The Marriage Trap by Sheryl Browne @Bookouture #Review #Psychological #thriller @SherylBrowne

Woohoo! Another FABULOUS psychological thriller. I hadn’t read any of Sheryl Browne’s books before and since I’m always hunting for new authors, this was a real treat. Who doesn’t love a good psych thriller, where two complex personalities collide and there are emotional knots to unravel.

Description:

The Marriage Trap: A completely addictive psychological thriller by [Browne, Sheryl]My husband has been keeping secrets for a long time. He thinks I don’t know what he does outside of this house. But I know everything… 

Karla watches silently as Jason hurriedly packs his belongings into a suitcase. She knows that her stillness is unnerving him as she watches his every move from the doorway of their bedroom.

Clothes are screwed up and packed into the case, along with a watch she bought him for his last birthday and his precious laptop. He takes everything from his bedside table. Everything except the framed wedding photo, which now stands alone. Karla strains to see the smiling faces in the photo. If only she knew then what she knows now.

‘I’ve fallen in love with someone else,’ he’d said to her, just moments earlier. The brutality of those words hit Karla hard and she struggled to breathe as she took in each word in turn.

You may think you know what Karla will do next. But you’ll be wrong. Because Karla isn’t who you think she is. Only she knows what’s about to happen. And you will never see it coming.

An absolutely gripping psychological thriller for readers who loved The Girl on the TrainGone Girl and The Other Woman. With twists you’ll never see coming, you will not be able to put this one down!

Print Length: 323 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (July 30, 2019)

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

ASIN: B07SQ43947

Buying Links: UK here  &   US here

Review
What the book is about:

Four personalities, four points of view. Karla, her husband Jason, and Karla’s parents Diana and Robert. The story starts in the midst of a marriage breakup with occasional glimpses of earlier times explaining how the marriage turned sour. Karla’s pain is unmistakable as she slides into a sequence of events that are not only self-destructive to her marriage and to the relationship she holds dear with her ‘babies,’ but also her reputation at work. Witnessing such a tipping point is sheer torture, as Browne leads her readers down a slippery slope with no hope of recovery. As Jason pursues an enticing on-line interest, the little grey cells in my head began to get the drift.

When we meet Karla, she has probably hit rock bottom and her character is going through the inevitable stages of grief — self-denial being the theme that carries throughout the book — and trying to right a wrong she has no hope of doing on her own. You can’t help feeling for Jason, with or without his faults, and I hoped he would somehow make a change.

My thoughts:

The ending had thee surprising twists, although there was one I had toyed with earlier. It was later confirmed with powerful backstory of Karla and Sarah, and Michael Kinsella’s background.

The family dynamic was complex. Robert a hardened Lothario with a reputation to uphold and a horrible secret he is desperate to keep. The most manipulative of the four, he drove me insane, especially with a motive that would have driven any protagonist over the edge.

Diana, enjoying the lifestyle that goes with being married to a businessman, has a few secrets of her own. I think out of all of the characters in the book, I liked her the best. Guilt-ridden to the end, she continued to demonstrate an inner strength and a sacrificial love for Sarah and Karla. We can all empathize with her situation.

This is a well-written, pacey read, hard to put down and cleverly plotted.

Summary:

When I think of divorce, I often wonder if it’s because the ‘exciting’ part of a person’s character has been stripped away with raising two children and navigating life. That’s why the fairy tales end with ‘they lived happily ever after’ because to go any further would spoil it. There are stress fractures in Karla and Jason’s relationship that need loving reinforcement. But what would happen if they had been allowed to go back in time and bottle the essence of what attracted them to each other in the first place. Could they reclaim some of the excitement and magic they first experienced? Did Karla demonstrate this with what she did? Without spoilers, you’ll just have to read it.

