I Will Make You Pay by Teresa Driscoll @Thomas&Mercer @AmazonPub #review #blog #psychological #Fiction @TeresaDriscoll

If you want to curl up with a brilliant thriller, this is it.  I will Make You Pay by Teresa Driscoll is both harrowing as it is frightening.  For Driscoll fans who enjoyed I Am Watching You, this new offering will bring the same powerful plot line with rich characters and unexpected twists. The author switches points of view with each chapter, leaving the reader excited for more.

Description

Every Wednesday, like clockwork, the terror returns.

I Will Make You Pay by [Driscoll, Teresa]It seems like an ordinary Wednesday, until the phone rings. A mysterious caller with a chilling threat. Journalist Alice Henderson hangs up, ready to dismiss it as a hoax against the newspaper. But the next Wednesday, the stalker makes another move—and it becomes clear that this is all about Alice.

Someone wants her to suffer, but for what? Her articles have made her a popular local champion—could it be her past rather than her work that’s put her life in danger? Alice is determined not to give in to fear, but with the police investigation at a dead end, her boyfriend insists on hiring private investigator Matthew Hill.

With every passing Wednesday the warnings escalate, until it’s not only Alice but also her family in the stalker’s sights. As her tormentor closes in, can Alice uncover what she’s being punished for before the terrifying threats become an unthinkable reality?

 

Review

 

One word: wow! This latest book from Teresa Driscoll weaves a fascinating plot with an emotional depth that leaves you gasping. What begins as a story about journalist Alice Henderson, morphs into a gripping, disturbing and fascinating tale, not just about who is calling her at work through voice change software to distort his voice but about Alice herself. I kept asking myself if this stalker was someone who didn’t warm to a story she wrote. Or is it someone she might have mistakenly overlooked in her past.

Alices changes all her social media passwords and makes an appointment with a security company to check her flat. Statements have been taken not only at work but also with the local coffee shop — a place she regularly frequents. Driscoll ratchets up the tension here and you can’t help wondering if Alice will be snatched away in broad daylight. You’d think Alice has done everything she can to protect herself, but is there something she might have missed? A small loophole perhaps that this ardent stalker will cleverly slip through. And what is the significance of Wednesday?

Tom, Alice’s boyfriend hires a private investigator called Matthew Hill to cover Alice. But Matthew does a little investigation of his own and realizes there is more to Alice than meets the eye. Chapters alternate between past and present, and the “Him-before” chapters are both disturbing and heartbreaking. A little boy – we don’t know who at this stage – who loves his gran, Martha. Martha’s struggles are all too real and her grandson whom she calls ‘My beloved little soldier’ witnesses her suffering through his time. She tells him she will never move from her home because of the bench and the memories that go with it.

Driscoll demonstrates over and over again that she has what it takes to shock, surprise and move her readers. I couldn’t help empathizing with a child left on his own and a caregiver strained to the limits to carve out a life for herself and the boy. I couldn’t help wondering what would happen to Brian. Will this child, who has suffered so much, eventually play out his ‘delicious dreams’ in order to feel alive? These chapters sucked me in so completely, I forgot to drink the pot of coffee I’d made in the morning!

Alice, her campaign, the housing block and the local paper, all come full circle in a frightening denouement I didn’t see coming. All I can say is Driscoll teases out this twisty plot at the perfect pace, introducing multi-layered characters that even the sharpest readers won’t predict what’s coming.

Print Length: 317 pages

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (October 10, 2019)

Publication Date: October 10, 2019

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

ASIN: B07P7GLXNB

Links: US flag US here    British flag UK here

About the Author

Teresa Driscoll – a former BBC TV news presenter – is now a million-copy #1 bestselling author. Her debut psychological suspense I AM WATCHING YOU hit Kindle #1 in the UK, USA and Australia and has also been number #1 in Italy in translation. Her second thriller THE FRIEND again made the #1 top spot in the UK and Australia while THE PROMISE hit #2.

Teresa’s work has been sold for translation to 20 countries and optioned for film. She also writes women’s fiction; RECIPES FOR MELISSA was auctioned at the Frankfurt book fair between seven German publishers and her second women’s fiction title is LAST KISS GOODNIGHT.

