Posted in Books I have read, Books I want to Read, Five Star Reads

The Liar’s Room – Simon Lelic

Psychological Thriller

This is one of those books where you have to hang onto your seat and follow the ride wherever it takes you, and oh my goodness what a ride it is!

Susanna is a counsellor and on the day we meet her she has two new clients to meet. When the first one, Adam Geraghty walks through the door he seems familiar but she can’t work out where she knows him from. And then he starts to talk…

Susanna is probably more on her guard than the average counsellor because she has a deep and dark secret. The type of secret that is worth saying goodbye to her old life, and starting somewhere else with a brand new identity, all evidence of the past covered over. So now she leads a narrow life which consists of her, and her daughter Emily who is now fourteen years old. Susanna loves Emily and sees her role in life, above all others to keep her safe.

So much of this novel is the conversation between counsellor and counselled which gives the book an incredibly claustrophobic feel. The dialogue between the two is captivating and made all the more so because we know Susanna has something she is trying to hide, but what it is and why she needs to keep it quiet is eked out in a way that had this reader conjuring up different scenarios, most widely off-beam. On one level it is fascinating to watch the game that is being played out in front of our eyes. The weighing up of options on the one hand with the absolute determination to keep the upper hand on the other gives us an immediate view of how liars operate which felt quite unlike anything else in the genre. Yes we often come across manipulative characters and we even see them in full flow but to have an entire book that is based upon a sustained conversation is very unusual indeed.

Although some of the themes have quite naturally been explored by other writers, this is an author so sure of his penmanship that the reader is left to draw their own conclusions to what these might be and he doesn’t go down the well-worn path of what is often trodden by writers in this genre; prepare to be surprised.

The Liar’s Room is clever, very clever. Yes, once I got quite a way into the book, I was able to discern some of what had either happened, was happening or would happen, but I was a long way off the entirety of the answers to all the myriad of questions. This is both spell-binding and compelling and terrifically well written and has firmly cemented Simon Lelic as an outstanding writer. I was already a fan having read and loved The Child Who and more recently The House, and The Liar’s Room has just added to my admiration of an author who can create some basically unlikeable characters but with enough credibility to keeping it real which meant that I couldn’t feel a bit of sympathy for them on at least on some level.

This would undoubtedly be a terrific book club read which I’m sure would provoke some lively discussion because of the strong reactions it is bound create.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the publishers Penguin who allowed me to read a copy of The Liar’s Room ahead of publication in paperback on 9 August 2018. Thank you also to Simon Lelic for keeping me up way past my bedtime in order to find out what happened, and then later still as I pondered what I had just read.

First Published UK: 28 July 2018
Publisher: Penguin 
No of Pages: 352
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (July 24)

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Vicky from I’d Rather Be At The Beach who 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.

This week I’m sharing the opening paragraph of The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic which will be published in paperback on 9 August 2018. or if you want it even sooner it is out in eBook format on 27 July 2018.


Susanna Fenton has a secret. Fourteen years ago she left her identity behind, reinventing herself as a counsellor and starting a new life. It was the only way to keep her daughter safe.

But everything changes when Adam Geraghty walks into her office. She’s never met this young man before – so why does she feel like she knows him?

Then Adam starts to tell her about a girl. A girl he wants to hurt.

And Susanna realises she was wrong. She doesn’t know him. BUT HE KNOWS HER.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Who am I?

She wakes to find herself broken, and it is the first question that enters her head. The next: where am I? She feels drugged, sluggish. Her head is heavy, her senses dulled, as though she were underwater. And there is a fire in her throat. The sensation when she swallows is of trying to ingest crushed glass.
She blinks. Her vision clears but it is the smell of this place she’s in that is revealed. The room stinks of damp, booze days-old urine. It hits her and makes her gag.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ugh.. a bit of a pungent opening but as I happen to know this is an author who is able to really creep me out with his novels, I’ll get passed the stench.