Thank you to Netgalley, author Sheryl Browne and publisher Bookouture for an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

What readers are saying about the book:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Oh my goodness I can finally breathe!! What an amazing, addictive and totally gripping read this was… you will not be able to put it down!!’ Goodreads reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! What a rollercoaster of a ride that story was, bloody brilliant!… If you enjoyed The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl then this story is for you!’ Between the Pages Book Club

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Stunning… Gripping, tense and suspenseful… a heart in mouth and pulse-racing realistic thriller… I loved it.’ Goodreads reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Phew… Goosebumps, shivers down my spine and the hairs on the back of my neck were standing on end, that’s how good this book is.’ Goodreads reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘I’m speechless… It is just amazing.’ Rachel’s Random Reads

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Wow!! I was totally taken away with this book from page one.’ Goodreads reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘An unputdownable read. I loved that I had no idea what the author had in store next for me.’ By the Letter Book Reviews

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Clear some room in your diary, you will not want to put this down.’ Goodreads reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘I read it in less than a day. I had to know what happened to who and when!!!… 10/10.’ Goodreads reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Absolutely amazing. Twisted, thrilling and chilling. This book is one you will pick up and not want to put down.

About the Author:

Sheryl BrowneBestselling Author, Sheryl Browne, writes taught, dark, twisty psychological thriller and contemporary fiction. Sheryl’s latest psychological thriller THE MARRIAGE TRAP comes to you from fabulous BOOKOUTURE. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

So why does Sheryl write in two genres? Quoting E. L. Doctorow, Sheryl says: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights.” This she thinks sums up a writer’s journey, you never quite know where you are going until you get there. If Sheryl’s not sure where a character is going, she simply has to trust him to show her the way. Plus, according to one reviewer, she also has a scary insight into the mind of a psychopath. To find out more about Sheryl’s novels, go to http://www.facebook.com/SherylBrowne.Author/ or follow @SherylBrowne on Twitter. To find out more about Sheryl, go to http://www.sherylbrowne.com

More books by Sheryl Browne:

Sheryl Browne

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LITTLE GIRLS SLEEPING by Jennifer Chase @Bookouture #Review #Crime #SerialKillerThriller

I was absolutely thrilled to be invited to join the Blog Tour for Jennifer Chase’s first police procedural series staring Detective Katie Scott. What can I say – but a BIG WHOPPING WOW! For those who love a meaty police procedural series, you’ll love Little Girls Sleeping.

Description:

Little Girls Sleeping: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Katie Scott Book 1) by [Chase, Jennifer]He looked down at the little girl, sleeping peacefully, her arms wrapped around a teddy bear. He knew he was the only one who could save her. He could let her sleep forever…

An eight-year-old girl, Chelsea Compton, is missing in Pine Valley, California and for Detective Katie Scott it’s a cruel reminder of the friend who disappeared from summer camp twenty years ago. Unable to shake the memories, Katie vows she won’t rest until she discovers what happened to Chelsea.

But as Katie starts to investigate – her PTSD flashbacks kept at bay with the help of her loyal ex-military dog, Cisco – the case reveals itself to be much bigger and more shocking than she feared. Deep in the forest, she unearths a makeshift cemetery: a row of graves, each with a brightly coloured teddy bear.

Tracing the silk lining the coffins, Katie links the graves to a stack of missing-persons cases involving young girls – finding a pattern no one else has managed to see. Someone in Pine Valley has been taking the town’s daughters for years, and Katie is the only one who can stop them.

And then another little girl goes missing, snatched from the park near her home…

Compulsive and gripping crime fiction for fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh. Katie Scott’s first case will have you on the edge of your seat and gasping with shock.

Print Length: 335 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (May 31, 2019)

Publication Date: May 31, 2019

Book Links:  British flag  UK here   US flag  US here

Review

What’s the book’s about:

If Little Girls Sleeping is the first book in a new series by Jennifer Chase, I’m definitely looking forward to the second. Katie Scott arrives home to Pine Valley, having returned from Afghanistan. Suffering from PTSD and anxiety, she is fighting her own internal battles and is fortunate to have a service dog call Cisco. A trusted friend and faithful companion. Her uncle Wayne, who is the sheriff in Pine Valley offers her a job in his department filing cold cases, when she stumbles across the case of Chelsea Compton, an 8-year old girl who went missing over four years ago. Knowing from personal experience what it must be like to lose a school friend in this way, she can’t help secretly investigating the case of a brutal serial killer, which unsurprisingly makes for a few enemies along the way.

