*Blog Tour* The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Today, I’m super excited to be a stop on the blog tour for The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, published by Orion. For my stop I have reviewed this fabulous book and want to say a thank you to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to be a part of this tour.

First up the Blurb:

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ALICIA
Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.

Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

THEO
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.

And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

What I say:

This book just gripped me from the very beginning!

Alice Berenson was a famous artist, one who hasn’t spoken in years – not since the night she shot her husband Gabriel in the face five times and became admitted to a high security hospital, The Grove.

Theo Faber is a psychotherapist, someone who has been intrigued with her case since her crime became national news and he saw that painting. Theo believes he can cure Alicia where everyone else has failed. But is secretly obsessed?

I absolutely loved this psychological thriller which had me hooked. One of the things I enjoyed is the strong characters. Throughout the story you hear snippets of Alicia’s voice through her diary entries but it does make you wonder do you really know whether it is the truth or not?

Theo is Alicia’s psychotherapist who has recently join the team at The Grove and forces his way into the team treating Alicia, because he believes he can treat her where all others have failed. But this made me wonder – why is he so obsessed with her?

The plot is a twisty mess of emotions which really plays on the reader, this is a slow burner but I thought this made this tale all the more compelling – as you delve deeper into Theo’s and Alice’s worlds, nothing is as simple it seems.

I felt the author’s way of story telling was completely enthralling and lured me as the reader into a false sense of security which made the ending even better!

This is was also very twisty, surprising and actually the ending just flipped everything around on it’s head – something which I wasn’t expecting, particularly from one of the characters but I can’t say anymore without spoiling it. I would just urge you to read it for yourself.

If you love a discovering a new captivating voice, with a warped twisty mind, amazing characters and a dark story at it heart this is definitely the book for you!

About the Author:

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Alex Michaelides was born in Cyprus in 1977. He wrote the film The Devil You Know starring Rosamund Pike, and co-wrote The Brits are Coming. The Silent Patient is first novel, and was inspired by a post graduate course in psychotherapy, and working part-time at a secure psychiatric unit.

To find out more about Alex Michaelides follow him on twitter@AlexMichaelides.

The Silent Patient is out now and can be purchased via Amazon here

Don’t forget to check out all the other stops on this fab tour

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*Blog Tour* Only A Mother by Elisabeth Carpenter

Today, I’m super excited to be featured on the next stop of the blog tour for Elisabeth Carpenter’s new book, Only A  Mother, published by Orion Books. As part of the tour I have reviewed this fab book, but first up here’s a little about the novel.

Blurb:

ONLY A MOTHER . . .
Erica Wright hasn’t needed to scrub ‘MURDERER’ off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken.
COULD BELIEVE HIM
Erica has always believed Craig was innocent – despite the lies she told for him years ago – but when he arrives home, she notices the changes in him. She doesn’t recognise her son anymore.
COULD LIE FOR HIM
So, when another girl goes missing, she starts to question everything. But how can a mother turn her back on her son? And, if she won’t, then how far will she go to protect him?

COULD BURY THE TRUTH

What I Say:

I mean just WOW! This tells the story of Erica, whose son Craig was convicted 17 years ago of the murder of a young girl. Erica has always believed Craig was innocent, dutifully visiting him every week he’s been in prison. But Craig has now made parole and arrives home someone completely different. But when another girl goes missing, Erica must make the hard choice and face up to what could have happened all those years ago – or who her son really is.

This novel is told from the point of view of Erica, Luke a newspaper reporter and an unknown killer. What I loved about this novel is how the author could get under the skin of the characters and really brought them to life in this story. I liked the view point of Luke, an outsider who feels sorry for Erica but is determined to seek justice for the other missing girl Craig was never convicted for, as well as the new girl who suddenly vanishes.

I literally could not put this book down – the complex relationship between a mother and child was really at the heart of the novel and made for addictive reading. The twists and turns in this plot also made for such a compelling read.

This is a dark and creepy read, with a twisty plot and very disturbing but believable characters. Would highly recommend!

About the Author:

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Elisabeth Carpenter lives in Preston with her family. She completed a BA in English Literature and Language with the Open University in 2008.

Elisabeth was awarded a Northern Writers’ New Fiction award, and was longlisted for Yeovil Literary Prize (2015 and 2016) and the MsLexia Women’s Novel award (2015). She loves living in the north of England and sets most of her stories in the area, including the novel she is writing at the moment. She currently works as a book keeper.

To find out more about Elisabeth Carpenter follow her on Twitter @LibbyCPT.

Only A Mother is out now and can be purchased via Amazon here

A massive thanks to Tracy Fenton and Alex Layt for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour.

As always don’t forget to stop off at all the other amazing stops on this blog tour!

