Claire loves to read!

I'm Claire and I'm a voracious reader. I've loved books all my life and am lucky enough to have lots of time to devote to my favourite hobby - reading!


My favourite genres are crime, police procedural, psychological thriller, suspense, horror, mystery and paranormal; throw in a hint of romance and it'll tick another box. The type of genres I read has been widened considerably by accepting review requests from authors and publishers, so I'm happy to give almost anything a go!   2016 NetGalley Challenge 
      Reviews Published    2015 Challenge Participant


Type X (Project W. A. R. #2) by M.A. Phipps, the sequel to Ultraxenopia, my 2015 book of the year, is published today!

Type X - M. A. Phipps

Published by: CHBB Publishing (19th August 2016)





Two years have passed since her willing return to the DSD, and Wynter Reeves is no longer the timid girl who only wanted to blend in. Strong, confidant, and in control of her once debilitating powers, the world trembles at her feet while news of what she’s capable of spreads like fire among the State’s enemies. As the death toll rises and Dr. Richter further warps her into a weapon of war, Wynter is forced to embrace the daunting reality of what she’s become. With the remnants of her humanity hanging on by a shoestring, she must choose between the one sacrifice that could lead to her salvation or the dark path of destruction from which there can be no return.

Torn between two sides of a war she never asked for, will Wynter find her freedom, or will she be doomed to remain a monster forever?



This follow-up to last year's Ultraxenopia had an awful lot to live up to. It was great to finally catch up with Wynter and see what was happening in her life, now that she was back at the DSD.


It was a bit of a shock at first that two years had gone by since the end of Ultraxenopia, but I soon forgot about that as I was immediately sucked into the story. Wynter is now the State's killing machine and seems resigned to this fate, although she does remember some of the person she was before she was turned into a weapon. I don't put spoilers in my reviews and I'm having trouble with this one already! Suffice to say there is lots of action, a few characters from the first book make an appearance, including Dr Richter, who is determined to recapture his ultimate weapon. There are also some new characters that Wynter is rather suspicious of at first. Conversely, people are suspicious of Wynter. She is determined to prove that she is not the monster people perceive her to be.


M.A. Phipps has, again, written a compelling novel that grabs you from the very outset.It is intelligently written and utterly captivating, making it impossible to put down until you have finished the entire book. It is also quite emotionally diverse. I cannot wait to see where the story picks up in book three!



Review: The Woman who Lost her Mojo by Carol E. Wyer

The Woman Who Lost Her Mojo: An uplifting feel good novel about new love - Carol E. Wyer

Published by: Bookouture (23rd September 2016)


ISBN: 9781786810724 


Source: NetGalley 


Rating: 4.5*



Since splitting from her husband, Charlie’s life has been stuck in a rut. Best friend Mercedes will do anything to put a smile back on Charlie’s face and so draws up a bucket list of things to help Charlie recover her mojo.

Sure enough, as Charlie works her way through the list, belly dancing and bungee jumping, she makes new friends and even begins to attract some male attention.

Journalist Jake gives Charlie butterflies but he almost seems too perfect – there must be a reason why he’s single. Perhaps Rob would be a better bet – yes he’s short and he drinks too much - but a girl can’t have everything can she?

The final challenge on Charlie’s list looms large. Can Charlie complete it and prove to herself that life is for living, whatever may have happened in the past? And can Jake get through to Charlie and stop her from settling for the single life or, the wrong man?




I don't read an awful lot of chick lit, but I know I can rely on the Bookouture authors to provide some much-needed light relief when I need a break from my beloved crime and psychological thrillers. Award-winning writer Carol E. Wyers is a new author to me, but I am familiar with her name, having recently found a copy of Life Swap in a local second hand book shop.


The premise of this novel is fabulous; two best friends agree to work their way through each others' Carpe Diem list, their version of a bucket list, undertaking the challenges. As Charlie works her way through her challenges, each more scary than the last, she gets into all sorts of trouble, often with hilarious results. I laughed so much whilst reading this book, it's got such a feel good factor! 