My thoughts:

Although I torpedoed through this book a little too fast, I was able to pick up plenty of detail. There are some wonderfully well drawn characters in this police procedural book. Cisco, of course, being my favorite. All dog-lovers will look forward to meeting such a faithful and resourceful explosives K9 and the bond between the two is palpable. Templeton is such a jerk but you always get one, don’t you? Our protagonist, Katie – ex military and now a detective – comes with all the flaws we tend to see in Detective novels, severe anxiety being one of them. But she’s got the right background when you consider law enforcement to be one step away from the paramilitary with all the training that goes with it. So she’s a natural. The antagonist, on the other hand, is clearly threatened by her expertise and gut and these chapters are cleverly woven through the story adding pace and a deeper context to the narrative. There is a plethora of forensic language to beef up the overall ‘feel’ of the book – and twists and turns that will leave you shuddering in your boots. With the author’s background in criminology, it adds an extra layer to the plot which I appreciated at the outset.

Summary:

You always struggle watching determined female detectives being picked on in such a male dominated environment, especially those who feel she’s a threat. I always place my bets with the underdog and so it was a relief to see Katie finally getting the recognition she deserved. I thought the writing was strong and I will look forward to seeing the development of the character arc in future episodes. Highly recommended if you enjoy the Detectives Kane and Alton series by D.K. Hood also published by Bookouture.

Special thanks to:

I want to thank the author Jennifer Chase, the publisher Bookouture and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this terrific ARC.

About the Author:

Jennifer ChaseJennifer Chase holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology. Her intense curiosity in the psychological aspect of crime is what drives her to write crime fiction. She lives in California, where she’s currently at work on her next book in the series.

For more information about Jennifer Chase, books, forensics, and criminology, please visit http://www.authorjenniferchase.com

What people are saying:

THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS PUTTING THIS BOOK DOWN!!!!!… I was literally holding my breath… I HAD TO KNOW!!!!! As for the explosive ending WOW definitely not what or who I was expecting.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

I was really wowed by it… I couldn’t put the book down and was trying to read as fast as I couldso I could find out who the killer was. The ending took me by surprise… I was literally gasping for air… I would definitely recommend.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow what an absolutely amazing fantastic read. I was hooked almost as soon as I started this book.I am still trying to pick my chin off the floor. I loved it from page one and couldn’t read the pages quick enough. I did not see the end coming… Awesome.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

If you read one police thriller this year make sure that it is this one… it will grip you from the start and will drag you into the story trying desperately to work out who the killer is but I promise you that you will not be able to figure it out.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘A great way to start a new series! It’s a wonderfully written roller-coaster ride. A must read!’ Book Obsessed Introverts, 5 stars

Believe me when I say that you are in for a thrilling read!… I could not put it away. Can highly recommend!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow!… The hairs on my head stood up with this one!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

A nail-biting thriller… I was gripped from page one, through each twist and turn… until I reached the climax which was shocking and totally unexpected.’ Netgalley reviewer, 5 stars

Other Books by this Author:

Jennifer Chase

Queen of the Warrior Bees by Jean Gill @The13thSign #bookreview #newrelease #teen #YA #magicalrealism

From multi-talented, award-winning author Jean Gill, author of The Troubadours Quartet, comes Queen of the Warrior Bees. Book 1 in the Natural Forces Series, is a Number 1 New Release on Amazon in  Teen & Young Adult Environmental Conservation & Protection eBooks. Hardly surprising when you see not only a heart-stopping cover, but the quality of the writing itself. One of those books I couldn’t wait to read, below is my review and book description:

Description:

Queen of the Warrior Bees: One misfit girl and 50,000 bees (Natural Forces Book 1) by [Gill, Jean]Epic eco-fantasy from the award-winning author of The Troubadours Quartet 
One misfit girl and 50,000 bees. Together they must change the world. As the Mages of the Citadel fight amongst themselves and prepare for war against the Forest, Mielitta, a despised servant, has her own battle to face. Bastien and Jannlou, the boys who terrorised her as a child, have grown into their status as Mages and she cannot escape them forever.

In desperation, she flees to the forbidden Forest and its dangerous attractions. Her scent angers thousands of bees and, although she survives their attack, she has changed. A strange bee symbol glows on her thigh and her senses are altered. She learns that her connection with bees enables her to summon their aid and gives her the power to shift shape.

This new-found bond works both ways and the bees need Mielitta’s help as the rift widens between Forest and Citadel. Can one girl and a colony of bees reunite Man and Nature, or is the split irreversible?

Block Nature out and she’ll force a way in. 

