their behaviour that you will have come across in your friends, family or colleagues that all the way through, I had a feeling that this could be true. This genre really does work best when you believe – a bit like fairies – and because it feels so real, as Callie goes searching for clues, it is impossible to separate the truth from the fiction. Added to that the bizarre but sadly only too believable on-line tales that draw Callie into endless discussions about abusive men, the story becomes not only claustrophobic but has a hue of ghastly inevitability.

White Bodies was absolutely compelling, it was one of those wonderful books which from the moment I read the first page I was sure I would enjoy. I don’t know what it is that makes some books far more ‘readable’ than others but this was one of them. What I do know is that this book is solidly underpinned with brilliant writing. Since childhood, I have been drawn to stories about twins, although I sincerely hope that some aspects of twin behaviour, mentioned in this book were dreamt up in Jane Robins’ imagination! Of course there are twists, that is what the genre is all about, but the author hasn’t gone all out to do a complete about face, the book hanging solidly together from the first to the last page and the book doesn’t rely on the twists for a great reading experience, there is much more to enjoy!

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the publishers Touchstone who granted my wish to read White Bodies which will be published in the US on 19 September 2017. UK readers apparently have to wait until after Christmas to read this book, which is somewhat bizarre as the author is British and the book is firmly set in the UK. Anyway despite the wait, if you enjoy a good psychological thriller, and live in the UK, mark this one down as To Be Read and if you are in the US please note your cover is different to the one above – enjoy!

First Published UK: 28 December 2017
Publisher: HQ
No. of Pages: 384
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US



Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Mount TBR 2017

Never Alone – Elizabeth Haynes

Psychological Thriller

It is winter in the North Yorkshire Moors where Sarah Carpenter is coming to terms with the loss of her husband and the emptiness of her farmhouse now that her daughter Kitty has left for university. Her son Louis is not around much having fallen out with Sarah following the death of his father, although she has a good friend in Sophie, a politician’s wife.

Against this backdrop enters Aiden an old flame of Sarah’s who has rented her holiday cottage and she’s pleased to see him but she does wonder what he is keeping secret from her. And so it starts… another riveting psychological thriller from Elizabeth Haynes.

With the bleak background of the landscape, the feeling of claustrophobia inherent in a fairly isolated and remote home the setting is perfect for this dark and often torrid tale.

The cast of characters is superb and it is a sign of what a talented writer Elizabeth Haynes is that their interactions with each other, in a variety of settings allows us to see different aspects of their characters. At the start Sarah is quite a staid woman, worried about money, her children and to be honest not a lot else, her world possibly having shrunk dramatically now that she is widowed. Her sadness over the relationship with her son is eloquently described with the often helplessness from Sarah’s viewpoint that is so often a feature of this type of schism. Fortunately Elizabeth Haynes doesn’t constrain herself in developing just the main characters, every one we meet in this book is far more than a shadowy figure on the page and the way they bounce off each other definitely takes this book to a higher level than expected. Sophie and her sleazy MP husband George are just two that you may not like, but you are definitely be able to place them in a wider context than is usual with secondary characters.

It’s fair to say her children and her friends aren’t overly impressed with Aiden staying in the cottage when they know so little about him, and then when his choice of profession comes to light they are even less enamoured with the idea. Sarah is hurt by this but she is a loyal woman and although she has momentary doubts she isn’t about to kick Aiden out.

The story is mainly told from Sarah’s viewpoint in the Sarah’s in the third person although we also get Aiden’s side of things is told in the second person which is one of the rare occasions in a book where this actually works without jarring. Added to this we occasionally have a chilling narrative inserted along the way, who this belongs to and why it is there only becomes apparent at the end of the book which ends in a satisfying manner.

I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Haynes ever since I picked up her newly published book Into the Darkest Corner which incidentally was the read that really got me hooked on psychological thrillers, she certainly didn’t disappoint me with Never Alone, although the moral of the story is that perhaps it is sometimes better to be alone…

Never Alone was my sixteenth read in the Mount TBR challenge as I actually read this book back in June – the 20 books of summer 2017 challenge having somewhat disrupted my reviewing although some of these also count towards this challenge too – a full update on where I’m at will follow once I’ve done a proper count and updated Goodreads!




First Published UK: 28 July 2016
Publisher: Myriad
No of Pages:  352
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Other Books by Elizabeth Haynes

Into the Darkest Corner (2011)
Revenge  of the Tide (2012)
Human Remains (2013)
Under a Silent Moon (2013) – DCI Louisa Smith #1
Behind Closed Doors (2015) – DCI Louisa Smith #2

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Lost in the Lake – A.J. Waines

Psychological Thriller

This psychological thriller is centred round one of my favourite premises, memory loss and psychotherapist, A.J. Waines, has enough knowledge about the subject to ensure that this tale rings true.