Charlie and best friend Mercedes seem like a couple of women I'd be friends with, and their relationship is so easy to relate to. Other characters simply add to the enjoyment, particularly adorable Bert. My only criticism would be that I worked out very early on what would happen, but I think this is acceptable in the genre, and the only thing that made me give it less than 5*.


Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing an ARC in return for my honest review.



Review: The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells

The Beauty of the End - Debbie Howells

Published by: Kensington Books (July 26 2016) (hardback)


ISBN: 9781496705983


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 5*



"I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. . ."

So begins the testimony of Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer with a sideline in armchair criminal psychology. Now living an aimless life in an inherited cottage in the English countryside, Noah is haunted by the memory of the beguiling young woman who left him at the altar sixteen years earlier. Then one day he receives a troubling phone call. April, the woman he once loved, lies in a coma, the victim of an apparent overdose--and the lead suspect in a brutal murder. Deep in his bones, Noah believes that April is innocent. Then again, he also believed they would spend the rest of their lives together.

While Noah searches for evidence that will clear April's name, a teenager named Ella begins to sift through the secrets of her own painful family history. The same age as April was when Noah first met her, Ella harbors a revelation that could be the key to solving the murder. As the two stories converge, there are shocking consequences when at last, the truth emerges.

Or so everyone believes. . .



I devoured Debbie Howells' debut, 2015's The Bones of You, so when I had the opportunity to read a review copy of The Beauty of the End, I jumped at the chance.


Upon meeting Noah, I was a little wary as I wasn't sure whether he would turn out to be trustworthy or not. He comes across as quite needy and clearly still has very strong feelings for April. Strong, verging on the obsessive. He finds out impossible to resist trying  prove her innocence, the pull of her is just too strong, even lying in a coma.


The chapters tell the story from different perspectives: Noah's; Ella's; and the young Noah, who tells of his love of April. I found this confusing in a couple of places and had to double check whose point of view it was, but that's likely nothing to do with the writing and everything to do with my compromised attention span!


I enjoyed the way the story built, layer upon layer, with twists along the way, but I did manage to work out a couple of things from the clues and words left unsaid. Having said that, the final twist was something I'd not forseen - it was quite a shock! 


Ella's story, told via sessions with her therapist, added more depth and structure, and of course I was trying to guess how she fit in. 

Once again, Debbie Howells' masterful storytelling and great attention to detail make for a deeply compelling psychological  that I highly recommend.

Special thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book, in return for my honest opinion. 

Review: The Invisible Man (Leo Junker #1) by Christoffer Carlsson (author); Michael Gallagher (translator)

The Invisible Man from Salem - Christoffer Carlsson

Publisher: Scribe Publications; (14 July 2016)


ISBN-13: 978-1925228786


Source: Real Readers 


Rating: 3*



When a young woman is shot dead in his apartment block, disgraced former police officer Leo Junker is one of the first on the scene. Examining the dead body, he notices that the woman is clasping a cheap necklace - a necklace he instantly recognises. Despite being warned off the case, Leo sets out on a rogue investigation to catch the killer, uncovering a series of frightening connections between the murder and his own troubled youth in Salem, and forcing him to confront a long ago incident that changed his life forever.



After a rather rocky start, I decided to persevere with The Invisible Man From Salem, because I had heard such good things about the author, and the story had really appealed to me.

The Leo Junker of the present day is in a sorry state. Suspended from the police force and with a penchant for knocking back tranquilizers with shots of absinthe, Leo is suddenly transported back in time when a piece of evidence ties him to this current case. Leo's teenage years are told in the present time and first person, which I an not usually a huge fan of, but the younger Leo is more optimistic, relatively sober, and not yet reliant on pharmaceuticals to get him through the day. He is also very well written, and nothing is lost in the translation. This is where the plot began to sink its claws in and I started wondering what the rest of this book held for the maverick cop.


All in all, this was an enjoyable read but, for me, the 'wow' factor was missing. Special thanks Scribe, Real Readers and the team at nudge for providing me with a copy of this book, in return for my honest review.