What about you? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (March 4)

Well this has been an interesting week! While the UK was under mounds of snow good old Jersey managed a massive 1 cm (in places) by Thursday morning which meant that I had no excuse not to tramp to work complete with laptop which I’d taken home on the promise of some real snowfall. I hope all of you have managed to stay safe and warm during the ‘real’ snow.

This Week on the Blog

I was in Leicester last weekend celebrating a friend’s birthday and so didn’t do my normal wrap up last week. What I did have was a very generous 15% discount code for World of Books – if you didn’t see my post and you want to take advantage of the discount, it runs until the 31 March 2018.

On Monday I posted my review for Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer which was published on 27 February 2018.

My excerpt post came from The Trick to Time by Kit De Waal which is out on 22 March 2018.

This Week in Books featured the authors Clare Mackintosh, Simon Bourke and Mary-Jane Riley

On Thursday I posted my review for one of my favourite non-fiction reads of all time: Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan.

Friday had me featuring 5 five star reads from February 2014 to 2018 a reminder of how brilliant books don’t ever fade.

Finally another list, this time my preparation for the Classic Club Spin which will take place on Friday – spin gods, if you could give the first five lengthy books a miss, I’d appreciate it as I have about a thousand books due a read and review before 5 April!

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Quieter than Killing by Sarah Hilary. This is the fourth book in the series featuring DI Marnie Rome and her partner DS Jake Noah and another which uses contemporary issues as a basis for the crimes, in this instance the pair find themselves investigating the gangs and their increasingly young recruits. There is outstanding characterisation, not just of the main protagonists, but many of the secondary characters too. With perfect plotting and plenty of twists and turns Sarah Hilary’s books are not to be missed.

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


It’s winter, the nights are dark and freezing, and a series of assaults is pulling DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake out onto streets of London. When Marnie’s family home is ransacked, there are signs that the burglary can have only been committed by someone who knows her.

Someone out there is playing games. It is time for both Marnie and Noah to face the truth about the creeping, chilling reaches of a troubled upbringing. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I have a copy of Rebecca Muddiman’s latest book Murder in Slow Motion which is the fourth in the Gardner and Freeman series and was published on 24 February 2018. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series and am now wondering if I can fit in the third before reading this one – I suspect not since the author would probably like the review before the end of 2018!!



Katy Jackson is missing, last seen at her neighbour’s house.

DI Gardner and DS Freeman think Katy’s boyfriend, Andrew, is overreacting. She’s been gone just a few hours. But next door there’s evidence of a struggle and blood throughout the house.

When they realise Katy’s neighbour is police officer Dawn Lawton, and that Dawn is missing too, it becomes impossible for Gardner to put his personal feelings aside, driving him to put his own career on the line as he tries to find his friend.

As Gardner and Freeman unravel both Katy and Dawn’s secrets, they discover neither woman’s life is what it seems. And when everyone has something to hide, how do you know who to trust? Amazon

And from NetGalley I have a copy of The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic which will be published on 2 August 2018. This is another author whose previous books have wowed me!


Susanna Fenton has a secret. Fourteen years ago she left her identity behind, reinventing herself as a counsellor and starting a new life.

It was the only way to keep her daughter safe. But everything changes when Adam Geraghty walks into her office. She’s never met this young man before – so why does she feel like she knows him?

Adam starts to tell her about a girl. A girl he wants to hurt. And that’s when Susanna realises she was wrong.

She doesn’t know him.
He knows her.
And the girl he plans to hurt is her daughter. NetGalley

Do either of these take your fancy?


Since my last post I have only read 4 books and since I have gained rather more than 4 thanks to David the nice man from World of Books, my TBR has risen to its highest level yet this year 188

Physical Books – 113
Kindle Books – 55
NetGalley Books –21

I haven’t banked any book tokens this week but nor have I bought any books, so I’m still 2 whole books in credit!