Print Length: 308 pages

Publisher: The 13th Sign (June 7, 2019)

Publication Date: June 7, 2019

Links: US  US flag  here     UK  British flag  here

 

Review

There are so many things to love about this book. Bees, a warrior girl and the fight for survival.  The premise is unique and sure to summon a wide audience of fantasy and conservationists alike. Written by an author I have followed for her historical Fiction Troubadour series, I thought I’d give this new genre a whirl. I particularly enjoyed the sensitive and thoughtful dedication to another great author with a love of forests.

Written in the author’s distinctive voice, I was drawn right in from the start. It’s not hard to see why this book has so many good reviews and has stayed at #3 in its category since publishing. With a few hives of her own, Gill is definitely qualified to write it.

Right from the beginning, Mielitta is out of the ordinary, looked upon like ‘a specimen in a school study’. A foundling, her upbringing is not as clear-cut as the other children in the Citadel—a place of privilege and excess—and she is destined to be rejected and despised. I was already hooked to her plight and wanted to know how she could duck and dive from the clutches of Jannlou and Bastien, (apprentice mages raised to those positions because of their fathers) and how, if ever, she could fight back. Tormented and victimized, she is forced outside the Citadel to the forbidden Forest — a place no one speaks of.

When stung by a swarm of bees, a startling and rather exciting metamorphosis begins. Equipped with a hive mind, her weaknesses soon become her strengths. She’s no longer alone, no longer an outcast, but she must learn new skills if she is to overcome the muscle of the mages. Terrific world-building, underpinned with political intrigue, there is so much at stake for this feisty heroine who seeks the help of those who need help themselves.

There are so many clever observations, (too many to name) but one did stick out: ‘The bees puzzled over the concept of overcrowding and gave up on it as bizarrely human.’ Fresh and ingenious descriptions of the forest and the creatures themselves are ones you won’t forget. A veritable feast of colour and phosphorescence, like tiny little glow sticks in the night.

Gill’s characters are always robust with great mental discipline and dreams of accomplishing the impossible. The first instalment leaves a few tantalizing questions for readers to be desperate for the next book. I know I am.

Thank you to the author, Jean Gill and the publisher, The 13th Sign, for an advanced copy of this fabulous book.

About the Author

Jean GillJean Gill is a Welsh writer and photographer living in the south of France with two scruffy dogs, a beehive named ‘Endeavour’, a Nikon D750 and a man. For many years, she taught English and was the first woman to be a secondary headteacher in Wales. She is mother or stepmother to five children so life was hectic.

Publications are varied, including prize-winning poetry and novels, military history, translated books on dog training, and a cookery book on goat cheese. With Scottish parents, an English birthplace and French residence, she can usually support the winning team on most sporting occasions.

Sign up to Jean’s special readers’ group at http://www.jeangill.com for exclusive news, offers and a free book. If you review one of Jean’s books you can add a dog to Jean’s Readers Dogs Hall of Fame on her website jeangill com where you can contact her – she loves to hear from readers.

Other books by Jean Gill:

Jean Gill Books

 

DEAD INSIDE by Noelle Holton @KillerReads @HarperCollins #bookreview #vigilantejustice #crime

It’s always exciting to feature highly anticipated books, in this case DEAD INSIDE by Noelle Holton. I was thrilled to be given an advance reader copy from the publisher (KillerReads) via Netgalley and to be invited on this  exciting Blog Tour.

Book Description

DEAD INSIDE‘Kept me hooked … excellent pace and a very satisfying ending’ Angela Marsons

‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole

‘A brilliant debut – gritty, dark and chilling. Noelle Holten knows her stuff’ Mel Sherratt

A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.

The killer is just getting started…

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.

And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

Book links:  US flag    US here    British flag     UK here

 

Review

WOW! WOW! WOW! What a fabulous book AND not surprisingly one of the most anticipated books of the year. Having read the blurb, I was expecting to feel uncomfortable, riled up and then relieved at the end. Any emotions a reader has while reading a book is always down to the writer. What I did find was that Holton has a unique way of intertwining the characters. You soon learn the strong points as well as the deficiencies of the individuals who make up the heart of the story.

Two violent openings – a rape and a murder – mark the overall mood of Dead Inside. Not an easy book as for me, but this is a book that speaks for so many victims who don’t have a voice and made all the more authentic since the research was from Holton’s own professional experience as a PO. That says a lot, in my opinion.