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Blog Tour Q&A: 29 Seconds by T.M. Logan

Today, I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for 29 Seconds by T.M Logan, published by Bonnier Zaffre Books. For the tour, I have a fun character interview with Sarah Haywood, the main protagonist from this novel who I must say keeps her cards close to her chest….

The Blurb:

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Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . .

When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid – in the only way he knows how.

He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.

All it takes is a 29 second phone call.

BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS A NAME TO GIVE. DON’T THEY?

 

Interview:

Location: Queen Anne University, north London

Interviewer: Rachel Emms, (RE), Reporter.

Interviewee: Dr Sarah Haywood, (SH), junior lecturer.

RE: How did you get into your chosen field of research? It’s pretty niche.

SH: I’ve always loved books, so literature was a natural choice for me when I went to university. Then in my final year I did a module on the works of Christopher Marlowe, and just found him totally fascinating – born in the same year as Shakespeare, a playwright and poet during Elizabethan times, also a drinker and a duellist who was killed in a bar fight at the age of 29, in murky circumstances. Some said he was actually a spy and was assassinated on the orders of the Crown. Marlowe wrote a number of plays including Dr Faustus, about a man who makes a deal with the Devil, which is probably my favourite book.

RE: I decide to ask a hard hitting question first, before getting to the juicy bits. You work in a very male dominated sector, does this make you feel disadvantaged at all?

SH: To be honest I try not to think about it, I just want to get on with my job and do the best that I can. But it’s a fact that there are more male professors than female at my university, and the overall rates of pay for men are higher than for women, and progression through the hierarchy is generally faster for men. Things are changing, but it’s happening quite slowly. You just have to trust the system and believe that your turn will come.

RE: It must be a joy to work with the renowned Professor Lovelock. He is amazing at what he does. How do you feel about working with him? I look up from my notepad to watch her reaction.

SH: He’s… one of a kind. In terms of our area of research, on Marlowe’s works, he’s one of the most accomplished academics in the world. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Elizabethan literature, and of the period, and he knows everyone there is to know in academia. So working with him is really important for my career. Of course he’s quite famous as well, through his TV documentaries, books and appearances on chat shows and the like.

RE: Would you say you’re quite close? I’ve heard talk about Sarah in a not so professional sense…

SH: You mean, in a professional sense? I suppose so. He’s my line manager so we work together on a regular basis, he oversees my work and does my performance reviews, all of that kind of thing. We also collaborate sometimes on bids for new funding, and research projects. But we don’t have any contact outside of work.

RE: His parties are also legendary, have you been to one? I’ve only ever been thrown out of one.

SH: I’ve only been once. It was at his house – he holds them every year to raise money for his charitable foundation. Very plush, no expense spared, it’s quite an honour to be invited. Although the one time I did go along, there was an unexpected guest and things got a bit heated…

RE: Oh yes, I heard about that trouble maker. She’s my next job actually. Anyway, back to Sarah and the real reason I want to talk to her. I hear you recently rescued a young girl. Quite the heroine. Is this true? How did it happen?

SH: Yes, it is true although ‘rescued’ seems a bit strong. It was on my drive home from work, but all I did was try to help a girl who was in trouble – there was a man chasing her so I hit him with my car before he could get to her (I only gave him a bump, enough to slow him down). I don’t really feel like a heroine, I was only trying to help. I hope someone would do the same for my children if they were ever in that situation.

RE: I lean across the table and whisper. Finally, how did you feel when you received that offer of a phone call? Were you tempted?

SH: I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean. What did you say your name was again? I should go. I have to get to my next lecture…

RE: I watch as Sarah Haywood gathers up her pile of books and papers, before rushing out of the room. Great, that blows my chance…

A massive thank you to T.M. Logan for answering my questions for Sarah, a woman who gives nothing away…

About the Author:

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TM Logan was born in Berkshire to an English father and a German mother. He studied at Queen Mary and Cardiff universities before becoming a national newspaper journalist. He currently works in communications and lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children. LIES is his first novel – published by Bonnier Zaffre in January 2017. His next thriller, 29 SECONDS, comes out in January 2018.

To find out more about T.M Logan, follow him on twitter @TMLoganAuthor.

29 Seconds is out in Ebook now and paperback on 8th March, and can be ordered from Amazon here. Or Waterstones here.

Don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous stops on this blog tour!

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Blog Tour: The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

Today, I’m super excited to be kicking off the blog tour for The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton, published by Wildfire, part of Headline Publishing.

First up the Blurb:

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Meet Juliette. She’s intelligent, driven, committed – and in love.

Juliette loves Nate.

She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend.

And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain….

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What I say:

There is not one word I can choose to sum up this novel and do it justice.