Rosie was in a terrible accident. So awful that she is the only survivor of the crash that saw the van she was travelling in plunge into a lake. Rosie was lucky, grabbing her viola she swam to shore but she needs to know what happened to the other members of the string quartet, and as of yet, no one can tell her. Rosie and the rest of the quartet had been offered pay over the odds to play at an anniversary party a decade after they’d first played for the couple, the difference is that then they were playing together regularly but these days they are all leading very different lives.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author, although this is the second book in the Dr Samantha Willerby series, and it is the good doctor that Rosie turns to in a bid to recover the memories she knows are missing. It is clear that the author’s background has leant a real air of truth to the engagement between the good doctor and her patient. With Rosie convinced that if she can recover her memories all will be well, the doctor agrees to help her with the latest research methods which later include travelling to the scene of the crash.

From this synopsis it may appear that this is a straightforward piece of crime fiction albeit one with a clinical psychologist at the heart of the investigation rather than the story being told from the police’s viewpoint, but the dynamic between Rosie and Sam really adds a totally different dimension to the story.

With the chapters alternating between the two women with an overlap of part of their experiences I was both dumbstruck and totally involved in both women’s stories. Trying to sift through Rosie’s memories and her recall of the first party they played certainly gives the reader plenty to ponder over; exactly my kind of crime fiction.

I am pleased to confirm that I didn’t feel that my enjoyment was at all hampered by not reading the first book in the series as the author provided enough of the back story to fill in any gaps but cleverly despite hints, not enough to put me off going back to discover Inside the Whispers.

My favourite type of psychological thriller is those books that truly explore the crevices of the mind and it is brilliant that it isn’t only the patient in this book that gets that treatment; the doctor is unveiled not only as someone who cares greatly about her patients but one who doesn’t necessarily like them all, and in common with the vast majority of humanity,  she can still be unnerved by unexpected behaviour. Isn’t it wonderful when the characters are both intriguing and yet completely believable? All this resulted in a fascinating as well as thrilling read with enough twists and turns to keep this reader firmly on her toes.

I’d like to thank the author for providing me with an advance copy of Lost in the Lake ahead of publication today, 7 September 2017. This review is my unbiased thank you for a wonderful journey into the mind.

First Published UK: 7 September 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace
No. of Pages: 388
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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

In Her Wake – Amanda Jennings

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Psychological Thriller

Well this is a belter of a book, one that both took me by surprise and delighted me with the affection I felt for the key characters. In my mind a successful book has a number of elements, a mystery, a strong plot underpinned by believable characters, preferably in extraordinary circumstances, In Her Wake hits these and has that special something extra too.

Bella has led a sheltered life. She’s a librarian at a university, the wife of a much older, protective man David. Nothing is too much for him, he even lovingly reminds her when to put a sweater on to avoid feeling the cold. Bella and David return to The Vicarage in Cornwall, Bella’s childhood home, where she had been home-schooled by her adoring mother Elaine. The funeral was a fairly dismal affair, Elaine and her father Henry having been estranged from their wider family so it is after a pretty bleak stay that they prepare to leave, but then events take a turn for the worse. Henry leaves Bella a note telling her that her whole life has been based on a lie, not a little lie but a big fat juicy one.

After this shock Bella struggles to cope, unsurprisingly, and begins to find David’s solicitous attention stifling rather than soothing. Dwelling on the information that Henry had belatedly bestowed, she decides to travel to St Ives to investigate what her father has told her. Leaving David behind she boards a train and for the first time in her life, has only herself to rely on. In St Ives she finds a place to stay and learns about the Celtic legend of Morveren.

I’m not going to say anything further about the plot as the less you know going into it the more delightful the experience will be. What I will say is that this is a psychological thriller of years gone by. From the very first page I had a sense of unease but with no clue as to what was going to be revealed. This is no fast and furious read full of twists and turns, it is the wise older sister to that style, full of real unveiling of the characters their own actions to expose the truth behind the façade. This rarefied storytelling allows each sentence to mean something at times with something approaching poetry.

With the characters all experiencing a wide range of emotions the author did a fantastic job of portraying those who relished in confrontation with those who avoided it and then when the subject matter switched, those who’d been happy to shout the odds, behaved differently, and yet remained entirely believable – what I’m trying to say that each character was the combination of their experience, no one was always shouty or always timid, depending on circumstance, and typically difficult situation, they reacted accordingly which made for a brilliant read. There was no doubt in my mind that these were real people, struggling with an unusual situation.

The setting itself, lends itself to magnificent description but the author adds to the beauty of the scenery by contrasting it with the inside of a one particular house, fusty and dark full of memories, truths, despair and desperation. The scenes by the sea where Bella pondered on the fate of Morveren, were sometimes dark, but again, not always so we get the contrast in the setting as well as those of the characters.

If you couldn’t already tell, I loved this book. Psychological thrillers are not the place I expect to meet characters that get under my skin quite so much, and that plural is fully intended, there were a few people in this book that I wanted to meet along the way, to give them a hug and wish them well on their journey.

First Published UK: 22 March 2016
Publisher: Orendo Books
No of Pages: 340
Genre: Psychological Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Woman in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware

Psychological Thriller 4*s
Psychological Thriller

Lo Blacklock has won the office prize! Her boss Rowan is unable to take a cruise on a luxury boat to see the Northern Lights, so after ten years of doing travel journalism she’s finally going to have an expensive trip to write about. The trip on the Aurora promises fine dining and pampering aplenty and Lo will just have to file some pieces extolling its virtues! What could possibly go wrong?

