Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Liar’s Wife – Samantha Hayes

Psychological Thriller
3*s

As I recently mentioned I’ve read far fewer psychological thrillers than usual in 2018 but occasionally a book, or author has come across my radar that begs to be picked up. The Liar’s Wife was one such book; I’ve read previous books by this author, her earlier books being published long before this genre burst into popularity.

And The Liar’s Wife has a premise that you know is going to prove to be a gripping one if only to work out what on earth everyone’s motivation is!

Ella works on promotional films and one night after working a little later, as usual refusing to go for a drink with her colleagues, she gets on her bike to go home. On the way a van clips her bike and she hits the ground. The van driver, as she finds out later speeds off and an ambulance is called to take Ella to hospital.

Ella wakes from a coma to a nurse saying that her husband is on his way to visit her but Ella doesn’t have a husband. However unlike any normal person even when Ella is on the road to recovery she doesn’t tell the nurses who are devoted to her, who this man is. No she keeps quiet and lets him take her home to his house in a gated community. The thing is you see is Ella knows who the man is and keeping quiet is a far better option than that secret being exposed.

The story is full of suspense with the twists and turns kept to the right number, enough to allow the reader to get swept up in the story but not so many that the reader gets that travel sickness feeling as the road ahead is switched backwards and forwards before you’ve got your bearings.

Samantha Hayes knows how to write a good story, the tone is right with the dialogue perfectly pitched (one of my biggest gripes is that the villains in these stories often do little more than menace and grunt while their supposed charm would raise the red flags at an alarming rate of knots). I’d like to stress just how well the author recreated married life for Ella once she was at ‘home’ and the scenes were right up there on the creepy scale and I was absolutely on the edge of my seat for these. And then it all tipped over into the unrealistic territory which was a great shame as my enthusiasm then waned somewhat before the ending. That said, I will stress that part of my ‘problem’ with the genre is the number of books I have read within it. I know that if my brain starts flashing ‘I can’t believe that would happen’ types of warnings that no matter how good the author is, I’m unlikely to buy into anything else and of course what I find unbelievable won’t necessarily apply to the next person.

So if you really do enjoy a fast-moving and well-written psychological thriller The Liar’s Wife has a lot to offer.

I’d like to thank the publishers Bookouture for allowing me to read a copy of The Liar’s Wife before publication later this week on 22 November 2018. This unbiased review is my thanks to them.

First Published UK: 22 November 2018
Publisher: Bookouture
No of Pages: 372
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (November 7)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy 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

I am currently reading The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes which is due to be published on 22 November 2018. This psychological story has drawn me in so far although needless to say I’m still waiting for some pertinent questions to be answered.

Blurb

When Ella wakes up in hospital following a hit and run incident, she is scared and confused. Close to tears, her eyes fall on a get-well-soon card on the window sill and the nurse reassures her that her loving husband will be back soon.

But Ella has never been married… Amazon

The last book I finished was also a psychological thriller which just goes to show after months of cutting down on this sub-genre it still holds plenty of appeal. Camilla Way had wowed me with her previous novel Watching Edie so I was keen to read her latest novel The Lies We Told.

Blurb

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late? Amazon

Next I am planning to read another of my own books A Fractured Winter by Alison Baillie after so enjoying her previous novel Sewing the Shadows Together.




Blurb

A missing girl.
Threatening notes.
Sinister strangers.

Olivia’s idyllic family life in a Swiss mountain village is falling apart. She thought she’d managed to escape the past, but it’s coming back to haunt her. Has somebody discovered her secret – why she had to leave Scotland more than ten years ago? What is her connection to Marie, a lonely schoolgirl in a Yorkshire seaside town, and Lucy, a student at a Scottish university?

A story of the shadows of the past, the uncertainties of the present and how you can never really know anybody. Amazon

What do you think? Any of these books take your fancy this week?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (November 4)

Well it’s good to be back after an unscheduled extended break. In short I’d run out of books to review and we all know you can’t be a book blogger if you are not reading books so I factored in a week’s break, and then I caught the lurgy which put paid to both reading and reviewing!

All’s well now although life is still hectic, and how on earth are we in November already??

This Week on the Blog

Well despite my main reason for taking a break was the lack of books to review, I managed just one in this my first week back blogging…

My excerpt post was from The Lies We Told by Camilla Way, a psychological novel that seemed suitably scary for Halloween week.