During her long career as a journalist, Teresa worked for newspapers, magazines and television, including 15 years presenting the BBC TV news programme Spotlight. Covering crime for so long, she was deeply moved by the haunting impact on the relatives, the friends and the witnesses and it is those ripples she explores now in her darker fiction.

Teresa lives in glorious Devon with her family and blogs regularly about her “writing life” at her website – http://www.teresadriscoll.com.

Other books by Teresa Driscoll

Teresa Driscoll

 

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Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir @OrendaBooks #review #blog #crime #thriller

Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir is a crime thriller, published by Orenda Books. With a quote by Val McDermid, I knew I was in for a treat! Told in multiple points of view, it’s an easy read with complex underpinnings that give the book that extra oomph!

About the book

Cage book coverDrugs, smuggling, big money and political intrigue in Iceland rally with love, passion, murder and betrayal until the winner takes all … in the masterful, explosive conclusion to the award-winning Reykjavík Noir trilogy…

The prison doors slam shut behind Agla, when her sentence ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her.

As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis, María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed.

Ruthless drug baron Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own home. At the same time, a deadly threat to Sonya and her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if she wants to stay alive.

With a shocking crescendo, the lives of these characters collide, as drugs, smuggling, big money and political intrigue rally with love, passion, murder and betrayal until the winner takes all … in the masterful, explosive conclusion to the award-winning Reykjavík Noir trilogy. 

Book details:

Series: Reykjavik Noir trilogy

Paperback: 276 pages

Publisher: Orenda Books; None edition (April 1, 2020)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1912374498

ISBN-13: 978-1912374496

Book links:  British flag UK here  US flag  US here

 

Review

Agla is restless and sitting out a sentence for financial crimes. Unable to get over why her girlfriend Sonja left her, life on the inside offers plenty of distractions. An Islandic smelter scheme for one. With Maria nosing around on the outside, Agla soon realises she gets the information she’s looking for and Maria gets one hell of a scoop.

Agla comes across as brusque and rigid. With her history in an unforgiving financial environment, you can’t expect her to be anything else. Her kindness to pill-popping Elísa builds as the relationship deepens but life outside comes at a cost. Breaching probation conditions for one.

María Gunnhildur Jónudóttir, who was a former investigator at the special prosecutor’s office where Agla Margeirsdóttir had been a person of interest, now runs an online news outlet. But when she goes to see Agla in prison to ask about her links to Ingimar Magnússon and William Tedd — the Paris-based markets guru — she is denied visitation. But she doesn’t have to wait long. With the tenacity of a bloodhound, she is determined to get to the bottom of a conspiracy where a few greedy men could push their profit margins through the roof. But this settling of scores is detrimental.

Ingimar Magnússon, closely connected to Iceland’s business and politics, likes to play dangerous games. With a natural cold, ruthless streak, he’s rather good at it. He’s also good at infringing international regulations while staying just within the legal limits. Dirty tricks, blackmail and willing to hold a gun at anyone who stands in his way, this is a man you’d want Agla and María to steer well clear of.

And then we have Anton, a creative and dynamic individual, who has a project simmering in the cellar. Too much listening to Radio Edda makes him feel it’s time for action.  If he takes matters into his own hands, his plan could blow a hole in the stratosphere. But will such a rash decision be a hit with his beloved Júlía? I have to say I was floored by the outcome.

Including Sonja, all of these people are in a cage of their own making, and each with their own axe to grind. The chapters are compact and the pace, even when weaving from character to character, is rapid and full of intrigue. You can’t get enough. It’s one of those books that if you have to put down, you’ll still have each scene fresh in your mind, frantic to know what happens next. When all stories converge, it’s a thrill to learn who belongs where and how their lives might or might not be intertwined. About three quarters of the way through, I guessed a small portion of how the ending might play out. But certainly not all.

All in all, I gave it five big fat stars. The story-line shifted effortlessly between each point of view and spun a complex tale of murder, revenge and betrayal. Flawlessly paced and painfully gripping.

Bonuses:

A map: Found in the front matter to show us the region and setting. Major plus!

Book cover: One that will definitely stand out on bookshelves.

Writing style: Relaxed and comfortable, with visceral descriptions.

About the Author

lilja+webphoto+2+f+liljawriter.jpgIcelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir is an award-winning playwright who has written four crime novels. The previous titles in the Reykjavik Noir series are Snare and Trap, which was a Guardian Book of the Year. The film rights for the series have been bought by Palomar Pictures. Quentin Bates is the author of a series of Icelandic crime novels that include Frozen Assets and Cold Comfort. He has translated all of Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series.