Sadly, Lo has a traumatic experience just before setting off which indirectly led to a split with her boyfriend who she’s been holding at arm’s length. Not the best start when the boat isn’t a huge cruise-liner but a compact yet bling encrusted yacht with populated by other journalists, the billionaire owner and his wife and a smattering of the great and the good. Despite her personal problems Lo is determined to make this trip count, to make her mark and hopefully bag the stand-in role for Rowan when she takes her maternity leave. She’s pleased to meet a former boyfriend Ben on the boat, especially due to the anxiety that she’s suffered for years which has been made worse by the trauma of days before she drinks too much and quite frankly doesn’t really pull off the ambitious yet capable journalist look she was going for.

After retiring to her cabin she believes she hears a scream, followed by a big splash. The partition separating her verandah from the one in Cabin 10 is smeared with blood and the girl she saw in there earlier has disappeared. Lo fears she’s been tipped into the water and begins to raise the alarm, but it seems she’s not going to be believed.
The setting on a boat is great for this closed house type mystery and the lack of phone signal and the Wi-Fi being down completes the isolation from the rest of the world, and crucially stops Lo from doing what she’d like, which is to escape. Denied safety and panicking more than ever, unsurprisingly as she believes she’s on a boat with a killer, Lo tries to investigate herself. What follows is a fairly twisty turny read that is claustrophobic in the extreme. The style is underpinned by crisp writing, although we have an insight into Lo’s anxiety issues they are not endlessly dwelt upon so the plot moves along at a fair old pace.

I often say I don’t have to like the characters to enjoy a book and in The Woman in Cabin 10, it wasn’t that I actively disliked Lo but I didn’t really have it in me to whole-heartedly sympathise with her – this left me feeling more than a bit mean as I’m sure I wouldn’t enjoy being on a boat with no means of escape with a killer, but it did leave me feeling a little bit at odds with the book which was disquieting.

There is no doubt that Ruth Ware has come up with a book that is a modern twist on the locked house scenario. There are very few opportunities for this type of setting in the modern world where we can access someone the other side of the world with ease but the boat setting was entirely believable (although such an exclusive setting is one that I suspect few of us have experienced. From a fairly sedate start the pace slowly mounted to reach an action-packed finale, no sitting around passively while the detective pronounces the killer in this version!

If I’m honest I did prefer this author’s debut novel In a Dark Dark Wood, maybe because the setting and characters were far more familiar to me than those presented in this book. I like being able to relate to the characters in particular, even if I wouldn’t want to spend time with them but the mixture of sycophantic journalists and wealthy businessmen really don’t feature that heavily in my life. If you want a book with a bit of escapism with high drama, this is well-worth a read.

I’d like to thank the publisher Random House UK for allowing me to read a copy of this book which was published on 30 June 2016. This honest review is my thank you to them.

First Published UK: 30 June 2016
Publisher: Random House UK
No of Pages: 352
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (June 1)

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

Well it’s June 1 2016 which can mean only one thing; I am starting my month of reading books from my own bookshelves, including some that I’ve picked for 20 Books of Summer 2016

So I’m about to start The Poison Principle by Gail Bell as recommended to me by Hayley of Rather Too Fond of Books following this year’s random interest in poisoners!

The Poison Principle


When Dr William Macbeth poisoned two of his sons in 1927, his wife and sister hid the murders in the intensely private realm of family secrets. Like the famous poisoner Dr Crippen, Macbeth behaved as if he were immune to consequences; unlike Crippen, he avoided detection and punishment. Or did he?
As time passed, the story of Dr William Macbeth, well-dressed poisoner, haunted and divided his descendants. Macbeth’s granddaughter Gail Bell, who grew up with the story, spent ten years reading the literature of poisoning in order to understand Macbeth’s life. A chemist herself, she listened for echoes in the great cases of the 19th and 20th centuries, in myths, fiction and poison lore.
This intricate story, with a moving twist at the end, is a book about family guilt and secrets, and also an exploration of the nature of death itself – as Bell turns to her grandfather’s poisonous predecessors, from Cleopatra, Madame Bovary and Napoleon, as well as looking at Harold Shipman. Amazon

I have just finished My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor, a psychological thriller, that thrills!

My Husband's Son

You can read the synopsis and a couple of excerpts in yesterday’s post

Next up.. and I hope you appreciate how difficult this post is to write, as I haven’t scheduled my choices as normal, the spreadsheet is still there but it simply has a list of books so chaos and disorder reign… will be Bloody Women by the wonderful Helen FitzGerald. Bloody Women has been on my kindle since February 2014 so it deserves to be read especially as I’ve enjoyed the three books I’ve already read by this author; The Cry, The Exit and Viral

Bloody Women


Returning to Scotland to organise her wedding, Catriona is overcome with the jitters.
She decides to tie up loose ends before settling permanently in Tuscany, and seeks out her ex-boyfriends.
Only problem is, they’re all dead. Goodreads

What are you reading this week? Do share in the comments envelope below!