Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Foster Child – Jenny Blackhurst

Psychological Thriller

This is one very disturbing psychological thriller from a writer who has more than secured her place in my must-read authors with her first two books How I Lost You and Before I Let You In. It is a testament to the writer’s skill that despite the book more than gently touching on supernatural elements, which I normally avoid, that I was able to put this to one side and still enjoy the read, this review should therefore be read with my personal feelings on the subject matter taken into account.

Imogen Reid is moving from private practice as a child psychologist to one who works as part of a social work team who find the resources to support children. Her reasons for leaving aren’t voluntary and as a result the house move and new role do not instantly sit easily with her. One of her first cases is that of Ellie Atkinson, just twelve who lost both her parents and her brother in a fire and is now being fostered by a family with their own daughter and a son who is also fostered.

No sooner have we got some idea about Imogen as she travels to her new role than we meet Ellie in a somewhat bizarre incident full of furious adults. It doesn’t take much longer to realise that Ellie is distrusted by those around her. What I struggled with, as alluded to above is the nature of the distrust but as a story about the behaviour of groups, this is frighteningly accurate and all the more disturbing for that.

There is no let-up in the tension throughout this book, the scenes move at a fast pace with no break at all from incident to incident, scary child to really horrific scenes of bullying from irrational adults to the inadequacies of those who should be helping to actually being able to. As the story raced along my uneasiness about the true nature of the story becoming less entrenched as I began to at least begin to put the pieces of the puzzle the right way up if not managing to make a full picture before the reveal. As might be expected from this author though there were still a few surprises to pull the rug from under my feet.

The scenes in Imogen’s office, especially the lack of technology on the first day, will be familiar to practically anyone who has been in this position and for me it was these scenes that kept me rooted. There are simply so many real truths within the books that I could either relate to or fully believe that the supernatural element became less and less important as the book progressed. The bullying aspect was so well portrayed, some of it far more horrific to read but the endless bubbling of discord amongst Ellie’s peers was an all to accurate picture of how a child, who you would naturally assume is given some sympathy for all she’s been through, is singled out for being different.

I did enjoy the read despite my initial reservations and I’m sure that The Foster Child will be a huge hit with many lovers of psychological thrillers – it is creepy, it is full of tension and it is definitely thrilling.

I’d like to thank the publishers Headline for allowing me to read a copy of The Foster Child which was published for the kindle in September and will be out in paperback on 16 November 2017.

First Published UK: 21 September 2017
Publisher:  Headline 
No. of Pages:  400
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (July 30)

Weekly Wrap Up

The end of an exceptionally busy week catching up on all I missed during my absence with work, friends and family. Sadly my phone didn’t like the Spanish  which is making the sharing of posts etc. more problematic than I would like, so please bear with me until it is fixed.

I have however managed to read three books this week which is causing its own problems as I’ve still got stacks of reviews to write from June and my sketchy notes are not really providing as much assistance as I need!

On a more personal front I’ve received a couple of photo albums that my Grandmother kept complete with her annotations and just had to share this one for the summer – My Grandmother is the stylish lady on the right!


Modern Girls & their ‘Modern’ Bathing Suits on Clapham Sands circa 1930

It’s taking a long time to decode some of these and although I’m fairly sure the writing says Clapham Sands I’m not really sure if that is correct or not – there’s definitely sand in the picture, but in Clapham?

This Week on the Blog

The week started with me publishing the planned second set of my 20 Books of Summer Challenge – I’ve got just over a month to read these and once again, I’m not entirely sure I’m going to make it but I will give it my best shot!

On that note, I reviewed book 6 of the selection, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and kind commenters have pointed me in the direction of a couple of films to check out linked to that stunning read.

In This Week in Books I shared my reading by authors: Robert Thorogood, Sarah Franklin and Isabel Ashdown.

My second review of the week was for Lisa Jewell’s latest novel, her darkest yet, Then She Was Gone which was awarded the full five stars by Cleopatra Loves Books

On Friday I reviewed Little Sister by Isabel Ashdown which was published on 27 July 2017 an excellent read which also received five stars.

My week was rounded up with my Six in Six -2017 Edition categorising my favourite reads of the first half of  the year under six different headings.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading I See You by Claire Mackintosh a chilling story set on the London Tube – my review for this starts with memories of travelling on the tube with my beloved Grandmother sans fetching bathing suit, it being a good forty plus years after the photo above was taken and not really tube travelling attire!

Claire Mackintosh has really produced a fantastically scary yet all too believable story with all the characters lifelike enough that you feel you know them warts and all.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover


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 . . Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I was absolutely thrilled to be approved for a copy of Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan which I’ve had my eye on since I first saw it mentioned on social media – it isn’t out until January 2018 but I doubt whether I will be able to wait until then to read it.


Part courtroom thriller; part portrait of a marriage; part exploration of how our memories still haunt us, Anatomy of a Scandal is a disarming and provocative psychological drama.

Sophie’s husband, James, is a loving father and a successful public figure. Yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to engulf him. She’s kept his darkest secret ever since they were first lovers, at Oxford. And if she stood by him then, she can do it now.

Kate is the barrister prosecuting his case. She’s certain that James is guilty and determined he should pay. No stranger to suffering herself, she doesn’t flinch from posing the questions few want to hear. About what happens between a man a woman when they’re alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in a lift . . .

Is James the victim of an unfortunate misunderstanding or the perpetrator of something sinister? Who is right: Sophie or Kate? This scandal – which forces Sophie to appraise her marriage and Kate her demons – will have far-reaching consequences for them all. NetGalley

I also have a copy of The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst, another win as I really enjoyed this author’s previous two books How I Lost You and Before I Let You In . The Foster Child will be published on 16 November 2017.


When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous.

Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced she’s just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss.

But Ellie’s foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger… NetGalley

And finally while I was away I received Need to Know by Karen Cleveland which looks to be a hot release for 2018!


Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counter-intelligence analyst assigned to uncover Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents – seemingly normal people living in plain sight.

After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her is threatened – her job, her husband, even her four children.

Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust? Amazon


Since my last post I’ve read 3 books and gained 2

The current total is therefore 176
Physical Books – 102
Kindle Books – 59
NetGalley Books – 15