More books by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Lilja Sigurdardottir

Webpage

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Our House by Louise Candlish – published by @BerkleyPub @penguinrandom #review #blog #women’s #psychological #thriller

This book was such a treat! I bought the hardback format for my book shelf and I’m very happy I did. Nail-biting from the very beginning, this writer knows how to turn everyday situations into truly disturbing nightmares. A five star read for me!

Book Description

Our House by [Candlish, Louise]“The perfect book for thriller readers and true-crime podcast addicts…a stunning literary thriller that artfully twists and turns until the very end.”–Bustle

One of The Washington Post‘s 10 Best Thrillers and Mysteries of the Year
One of Publishers Weekly‘s Best Books of the Year
One of Real Simple‘s Best Books of the Year

On a bright morning in the suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought on Trinity Avenue. Nothing strange about that. Except it’s your house. And you didn’t sell it.

When Fiona Lawson arrives home to find strangers moving into her house, she is plunged into terror and confusion. She and her husband, Bram, have owned their home on Trinity Avenue for years; how can another family possibly think the house is theirs? And why has Bram disappeared–along with their two young children–when she needs him most?

As the nightmare takes hold, Fiona begins to untangle the lies that led to a devastating crime–and a betrayal so shocking it will teach her to keep her own secrets behind locked doors….

Print Length: 426 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 045148911X

Publisher: Berkley (August 7, 2018)

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B075HZ82S6

Buyers links: US flag US here    British flag UK  here

Review

A well-executed plot that had me gasping from the outset. I noticed a few reviews that indicated this was a slow burn, but for me it was completely the opposite. Each chapter and sections of dialogue drove the story forward at an alarming rate. and I couldn’t put the book down.

Although the premise may seem a little far-fetched, as I read on it became terrifyingly believable. On Friday 13th, Fi returns home to discover something has happened to her house. The front façade is the same, but the occupants and furniture aren’t. Fi’s husband’s phone is out of service and her children aren’t at school that day. Two inconsistencies sure to send any mother into a tail spin. This is one of those stories that spring from an ordinary day at work, a simple ride home and BAM! The stuff great psychological thrillers are made of.

Written mainly in two points of view, Fi’s and Bram’s with his Word document that parallels Fi’s podcast — stories that lead up to the present day. With infidelity and divorce in the background, and latterly a ‘bird’s nest’ plan — keeping the children in the same home with alternating parental custody — things should have been working well. But they’re not when you consider the secret Bram is hiding. With Fi being the innocent party up until now, you watch two otherwise intelligent, responsible people slide slowly into a complete nightmare. A car crash, a few more affairs and a conspiracy that made my toes curl.

Fi’s neighbour, Merle, offers to help her throughout her ordeal, although I had a hard time understanding how Fi managed to deal with it. But desperate and out of sorts, what choice did she have? I found her thoughtful and compassionate, everything you’d expect. Bram is a little too treacherous for his own good, and perhaps a little weak. I kept wanting to shake him out of his stubbornness as he kept trying to cover up his mistakes, which deteriorated with each chapter. There was no way out for him and digging deeper into his dark world only cemented his failure. Secrets, both harrowing and tragic, a moral message and a few well planned twists along the way made the book a success for me. The last chapter was something I’d toyed with but thought wouldn’t happen. I think the author did a splendid job of tying up all loose ends, even if one question may have been left hanging. For me, this enhances the read because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love being confronted by a potentially shocking revelation.

This is the first Louise Candlish book I’ve read and definitely won’t be the last. Masterfully plotted, her writing is top-notch and sure to score with avid domestic thriller lovers. If you’re looking for a superior read, one with grit and depth, this is it. Our House will definitely be listed in my top ten reads for 2019.