Juliette is a girl out to win her ex-boyfriend, Nate. She wants to be the perfect girlfriend to him and knows he is the one for her. So deciding to give Nate his space, she watches him from a close distance as she slowly manipulates and transforms herself into the perfect person she thinks he would fall in love with. Because Juliette is a woman scored and will show him what exactly he is missing. Nate shouldn’t have let her go, surely?

The novel is told from the perspective of Juliette, as she goes to great lengths to win Nate back. As the novel progresses, she slowly  adapts her plans to win back the love of her life, while showing us snippets of her childhood giving the reader a glimpse into what makes her tick.

I loved Juliette, even though she came across a psychotic and even catatonic at times her seemingly erratic behaviour made for breath-taking reading. I kept thinking surely this is it, she would get caught – I even read with my hand over my mouth at one point. Weirdly I rooted for her throughout the story, even after all the things she did. I could really empathise with her character, especially when her true motives are revealed (which quite frankly spun the whole story on it’s head). But I will say no more….

One of the stand out things for me is the setting of this novel, which was quite unusual having quite a bit of the action set on an airline and just showed the skill of the author who gave us a flavour of each different country Juliette visited, drawing me deeper into the story.

I mean this book was just hypnotic and actually really disturbing. The lengths Juliette would go kind of freaked me out as it felt very realistic, especially as I was reading this at night so I probably only had myself to blame.

This novel is packed full of pace, tension, disturbing characters filled with passion and psychotic love. What’s not to love? This was a stand out psychological thriller and would urge you to read. I am very much looking forward to seeing what else Karen Hamilton publishes in the future.

About the author:

Karen Hamilton

Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy, and developed a love of travel through moving around so much. This led her to a career as a flight attendant, and it was in the air that she thought of the idea for her debut thirller THE PERFECT GIRLFRIEND, which aims to explore not only obsession, but also the true faces behind those who go to work in uniform.

Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy, and has now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband.

To find out more about Karen Hamilton, follow her on twitter @KJHAuthor.

The Perfect Girlfriend is out now on Ebook or released on 22nd March in hardcopy and can be preordered from Amazon here or from Waterstones here.

Big thanks to Anne Cater and Becky Hunter for allowing me to be a part of this tour.

Don’t forget to fly over to the other stops on this blog tour!

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Chiller Review: The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst

Blurb:

When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous.

Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced she’s just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss.

But Ellie’s foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger…

Foster Child

Bad things seem to follow little Ellie Atkinson around – dangerous things are happening to people who make her angry. Her teachers and fellow students believe she is evil and someone to be feared – but is there more to it?

Imogen Reid, a child psychologist agrees to take on the case of Ellie after recently moving back to her own town of Gaunt with her husband Dan. But as Imogen refuses to listen to people’s warnings about Ellie, she becomes increasingly more obsessed with her. But she hiding a secret of her own…

What I say:

What a wicked mind the author Jenny Blackhurst has!

This story had me gripped from the very beginning with a chilling opening and breath-taking twisty action which didn’t let up until the end.

The author does a fantastic job of capturing the voice of a troubled eleven-year-old girl, who slowly spirals out of control. Ellie is such a fabulous protagonist who becomes increasingly alienated for being ‘strange’ but as she fights back, the town has other ideas. Her voice is so compelling and quite frankly freaked me out. Some of the other characters in this book are just plain creepy and quite sadistic which just added to the horror elements in this story.

I particularly loved the setting of this book; the town of Gaunt, which Ellie is forced to live in and Imogen has moved back to. Gaunt is claustrophobic and suffocating, slowly forcing the characters to breaking point. Imogen is someone who views the town as a complete outsider, having escaped to London for years which gives the reader a glimpse into this creepy place.

The author manages to play with the readers misconceptions and stereotypes as the tale become darker and more terrible than even I could’ve guessed, showcasing the superb writing and wicked mind of Jenny Blackhurst.

The Foster Child definitely got under my skin and had me glued to the pages. This is a story full of chilling characters, a claustrophobic setting and a tightly woven plot full of twist and turns and a dash of horror mixed in. What’s not to love?

To find out more about Jenny Blackhurst follow her on twitter @JennyBlackhurst .

The Foster Child can be ordered from Amazon here or from Waterstones here.

Big thanks to Millie Seaward and Headline for my ARC.

Blog Tour Review: The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana

Today, I’m pleased to be hosting the next stop on the blog tour for The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana, published by Mantle.

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First up the Blurb:

When Anna Flores’ adored older sister goes missing as a teenager, Anna copes by disappearing too, just as soon as she can: running as far away from her family as possible, and eventually building a life for herself abroad.

Thirty years later, the death of her mother finally forces Anna to return home. Tasked with sorting through her mother’s possessions, she begins to confront not just her mother’s death, but also the huge hole Gabriella’s disappearance left in her life – and finds herself asking a question she’s not allowed herself to ask for years: what really happened to her sister?