I was blown away by Patrick. What a lowlife! Probably one of the worst characters I’ve ever read in this genre. Every time he staggered back in the house, I could smell the reek of alcohol and feel the tension. It was wild. The more I read, the more I wanted Lucy to seek help earlier, to get Siobhan to safety. I guess I was looking for that open door. But not all victims realize they’re victims, and leading a double life in order to keep her dignity added tension to the pace. The six million dollar question is what you don’t know can’t hurt you.

I don’t think there was any part of this book I didn’t like, and in order to help other readers I try to add equal measures of likes and dislikes. But in this case, there are only likes. I won’t rehash the plot but just say that the ending was one I didn’t see coming. Taking notes helped me to keep up with all the characters. Not that there are that many, is just the different functions of Maggie’s team and Lucy’s family, friends and work colleagues. More from the aspect of trying to work out who was responsible for committing these horrific crimes.

I like the way this author writes. The action scenes are intense and well described leaving the reader to feel as if they are standing to one side watching it all happen. Maggie’s ongoing investigation gets even more interesting as more bodies are added to the death toll. The action intensifies and the puzzle becomes ever more involved.

But from the moment I opened the book, I was drawn in and totally hooked, knowing that I’d be a wreck all day if I didn’t finish it. When a book does that, you know it’s going to be good. The story was the perfect mixture of mystery, thrills, hope and tragedy. Holton did a fantastic job of weaving together each point of view, hitting me with curveball after curveball and leaving me guessing the entire time. Be prepared to read deep into the night just to finish “one more chapter before turning out the light”. I recommend DEAD INSIDE to anyone looking for a writer who delivers a memorable story.

Many thanks to the publisher, @KillerReads @HarperCollins and to Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review. And thank you to @BOTBSPublicity for letting me be part of this fabulous Blog Tour.

About the Author

Noelle Holton 2Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at http://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog.
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/
Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/
Instagram: @crimebookjunkie

 

The Friend Who Lied by Rachael Amphlett @SaxonPublishing #Newrelease #Bookreview

WOOHOO! On my blog today is the talented Rachael Amphlett and her new book, out now, The Friend Who Lied. You only need to take a look at the cover to know you want to read it!

The Friend Who Lied is described as a twisted psychological thriller from USA Today bestseller Rachel Amphlett – perfect for fans of The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley and Friend Request by Laura Marshall.

The Friend Who Lied: A gripping psychological thriller by [Amphlett, Rachel]

Book description: 

What she doesn’t know might kill her…

Lisa Ashton receives a last-minute reprieve from death two weeks before her birthday. Regaining consciousness, she is horrified to learn one of her friends has been killed –and saved her life.

As she recovers, she uncovers a trail of carefully guarded reputations, disturbing rumours, and lies. Soon, Lisa begins to wonder if one of her friends is hiding a terrible secret.

Because five of them entered the escape room that day, and only four got out alive.

And someone is determined to cover their tracks before she can find out the truth.

Can Lisa find the killer before someone else dies?

The Friend Who Lied: a twisted psychological thriller from USA Today bestseller Rachel Amphlett – perfect for fans of The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley and Friend Request by Laura Marshall.

Review

What a tangled web of intrigue Rachel Amphlett has created. This is a book about terrible secrets that can thrive in the most intimate of relationships, and deftly tackles unreliable narrators. It’s not often that I devour a work of fiction, buttressed with great writing, but I was catapulted into the first 16 chapters before I realised what page I was on.

Disorientated and anxious Lisa Ashton, wakes up in hospital after having an operation. Devastated to learn of Simon Granger’s death, she has no recollection of what happened, even though scattered memories of him resurface from time to time. We know she saw him during the A-Maze Escape Room game where she went with her friends on her birthday. But what we don’t know is how he died. From strained police interviews to the tragic aftermath of an attempted suicide, it’s clear someone has something to hide.

Hayley is one of the most intriguing characters for me. Stifling a yawn at almost everything life seems to throw at her. She struggles with emotion, shutting herself away because that’s the only way she knows how. Her chapters for me had an irresistible voice, and I looked forward to reading them.

Since being discharged after the transplant, Lisa soon realises her life-saving operation has made local news, attracting the attention of a journalist. But so too has Simon’s death. As the police probe deeper and CCTV evidence comes to light from the Ragamuffin Bar, someone’s dark secrets are about to be exposed.