What people are saying:

Our House: The Sunday Times bestseller everyone's talking about by [Candlish, Louise]‘If 2018 brings a better book than Our House I will eat my hat. Addictive, twisty and oh so terrifyingly possible’ CLARE MACKINTOSH

‘I raced through it this weekend. Such a smart idea. Twisty, warped, credible. Brilliantly plotted and compelling. Deserves to be such a hit’ SARAH VAUGHAN

‘Louise Candlish is a great writer; she inhaled me into her nightmarish world where everything we think we know is ripped from under our feet’  FIONA BARTON

”A masterfully plotted, compulsive page-turner’ Guardian 
‘Keeps you guessing to the end – and beyond’ Stylist
‘Whip-smart, knowing and brilliantly plotted’ INDIA KNIGHT
‘A corker’ Evening Standard
‘Terrific premise’ New York Times

Other books by Louise Candlish

Louise Candlish

 

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin – published by @StMartinsPress @MacmillanUSA #review #blog #psychological #thriller

Firstly, I want to thank the author, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for giving me an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. This book was one big WOW from beginning to end. So many guarded secrets. Who is a friend and who is foe? An excellent, engrossing story that I highly recommend!

Genre: Financial Thriller, Psychological Thriller

Book Description:

Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.

The Escape Room: A Novel by [Goldin, Megan]In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style—but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost.

Invited to participate in an escape room challenge as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high-rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival.

Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?

Review

WOW! This is one of the most memorable psychological thrillers I’ve read all year. Megan Goldin is a new author for me and I was excited to read a book recommended by Lee Child. Needless to say, I couldn’t put it down. Easy to read, this is a rollercoaster ride you can devour in one afternoon.

Sarah Hall’s point of view was fascinating and you can’t help liking her from the outset. In a bid to help her ailing parents, she embarks on an exciting career at Stanhope. After much a laborious job search, she has a chance encounter with a future employer. Too good to be true? You bet it is. As an ambitious MBA graduate breaking into the vicious cut-throat world of Wall Street Finance, she is immediately thrust into a corrupt and hostile environment, where greed and revenge are at the forefront. At the very start, the mood is one of high-wire suspense as millions are at risk and Sarah must navigate a smart route through the tensions and wiles of high-powered investment bankers.  At times, I wanted to shake the naivety out of her, and the irritating willingness to trust. Aren’t the collusions and maneuverings of Wall Street life taught to all MBA graduates before embarking on such a career?

Vincent, Sylvie, Sam and Jules are the four game players, served to the reader in an alternate point of view. Summoned on a Friday night for a team building exercise they are expected to play the Escape Room game. But the room is a locked elevator with no cell phone service and no emergency call button to alert security. Nothing can be more frightening than being trapped in an elevator, especially with people you loathe. Clues are found to assist their escape but the longer they are confined, infighting and tension builds, and confrontations are inevitable. When past transgressions are revealed, can one person rectify the abuse that has been dished out to the most vulnerable?

The first three quarters of this book is a steaming read and I particularly enjoyed the resonant backstory set in such a small setting. But at no time did I get the impression Sarah would overcome a bunch of sociopathic analysts in quite this way. Where she suddenly got these additional skills beats me.  I gave the book five stars for originality and for the staggering pace.

Thank you to #Netgalley and #StMartin’sPress for the ARC of #TheEscapeRoom in exchange for an honest review.

Book details

Print Length: 361 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250219655

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (July 30, 2019)

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

Sold by: Macmillan

Links: US flag USA  here    British flag UK  here

What people are saying:

Praise for The Escape Room:

The Escape Room: 'One of my favourite books of the year' LEE CHILD by [Goldin, Megan]“The pages turn themselves…THE ESCAPE ROOM delivers all that it promises. It is a sleek, well-crafted ride to a surprisingly twisty conclusion.” ―New York Times Book Review

“THE ESCAPE ROOM works as the ultimate locked-room mystery…Goldin excels at illustrating the pressures of a Wall Street career.” ―Associated Press

“Addicting.” ―Time Magazine

“There is clearly no happy ending likely for the four colleagues trapped inside [the escape room]; but fans of JP Delany and Ruth Ware will want to be right in there with them…a nail-biting tale of a corporate team-building exercise gone horribly wrong.” ―Booklist

“Cancel all your plans and call in sick; once you start reading, you’ll be caught in your own escape room―the only key to freedom is turning the last page!” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred)

About the author

 

Other books by Megan Goldin

Megan Goldin

The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda @Graydon House @HarlequinDigital #review #blog #psychological #thriller

I was so excited to find author Kaira Rouda had written another book. This was a wild ride I couldn’t pass up. A highly entertaining read with a character you hate to love.

Description

The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect lie.

The Favorite Daughter by [Rouda, Kaira]Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.