Review: A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones

A Modern Way to Cook: 150+ Vegetarian Recipes for Quick, Flavor-Packed Meals - Anna Jones

Published by Ten Speed Press (30th August 2016)


ISBN: 978-0399578427


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 4*



From the author of the brilliant "A Modern Way to Eat," who was dubbed "the new Nigella Lawson" by "The Times," comes this beautiful collection of 150+ delicious and inspiring weeknight vegetarian recipes.


EATING HEALTHY ISN T ALWAYS EASY when you re coming home late at night and tired. In this genius new collection of vegetarian recipes, author Anna Jones tackles this common problem, making nourishing vegetable-centered food realistic on any day of the week. The chapters are broken down by time, with recipes that can be prepared in under 15, 20, 30, and 40 minutes, so no matter how busy you are, you can get dinner on the table, whether it be smoky pepper and white bean quesadilla, butternut squash and sweet leek hash, or chickpea pasta with simple tomato sauce. With evocative and encouraging writing, A Modern Way to Cook is a truly practical and inspiring recipe collection for anyone wanting to make meals with tons of flavor and little fuss.



This is a fantastic book for making quick meals full of yummy plant-based goodness. The recipes are arranged according to how long they take to prepare and cook. It's all so simple, the only way you could go wrong was if you didn't have the ingredients in the first place!


There are beautifully clear photographs to accompany almost every recipe, and suggested alternatives to vary the dishes too. This is being hailed as the best vegetarian book of recent years and claims to contain recipes to tempt even the most die-hard carnivore, and I can see why. There are recipes here that my meat-eating husband would enjoy, and I'm personally looking forward to trying the ones I've not already made.

Review: Remember My Name by Abbey Clancy


Published by: Mira UK (19th May 2016)


ISBN: 9781848454545


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 4*



From the moment Liverpool teenager Jess stars in the school musical, she knows that she’s GOT to be a star. Fast forward a few years and the closest the now 22 year old Jessica has got to stardom is as a children’s entertainer – which is where she meets Jack, uncle to the spoiled 5 year old birthday princess, who spots Jessica’s talent and offers her a job with a record label. But that means that she’ll have to leave her family and her home and move to London – where she quickly finds that the streets aren’t quite paved with gold. And as she spends her days making tea for bitchy PR girls and her nights in a mouldy studio flat, Jessica wonders if leaving Liverpool for London has been a terrible mistake.


Attending an industry party – unfortunately only to serve canapes – Jessica’s fortunes suddenly change when Vogue, the singer due to perform at the event drops out. Before she knows it, Jessica volunteers to stand in and takes centre stage. After a dazzling performance, she is surrounded by people wondering who this amazing new talent is. What’s more, her star turn has been captured by the press and she has become an overnight sensation.


Plunged into the crazy world of glitz and glamour, Jessica’s life is transformed but as her star rises, she loses touch with her roots. Jessica’s teenage dreams of stardom may have come true, but at what cost?



Remember My Name is a delightful romp through the life of Jessy; an ordinary young woman quickly catapulted into the guise of Jessika, the newest pop star on the planet, simply by being in the right place at the right time. Oh yeah, and by having a rather fab voice too! We follow Jessy as she tries to adapt to the demands of her new life and still find time for her family, friends and herself. Time she just doesn't seem to have enough of...


I suspect that there are more than a few parallels with the author's personal experiences here. The story seems very real and the emotions raw. The clever use of description makes it impossible not to feel for Jessy and the impossible situation she finds herself in. Having said that, this is certainly not a literary read, but it isn't marketed as such. I think it would greatly appeal to the YA/NA market.


The characters are easy to relate to - Jessy herself is likeable and believable, and other characters like Jessy's sister Becky and fellow singer Vogue are instantly likeable. Others, such as Patty, are slow burners and take a while to get to know. This book definitely puts you through the emotional wringer. I laughed out loud, snorted, gasped, shouted, and appeared to have something in my eye...