This Week in Books featured the authors Elizabeth Haynes, Elly Griffiths and Ann Cleeves, three women brim full with talent.

On Thursday it was time for Five of the Best spanning the Octobers 2014 to 2018 and reminding me of some fantastic five star reads.

And then we get to the review! Murder by the Book by Claire Harman delves into a Victorian true crime and examines the role that a popular book may have had in inciting violence. Fascinating stuff.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre a shocking but many layered story about a boy who accidently kills his young friend.

The scene is set beautifully in the small town of Beauval in France where Antoine lives with his mother. His father decamped to Germany and consequently he has a distant relationship with him. The crux of the story is that Antoine hides Rémi’s body and returns home to his loving mother and shelters as much as possible from reality. He has a child’s view of the world, realistically depicted, and alternately buries his head in the sand and suffers the awful anxiety about his crime being discovered.

We then see Antoine years later, as an adult and come to view the events in a slightly different way but it is really the author’s skill in nailing the small town setting as well as it’s inhabitants. Layer on top of that the reader’s conflict about the discovery of the ‘crime’ and I think you’ll understand why this is one of those books I can’t forget.

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



Blurb

Antoine is twelve years old. His parents are divorced and he lives with his mother in Beauval, a small, backwater town surrounded by forests, where everyone knows everyone’s business, and nothing much ever happens. But in the last days of 1999, a series of events unfolds, culminating in the shocking vanishing without trace of a young child. The adults of the town are at a loss to explain the disappearance, but for Antoine, it all begins with the violent death of his neighbour’s dog. From that one brutal act, his fate and the fate of his neighbour’s six year old son are bound forever.

In the years following Rémi’s disappearance, Antoine wrestles with the role his actions played. As a seemingly inescapable net begins to tighten, breaking free from the suffocating environs of Beauval becomes a gnawing obsession. But how far does he have to run, and how long will it take before his past catches up with him again? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

One thing I have managed to do in my absence is obtain a variety of new books! This week I’m going to share my new additions from NetGalley.

The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes is due to be published on 22 November 2018 by Bookouture and promises to be a shocking psychological thriller.

Blurb

When Ella wakes up in hospital following a hit and run incident, she is scared and confused. Close to tears, her eyes fall on a get-well-soon card on the window sill and the nurse reassures her that her loving husband will be back soon.

But Ella has never been married… Amazon

I am also delighted to have a copy of The Wych Elm by the talented Tana French which is out in paperback already but due to be published for the kindle in February 2019!



Blurb

‘For me it all goes back to that night, the dark corroded hinge between before and after, the slipped-in sheet of trick glass that tints everything on one side in its own murky colours and leaves everything on the other luminous and untouchable.’

One night changes everything for Toby. He’s always led a charmed life – until a brutal attack leaves him damaged and traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He seeks refuge at his family’s ancestral home, the Ivy House, filled with memories of wild-strawberry summers and teenage parties with his cousins.

But not long after Toby’s arrival, a discovery is made: a skull, tucked neatly inside the old wych elm in the garden.

As detectives begin to close in, Toby is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about his family, his past, and himself. Amazon

I have also been gratefully provided with a copy of Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly who is one of my favourite contemporary authors. Stone Mothers will be published on 4 April 2019.

Blurb

You can’t keep the secret.
You can’t tell the truth.
You can’t escape the past…

Marianne was seventeen when she fled her home, her family, her boyfriend Jesse and the body they buried.

Now, forced to return, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving, is finally threatening to expose the truth.

Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built; the husband and daughter who must never know.

Even if it means turning to her worst enemy…
But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep. Amazon

In February 2019 the hardback version of Jane Harper’s third novel The Lost Man will be published and I’ve been fortunate to be provided with a copy in advance of this date.

Blurb

He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him, and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron’s mind when he was alive, he didn’t look peaceful in death.

Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of the outback. In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes hours apart.

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish.

Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects… Amazon

The excitement about all of these upcoming releases is just what I needed having lost all oomph for life over the last couple of weeks!

What have you found to read?

tbr-watch

There has been the annual book sale since my last report and the numbers have jumped to 171!!!

Physical Books – 115
Kindle Books – 37
NetGalley Books –17
Audio Books –2

I have added one review of my own books since my last count and although I bought new books at the annual book sale, they were excluded in the terms and conditions, but my copy of The Murder of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes was not.

 

I therefore have 2 2/3 worth of book tokens!