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Dead End: Book review


Book blurb

When the seventh Earl of Lowesdale is found hanging from the rafters at Wasdale Hall, everyone assumes the aging, hard-partying aristocrat had finally had enough of chasing the glory of his youth. But when the coroner finds signs of foul play, DI Kelly Porter is swept into a luxurious world where secrets and lies dominate.

At the same time, two young hikers go missing and it’s up to Kelly to lead the search. But digging deeper reveals ties to two other unsolved disappearances and Kelly and her team find themselves in a race against time.

Now, as all roads of both investigations and Kelly’s own family secrets lead to Wasdale Hall it becomes more important than ever for Kelly to discover the devious truths hidden behind the walls of the Lake District’s most exclusive estate…

Don’t miss this gripping crime thriller featuring an unforgettable detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

My review

This is the third book in a series, but the first one that I read. It’s also does well as a standalone. A dark mysterious atmospheric  thriller. Set in and around the Lake District the writer draws you in with her delft descriptions of both people and place. An old man is found hanged, discovered by his grandson. Is he the one? But what about the two missing hikers? Kept me hooked from page one. 

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Death on the River: Book review


Book blurb

When a body is pulled from the dank and dangerous fens on the outskirts of town, everybody assumes it was a tragic accident. But Detective Tara Thorpe, newly joined and determined to prove herself, suspects there’s more to the story.

Tara is desperate to investigate further, but her supervisor Patrick Wilkins has other ideas. He would rather die than let this ambitious upstart show him up – even if it means some digging in Tara’s secret past to keep her under his thumb. After all, it’s not like he can report her – everyone knows that his boss Detective Garstin Blake and Tara have a history…
When another body is found, it becomes clear that there’s a killer on the loose. Could the murders be linked to the secrets that Tara has been keeping from her team… and can she solve the case before another innocent dies?
Available here 

My review

It’s books like this that made me pick up crime fiction after a hiatus of ten years, ten barren years in the wilderness when all I could read was romance. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with romance but I was brought up on crime (fictional as opposed to a life of). My mother introduced me to dear old Agatha when I was in my teens and I started on a thirty year blast of any and every crime fiction book I could lay my hands on. My husband despaired of this woman he’d married. And then I had kids and my view changed. I still have trouble reading certain types of crime fiction but this…

Tara appears in Chase’s first book for Bookouture but, in my view Murder on the Marshes is the aperitif, this the fancy main course. I can’t wait to see what she serves up next.

In Death on the River Tara has progressed from journalism to cop and the triangle between her, Blake and Wilkins is superbly handled. Add in a wayward wife and stray girlfriend and the tension in police central is high and that’s before the body count starts to rise. There’s so much to love about this book. The characterisations are spot on. People you both want to like and others you enjoy hating and that’s only the cops. Add in a superb tale with hatred at its heart, a tragic tale and  you have  a mouth-watering, Michelin 5 star read.

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The Paris Secret: Lily Graham


Book Blurb

A beautiful Parisian bookshop hides a heartbreaking secret that will tear one family apart forever …

The last time Valerie was in Paris, she was three years old, running from the Nazis, away from the only home she had ever known.
Now as a young woman all alone in the world, Valerie must return to Paris, to the bookshop and her sole surviving relative, her grandfather Vincent, the only person who knows the truth about what happened to her parents. As she gets to know grumpy, taciturn Vincent again, she hears a tragic story of Nazi-occupied Paris, a doomed love affair and a mother willing to sacrifice everything for her beloved daughter.
Can Valerie and Vincent help each other to mend the wounds of the past? Valerie isn’t after a fairytale ending, she only wants the truth. But what is the one devastating secret that Vincent is determined to keep from his granddaughter? 

Available here 

My thoughts

Would you just look at that cover? Isn’t it a beauty? As someone who spends half her life in France and the other half dreaming of going back this cover ticked all my boxes. I read this at the end of the summer after a delightful week in Paris so you can probably guess I was either going to love or hate it…

Guess what? I loved it! 