Special thanks to Mira UK and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader's copy in exchange for my honest review.

Review: The Stepmother by Claire Seeber

The Stepmother: A gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist - Claire Seeber

Published by: Bookouture (15th July 2016)


ISBN: 9781786810496


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 4*



The perfect wife. A fairytale family. Don’t believe your eyes…

Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships.

No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work.

And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.

But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.

Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.

After all, a fairytale needs a happy ending … doesn’t it?



Each chapter in this psychological thriller is told from the perspective of new wife, Jeanie, or her sister, Marlena, with Jeanie focusing on what is happening in the here and now, whilst Marlena has a more reflective view. It was useful to get some insight into the sisters' childhood and the ways in which it must have affected their views and actions in their lives and relationships.


As Jeanie encounters strange goings-on at home, the intelligence of Claire Seeber's writing shines through, leaving the reader as bewildered as Jeanie. The clever plot twists shift your focus this way and that, until you have absolutely no idea who is responsible for what, who is innocent and who, ultimately, is guilty.


Although I enjoyed the story as a whole, there were a couple of parts I found hard to get into. There is an awful lot going on and lots of different points I felt could have been explored further, or omitted all together, to make the story more concise. But, no doubt I'm being overly critical.


I thought the characters were quite well developed, and I really liked Jeanie. Although she was a pleaser, she also had a little bit of fighting spirit too, and the combination worked. I could picture each of the characters really well too, the descriptions were so good. Each little mannerism and personality trait came through, it was like the whole book played out in front of me. The descriptions of the environment, the houses and grounds, were fantastic too. I felt as though I could see each of the rooms and the gardens. I distinctly remember feeling the same way about a previous book by the same author and being very impressed by her writing. Claire Seeber is definitely one to watch.


Special thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader's copy, in return for my honest review.

Review: Shtum by Jem Lester

Shtum - Jem Lester

Published by: Orion (7th April 2016)


ISBN-13: 978-1409166511


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 5*



Ben Jewell has hit breaking point.

His ten-year-old son, Jonah, has never spoken. So when Ben and Jonah are forced to move in with Ben's elderly father, three generations of men - one who can't talk; two who won't - are thrown together.

As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths.

Jonah, blissful in his ignorance, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled.

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-year-old son Jonah has severe autism and Ben and his wife, Emma, are struggling to cope.

When Ben and Emma fake a separation - a strategic decision to further Jonah's case in an upcoming tribunal - Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben's elderly father. In a small house in North London, three generations of men - one who can't talk; two who won't - are thrown together.

As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths. Jonah, blissful in his innocence, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled.




Comparisons to The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time are inevitable and warranted, but Shtum definitely has a darker feel. For his debut, Jem Lester drew upon his experiences with his non-verbal, autistic son, and it really shows. The result is a brilliant, insightful, honest portrayal of the bittersweet relationship between Ben and son Jonah.


Ben's father, Georg is a wonderful character and, I think, the glue that holds Ben together when he first moves in. Their relationship isn't perfect, but all the little touches and how they look after each other when they're both hurting so much inside is heartwarming.


Ben's and Georg's interactions with Jonah are fantastic and bring such a lightness to this otherwise rather dark tale. The humour is well placed; I laughed out loud several times and was reminded of the times when I cared for young people like Jonah.  It feels as though you are watching from the doorway and listening to what Ben and Georg have to say to Jonah, and each other.


Shtum is fantastic, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It's one of those books that at first glance you might overlook, as I did. I'm so glad I came back to it and decided to read it. The story of Ben, Georg and Jonah will stay with me for a long time. I'd like to thank Orion for providing an advanced reader's copy, via NetGalley.

Review: Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

Dear Amy - Helen Callaghan

Published by: Penguin UK - Michael Joseph (16th June 2016)


ISBN: 9780718183752


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 4*



Margot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Examiner. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters - but none like the one she's just received:

'Dear Amy,
I don't know where I am. I've been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I'm afraid he'll kill me.
Please help me soon,
Bethan Avery'

Bethan Avery has been missing for years. This is surely some cruel hoax. But, as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public. How is this happening? Answering this question will cost Margot everything . . .