The writing is easy to follow and puts you right at the scene. With cleverly constructed chapter points of view, it’s easy to get a picture of each character and learn what makes them tick. But it’s not easy to work out who or what went horribly wrong.

For me the ending was a surprise, revealing a few twists along the way. Wickedly clever, ingeniously plotted, author Rachel Amphlett has an excellent grasp of human nature and knows how deliver a big punch. Five fat stars from me!

About the Author

Rachel Amphlett author photo (3)

Before turning to writing, USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor and English Spy Mysteries espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter British police procedural series.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

The Friend Who Lied Cover 3D wtih spine (2)

Praise for Rachel Amphlett

“Thrilling start to a new series. Scared to Death is a stylish, smart and gripping crime thriller” ~ Robert Bryndza, USA Today bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice

“Scared to Death… moves along at breakneck speed with twists and turns” ~ Angela Marsons, bestselling author of the Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series

Links: 

Email: info@rachelamphlett.com

www.rachelamphlett.com

Twitter: @RachelAmphlett

Instagram: @RachelAmphlett

Facebook: Rachel Amphlett

 The Friend Who Lied – Twitter – pre-order video…

Purchase Links:

Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Friend-Who-Lied-gripping-psychological-ebook/dp/B07R5KNTPD

Amazon.co.uk

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Friend-Who-Lied-gripping-psychological-ebook/dp/B07R5KNTPD

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/the-friend-who-lied

Apple Books

https://books.apple.com/book/the-friend-who-lied/id1461832054

Google Play

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rachel_Amphlett_The_Friend_Who_Lied?id=59OVDwAAQBAJ

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne @Sphere @PutnamBooks @penguinusa ‏#bookreview #psychological #thrillers

I”m so excited to feature author Karen Dionne on my blog today, and in particular her masterpiece The Marsh King’s Daughter. A gripping story set in a remote location of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Helena Pelletier races against time to find her father. A dark and scary tale and so very well written, it drove me full-throttle to the end in one sitting. I especially enjoyed the inclusion of a few paragraphs from the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the same name, which headed the chapters of Helena’s past.

Book Description:

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
 
“Brilliant….About as good as a thriller can be.”—The New York Times Book Review

“[A] nail-biter perfect for Room fans.”—Cosmopolitan

“Sensationally good psychological suspense.”—Lee Child

Praised by Karin Slaughter and Megan Abbott, The Marsh King’s Daughter is the mesmerizing tale of a woman who must risk everything to hunt down the dangerous man who shaped her past and threatens to steal her future: her father. 

The Marsh King's Daughter by [Dionne, Karen]Helena Pelletier has a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, and a business that fills her days. But she also has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature, and despite her father’s sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too…until she learned precisely how savage he could be.

More than twenty years later, she has buried her past so soundly that even her husband doesn’t know the truth. But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marsh. The police begin a manhunt, but Helena knows they don’t stand a chance. Knows that only one person has the skills to find the survivalist the world calls the Marsh King—because only one person was ever trained by him: his daughter.

A Michigan Notable Book!

Book links:  US flag US here  British flag UK here

Print Length: 314 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0735213003

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (June 13, 2017)

Publication Date: June 13, 2017

Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Review

WOW! Another fabulous and unique read. The Marsh King’s Daughter is suspenseful thriller set in the remote swamps of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. It is the story of Helena Pelletier, born to a woman who was kidnapped at the age of 14 by a sociopath. Taking the reader back in time to an isolated setting; a cabin with no electricity or running water, and where the sun is the only light to live by, Helena’s connection to the outside world is a National Geographic magazine and the occasional drone of a plane.

The book alternates between two time frames. The present, where Helena is married with two daughters and the past where we learn how Helena came to be. In the present, her father escapes from prison, having killed two correctional officers, and Helena is the only one who can bring him to justice. As she tracks him through her old stamping ground in the UP, she recalls her childhood living in a dilapidated cabin in the swamp. Here, we learn about the abuse and confinement both she and her mother suffer, which makes this story so utterly heart-breaking. Helena grows up tough, learning the survival skills necessary for wilderness life—tracking, hunting, shooting—while at the same time being unaware of her mother’s past. Somewhat insensitive to her mother’s dilemma, she idolizes her father while enduring his torture and becoming more able to predict his punishments.