It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?

The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…

Print Length: 368 pages

Publisher: Graydon House; Original edition (May 21, 2019)

Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.

Links: US US flag  here     UK British flag  here 

Review

Jane is an unreliable Orange County housewife, grieving over the loss of her daughter Mary who fell from a cliff while hiking. Trying hard to put her life back together again, she begins receiving anonymous letters from a witness claiming that Betsy may know something more than she’s letting on. Jane can’t help noticing a bond building between her daughter and her husband, and quickly steps in to redress the balance. After all, shouldn’t she be included? If her family’s life isn’t entirely stage-managed by her it will fall apart and never recover. Such are the intrigues of a narcissistic mind.

Mary’s memorial service looms — as does the high school graduation for Betsy — and Jane wants everything to be perfect. Her behaviour begins to diminish and just as I’m thinking she’ll touch rock bottom, up she bobs with something thoroughly distasteful. I couldn’t stop reading because I had to know how far she would go and I had to know if she’d get away with it.

After months of sucking down anti-depressants, the rest of her family and friends have taken steps to rebuild their lives and they’re making plans of their own. But these plans aren’t Jane’s plans and this is where truth and illusion collide. The more she watches Betsy and David, the more conspiratorial she becomes. The entertainment here is in Jane’s rationalising. Her outward victory when things go her way and her inward denial when they don’t. It doesn’t matter how often she tries to engineer relationships, you never quite know if her family are entirely oblivious to these manoeuvrings or if they’re smart enough to outstep them. Because you’d have to be sharp to take Jane head on.

Slim and trim, she has convinced herself that her beauty is world-shattering. After all, the way she sees herself is how others see her. But in the same breath, she is governed by insecurities which add the extra layer we’ve all come to expect in Rouda novels. Jane can’t help but dive headlong into a battle of wits with her surviving daughter and husband and I was dying to see her plan revealed at the graduation.  Betsy and David are hardly puppets, and this is where the fun begins. No matter how hard Jane tries to drive a wedge between them, the odds are never entirely in her favour. If at any time you think her polished veneer will crack, think again. Perception is the name of the game, and provided Jane can corral her family back to the fold, everything should go to plan.

My thoughts: These books are addictive and although Jane mirrors Paul in Best Day Ever, the storylines are distinctive enough to separate them. Towards the end, possibly the last four chapters were a little tedious for me. Too much reflection and not enough action. But we readers are Jane’s confidants, so I couldn’t have expecting anything less.

What will Rouda come up with next? A narcissistic child? Grandmother. Aunt. Whatever it is, I’m really looking forward to it!

What readers are saying

Will hit you right in the heart” — Bustle

A PopSugar Best Book of Spring!

“An exceptional psychological thriller.” — Publishers Weekly STARRED review

“Leaves you wanting more.” — Liv Constantine, author of the national bestseller The Last Mrs. Parrish

“A smart, wickedly plotted psychological thriller brimming with dark surprises” — Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author

“Intense, creepy, and classic Rouda. A chilling story, told so well. Don’t miss it!” — J. T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author

“B.A. Paris and Shari Lapena fans will fall head over heels for this suspenseful psychological thriller set in an upscale Southern California community.” -PopSugar

“The Gone Girl-style domestic suspense novel follows Jane, a narcissistic perfectionist dealing with the death of her daughter.” — Washington Post

“Rouda’s portrayal of Jane is fabulously compelling and darkly hilarious…The resolution is satisfying, but the ride is so diabolically twisted and entertaining that readers will be sorry when it come to a stop.” -Shelf Awareness

“No one creates a narcissist like Rouda…. A wow read that will have you floored.” -Bookstr

From the author of Best Day Ever, another gripping novel of psychological suspense set in an upscale Southern California community, for fans of B.A. Paris and Shari Lapena.

About the author

Kaira Rouda Rouda is a USA TODAY bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary fiction that explores what goes on beneath the surface of seemingly perfect lives. Her domestic suspense novel BEST DAY EVER is a USA TODAY bestseller translated into more than eight languages. Her next novel, THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER, is out May 21, 2019.

She lives in Southern California with her family and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest: @KairaRouda; and on Facebook at Kaira Rouda Books.
If you’d like to host Kaira at your book club, in person or virtually, connect with the author, visit KairaRouda.com.

 

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

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