Two women meet on a train – one young and one old. Annie, isn’t really interested in the old lady, Valerie. She has too much on her mind. But, over the course of their journey she’s dragged deep as Valerie’s story unfolds. A story that takes her back to Paris, but an occupied Paris during WWII. 

This is a charming book, beautifully written and executed. It’s part set in a bookshop, which has an added piquancy as does the extremely well-rounded character, Vincent.

An easy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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The Christmas Sisters: Sarah Morgan 


Book Blurb

It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree, but who’s around it that matters most.All Suzanne McBride wants for Christmas is her three daughters happy and at home. But when sisters Posy, Hannah and Beth return to their family home in the Scottish Highlands, old tensions and buried secrets start bubbling to the surface.
Suzanne is determined to create the perfect family Christmas, but the McBrides must all face the past and address some home truths before they can celebrate together . . . Available here 

My review

There’s nothing wrong with reading Christmas books in September, especially if they’re written by this lady. I’m a huge fan and first in the queue when she has a new release out – and this book certainly didn’t disappoint. 

I have noticed a shift in her writing in both her previous book and now this one but it’s all good. I think I read something about a different editor but, whatever the reason, the writing is more rounded and the plot a little darker. You’re still going to get the trademark HEA but there are a few more bumps along the way to keep those pages flipping.

A story about three sisters who’ve drifted apart since a trauma buried deep. Three very different sisters, who always come home to Scotland for Christmas. This time, two sisters arrive early and Posy, who’s the stay-at-home one is desperate to leave the stifling clutches of such a small town setting. 

Told in the third person narrative and with the POV of each of the sisters and Suzanne, their mother, this is a delightful read full to the brim of Christmas cheer and a tree called Eric. If you’re a fan of theses type of books you’re going to love what Sarah Morgan has come up with.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Secrets Between Us: Valerie Keogh


Book blurb

One letter a week for fifteen years. 780 identical white envelopes brimming with my sister’s darkest secrets. All the intimate details of a life as different to mine as could possibly be.

I read each letter slowly to make sure I understand it perfectly, one day very soon it will be a matter of life and death…

At the end of each letter, after signing her name, there is always one final sentence:
Don’t forget to burn this letter.
I’ll let you decide if I do…

A jaw-dropping psychological thriller that you will read in one sitting. If you loved dark, twisty thrillers like The Girl on The Train, The Couple Next Door and Friend Request, this unputdownable novel will have your heart racing long after you’ve finished reading.
One letter a week for fifteen years. 780 identical white envelopes brimming with my sister’s darkest secrets. All the intimate details of a life as different to mine as could possibly be.

I read each letter slowly to make sure I understand it perfectly, one day very soon it will be a matter of life and death…
At the end of each letter, after signing her name, there is always one final sentence:

Don’t forget to burn this letter.
I’ll let you decide if I do…

Available to pre-order here for only 99p

My review
I have no words, only feelings, and a mishmash at best for this book, but I’ll do my best to share my thoughts.

The plot revolves around identical twin sisters, Ellie and Tia, one a high-achieving business woman and the other suffering from a mild learning disability that means she’s lived in a sheltered-housing type set up for most of her life. When this ‘‘school’  closes Ellie decides to give her sister a home, not realising that…

On breaking it down Secrets Between Us is a character-driven novel that hangs on three individuals: Ellie, Tia and Will (Ellie’s husband). Oh, there are more than just three but they’re all minor. But unlike other books in this popular Psychological Thriller genre Keogh has done the previously unachievable. She’s made the reader invest in these characters as people. Yes. All three of them. I don’t know how she’s managed it but she’s made all of her MC’s equally likeable and hateable (I know it’s not a word, but it should be!). She not only managed to grab me from page one she had me rooting for each one in equal measures. The ending is superb, brilliant even and left me with the book-hangover from hell. I had to resort to a vintage Mills and Boon to cleanse my palate of all things Keogh and I still can’t get that ending out of my head. She’s managed to leave a never-ending trail of thoughts in her wake over this book. 

I was lucky enough to read a very early ARC of this book. My thoughts and opinions are my own.