The descriptions of the UP are vivid and well researched. I felt I was right there with Helena, surviving the elements and searching for tracks in the terrain. She’s a strong protagonist, one you definitely want to root for. The survival techniques the author describes are top-notch. There aren’t many books with this much explanation that didn’t leave you feeling exhausted from a history lesson. They were cleverly drip-fed throughout the book, and left you wanting more.

I found it hard to stomach Helena’s indifference towards her mother at the beginning, but I realise her mother was too weak to stop the abuse, and the sheer isolation made it impossible to run for help. Every effort would no doubt be hampered by the father’s brutal nature. I did question Helena’s hesitation when she had a clean shot of her father at the beginning, and wondered why she didn’t just pop him. Or disable him, at the very least.

The general ‘feel’ after finishing this book is of a stolen childhood. One that wouldn’t have provided the young Helena with any social skills since she had no interaction with other children of her age. Same as her mother who would have compared her life before she was kidnapped to the cruelty she experienced afterwards. It was desolate and moody, characteristics I enjoy in a novel.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy spine-tingling, adventure suspense.

About The Author:

Karen DionneKaren Dionne is the author of The Marsh King’s Daughter, also titled HOME in the UK, a dark, psychological suspense novel published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in 25 other countries.

Karen is co-founder of the online writers community Backspace, and organizes the Salt Cay Writers Retreat held every other year on a private island in the Bahamas. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers, where she served on the board of directors as Vice President, Technology.

Other books by Karen Dionne

Karen Dionne

 

After The End by Clare Mackintosh @PutnamBooks #bookreview #womensfiction

Clare Mackintosh’s beautiful, page-turner tackles one of the hardest decisions parent ever have to make. I fell in love with Pip, Max, and Leila as they worked together, cried together and struggled together with the question of: What if. After the End possibly the most heart-wrenching book I’ve ever read. So much so, I had to call a friend and talk it through with hankies at the ready. I don’t always recommend books in Facebook’s The Book Club, but this one is a must read! Definitely one of my top ten this year!  

Book description:

From New York Times bestselling author Clare Mackintosh, a deeply moving and page-turning novel about an impossible choice—and the two paths fate could take.

“A beautifully written novel, compelling and clever, tender and true. I can’t stop thinking about it.” —Liane Moriarty

“Tailor-made for book clubs and for fans of Jodi Picoult.”—Publishers Weekly

After the End by [Mackintosh, Clare]Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son.

What if they could have both?

A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning.

Book Links:  British flag UK here     US flag US here

Print Length: 400 pages

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (June 25, 2019)

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

 

Review

I don’t have words to describe what I think about this book, other than WOW, bloody, WOW! This is not only a book about a very sick little boy, but also about the unbelievable strains a marriage must endure, especially in the case of Pip and Max. There is no relief, not even after the end, but as the author says, there is hope.

Clare Mackintosh has based this story on her own painful experiences, so be prepared for a tough and emotional ride. As painful as it is, this book is one to be savored. Every single chapter brings a new awareness of how parents feel when faced with an impossible decision to keep their children alive or to remove all life support and let them die. After having read this book, I can say I’m a little better acquainted with the courts and legal decisions in such a tragedy, and the courageous path both doctors and parents must sometimes take.

I loved the characters, especially Leila. Her acute senses, her experience, her observation of the relationship between Max and Pip is beautifully drawn. When research is of such a high standard, it makes a difference to the reader. You learn something and that’s time well spent on a book.

It took me a lot longer to read this book and to comment than I have with any other. It is with some reservation that I say I ‘enjoyed it.’ It was harrowing and draining, but I couldn’t put it down. A departure from this author’s usual thrillers, it initially threw me for a loop. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. A book like this is definitely going to be a women’s fiction classic. I had read her book, I Let You Go, so I knew I was in for a very intricate, powerful read.

The only thing I didn’t like was the timeline, but in hindsight, how else could the author have done it? There were places where I had to go back and read sections over again as I did get lost along the way.

I can’t thank the author enough for writing it, and special thanks to Netgalley and to Penguin Group Putnam for an advance copy of this deep and and moving book.

Other books by Clare Mackintosh:

Clare Mackintosh books