Dear Amy is a fast-paced debut psychological thriller, with a surprising premise that will keep you guessing as you try to fit all the pieces of the story together.


Margot is an ordinary schoolteacher who also works under the guise of agony aunt Amy. I found her to be quite difficult to get to know at first, but with the disappearance of one of her class of children, Katie Browne, Margot became so driven and determined to find the person responsible and save Katie, I found myself liking her more and I was really rooting for her, and for Katie.


The story is narrated from the different perspectives of the main characters, and some of it is hard reading due to the subject matter. It is intelligently and cleverly written, with the dropping of little tidbits of information along the way that leave you wondering where on earth they fit in to the whole picture. This really made me think, and I adore this in a book.


As Margot tries to work out whether Bethan Avery is still alive, and if so, who she is, the twists and turns get faster and tighter; I had no choice but to hold on tight as I turned the pages, unable to stop reading until I'd reached the exciting conclusion....


I'd recommend Dear Amy to fans of psychological thrillers such as You Sent Me A Letter.  It's an impressive, engaging read that's full of surprises. I'd like to thank Michael Joseph for providing an advance reader's copy, via NetGalley.

Review: All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

All Is Not Forgotten - Wendy   Walker

Published by: Harlequin UK, Mira (14th July 2016)


ISBN: 9780008173616


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 5*



Jenny’s wounds have healed.
An experimental treatment has removed the memory of a horrific and degrading attack.
She is moving on with her life.

That was the plan. Except it’s not working out.
Something has gone. The light in the eyes. And something was left behind. A scar. On her lower back. Which she can’t stop touching.
And she’s getting worse.
Not to mention the fact that her father is obsessed with finding her attacker and her mother is in toxic denial.

It may be that the only way to uncover what’s wrong is to help Jenny recover her memory. But even if it can be done, pulling at the threads of her suppressed experience will unravel much more than the truth about her attack.

And that could destroy as much as it heals.



Jenny's story is told via sessions with therapist, Alan, who also has sessions with Jenny's mum and dad, and as such becomes an integral part of a local detective's hunt for her attacker. The small American town where the attack took place, and the family live, is one where everyone knows each other, making such an horrific attack on one of their own unthinkable. The transcripts of each person's therapy sessions are detailed and intriguing, with therapist Alan also including information from some of his other patients, as he sees it being pertinent to the case.


This is such a cleverly written book, it's so hard to put down, and i read it so quickly. The way that each main character's tale is recounted means there's a lot of information as well as a lot of emotion, but this all adds to the suspense and intrigue and doesn't detract from the main point. Some of this is very hard reading, due to the severity of the attack on Jenny, but it doesn't feel gratuitous in any way.


It's hard to say too much more without giving the game away, but suffice to say that the tension is ramped up with every chapter, I was utterly incredulous at several points and the conclusion is a revelation I'd not forseen. All in all, this is a tightly wound psychological thriller I'd recommend to all readers of the genre. Be prepared for a white knuckle ride!


Special thanks to the author and publisher for providing an ARC, via NetGalley, in return for my honest review.

Review: Baby Doll by Hollie Overton

Baby Doll - Hollie Overton

Published by: Random House UK, Cornerstone (30th June 2-16)


ISBN: 9781780895062


Source: Netgalley


Rating: 5*



Lily has been abducted from outside her high-school gates.

For eight long years she's been locked away from the outside world. During that time she's changed from a girl into a woman. She's had a baby.

And now she has seized her chance and escaped.

Running for her life, with her daughter in her arms, she returns to her family and the life she used to know - to her much-loved twin sister Abby, her mum, her high-school boyfriend - and her freedom.

But is it possible to go back?

Lily's perfect life as a teenager doesn't exist any more. Since she's been gone, her family's lives have changed too, in ways she never could have imagined.

Her return, and the revelation of who took her, will send shockwaves through the whole community.