With that question comes the revelation that her biggest fear isn’t discovering the worst; it’s never knowing the answer. But is it too late for Anna to uncover the truth about Gabriella’s disappearance?

My thoughts:

The Missing Girl is a tale of a family who fall apart after Gabriella Flores suddenly goes missing as a teenager. The story is narrated through the eyes of Anna, both in the present day who has come home to deal with the aftermath of her mother’s death, and in 1982 as an eleven-year old girl leading up to the event when her sister disappeared.

I loved loved loved this story.  This is not your usual psychological thriller but is so much more. It does centre around the mystery of a missing girl but also has a moving story at it’s heart; a family who collapses in on itself as a way to cope with the loss. I especially loved the narrative which is set in 1982 where Anna is an inquisitive eleven-year old who seeks approval from her big sister, and wants to be the centre of her world. But when Gabriella starts pulling away and her parents whisper behind locked doors, Anna finds herself increasingly isolated from her family for reasons she cannot understand. This is a moving story of not only Gabriella’s disappearance but of Anna’s lost childhood.

The novel itself is very evocative and beautifully written, as well as being full of pace. I found myself drawn deeper into the world of Anna, her family and her pain which had me turning the pages as I was desperate to know what happened to Gabriella for as much as Anna’s sake as my own.

In this novel, the author does a fantastic job of capturing the voice of a young girl who looks up to her older sister vying for approval, while trying to understand what is going on in the world around her, without ever truly knowing.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves a compelling mystery with an emotive story at it’s heart.

About the Author:

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Jenny Quintana grew up in Essex and Berkshire, before studying English Literature in London. She has taught in London, Seville and Athens and has also written books for teaching English as a foreign language, alongside her fiction book The Missing Girl. She is a graduate of the Curtis Brown Creative writing course. She now lives with her family in Berkshire.

Big thanks to Annabelle Wright and Mantle for my ARC.

The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana is out now, published by Mantle in hardback and priced at £14.99.

You can order The Missing Girl from Amazon here or from Waterstones here.

To find out more about Jenny Quintana follow her on Twitter at @jennyquintana95.

Don’t forget to visit the other stops on this blog tour!

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Chiller Review: Shame on You by Amy Henydenrych

51Oo4snyfiLBlurb:

You think you know her . . .
Meet Holly. Social media sensation. The face of clean eating. Everyone loves her. Everyone wants to be her.

Or do they?

When Holly is attacked by a man she’s only just met, her life starts to spiral out of control. Was she targeted because of her online wellness empire, or is there a darker reason behind the attack? He seemed to know her – but she doesn’t know him.

Or does she?

What if Holly isn’t who she seems to be? What if Holly’s living a lie?

But surely we all lie a bit online, don’t we . . .?

Meet Holly Evans, a cancer survivor and celebrity health food blogger who has a army of social media followers. One late afternoon, she meets a handsome, mysterious doctor in a Starbucks and agrees to go on a date with him. But the night ends in the worst way possible when she is attacked. Her attacker seems to know her, but does she know him?

Wow! I really enjoyed this novel which really showed the extent of which we are willing to share our daily lives online and exist in a virtual world to ‘bare’ our souls, as well as the damage this could have on others.

I knew this story would be an absolute corker as soon as I started it – the opening scene really captured my attention and hinted at the dark crime at the centre of this story.

The story is told from Holly’s point of view as she struggles to both rebuild her life and discover why she had been attacked, and her attacker Tyler. As the story unravels it is difficult to decide who I have more empathy for, which just shows the captivating way the author tells the story.

I liked the way this novel played on modern online culture, focusing on the pit-falls of how we portray ourselves online which could lead us open and vulnerable to attack, and the way in which nothing is a secret anymore.

The author creates a beautifully claustrophobic way of telling the story, which is very descriptive and fast-paced with two very distinctive point-of-view character’s. It is also very dark and chilling in places, which I of course loved, and took me as the reader in a very surprising direction.

This is a claustrophobic psychological thriller with a fast-paced, tightly woven plot with two characters slowly spiralling out of control – a brilliant recommended read!

About the author:

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Amy Heydenrych is a writer and book blogger based in South Africa. She has been shortlisted twice for the acclaimed Miles Morland African Writing Scholarship. Her short stories and poems have published in multiple anthologies including Brittle PaperThe Kalahari Review and the Short Sharp Stories anthologies. When she is not writing her own fiction, she ghost-writes books and columns for global tech and financial companies. She is currently working on her second novel.

Big thanks to Emily Burns at Bonnier Zaffre and Netgalley for my ARC.

You can order Shame On You on e-book from Amazon here or preorder the paperback here.

To find out more about Amy Heydenrych follow her on Twitter at @AmyHeydenrych.