Lily's story, told from the perspective of the main characters, is absolutely horrific. Despite this, it is also utterly compelling. I can't get my head around the fact that crimes like this really happen, it's unthinkable.

Hollie Overton's gripping and intelligent writing is addictively good. I was desperate to find out who perpetrated this terrible crime, but instead of skimming (and quite unusually for me) I had to read every single word. I was scared of missing some vital clue that would lead me to the kidnapper's door. In spite of my close attention to detail, when the truth was revealed it was a complete surprise. My jaw must've hit the floor, it was such a shock!


Lily is a wonderful character. She's a survivor and incredibly strong. Her almost robotic air of calm when leading the authorities to her abductor is breathtaking. In contrast to this, the raw emotion she shows when reunited with her first love shows her humanity.

Abby is fantastic too. She's feisty and confrontational and a delight to read.

The abductor tells the story from their perspective too. To be inside the mind of such a character is at once both scary and thrilling and their story reads well alongside the other interpretations of events.


Special thanks to the author and publisher for providing an ARC of Baby Doll in return for my unbiased review.





Review: Behind Dead Eyes by Howard Linskey

Behind Dead Eyes - Howard Linskey

Published by: Penguin UK - Michael Joseph (28th June 2016)

ISBN: 9780718180348

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 4*


A corpse is found: its identity extinguished in the most shocking manner imaginable.
Detective Ian Bradshaw can't catch the killer if no one can ID the victim. Out there, somewhere, a missing young woman may hold the answers.


Journalist Helen Norton is about to uncover a massive criminal conspiracy. She just needs the final piece of the puzzle. Soon, she will learn the price of the truth.


True-crime writer Tom Carney receives letters from a convicted murderer who insists he is innocent. His argument is persuasive - but psychopaths are often said to be charming...


This is the second book to feature Detective Ian Bradshaw, Helen Norton and Tom Carney, the first being No Name Lane. I've really enjoyed meeting these three characters again; it felt like catching up with friends that I'd not seen for a while, which is something I absolutely love, both in books and the real world!  This reads well as a stand alone, but there is a bit of background information that comes from the first book, so I'd really recommend reading No Name Lane first, to get the most out of Behind Dead Eyes.

The case itself is horrifying, author Howard Linskey doesn't hold back on any of the gruesome details. As each of the main characters work from their own perspective, the individual threads begin to weave together to form a tangled, multi-layered means of attacking the case in front of them. I found this approach held my interest well. The ending of the book was impressive too; there were so many threads I was concerned the ending would be rather messy, but these were all tied nicely together.

Behind Dead Eyes is intelligently written and is a good example of great British crime writing. I'll be eagerly awaiting the third and final outing for Ian, Helen and Tom. I can barely wait!

Special thanks to the author and publisher for providing an ARC via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.

Blog Tour for The Good Kind of Bad by Rita Brassington

The Good Kind of Bad - Rita Brassington


Self-published (23rd November 2015)


ISBN: 978-1517126179


Source:  free copy via author 


Rating: 4*



Secrets don't stay secret for long... She spent her whole life being the perfect daughter, the perfect girlfriend, and was all ready to become the perfect wife. But after ditching her fiancé at the altar and escaping to Chicago, she marries smouldering stranger Joe Petrozzi three weeks after meeting him in a bar. At least this time, there’s no chance of cold feet. Married life starts out great: there’s the new job, a gorgeous, enigmatic husband and money's not an issue. So what if she’s kept a few secrets from Joe – like where all her money came from. Joe’s been keeping secrets from her, too. But his might just get her killed.



When Rita Brassington asked me to review her debut novel, I initially declined on account of having far too many books on my 'to be reviewed' list. Rita was kind enough to send me a copy anyway, and having read the synopsis, I was unable to resist.


The plot is interesting - a chance meeting with a handsome stranger in a bar results in a whirlwind romance of three weeks followed by a swift marriage. How much does she really know about her new husband? But the new Mrs Petrozzi has some secrets of her own - namely the cool 5 million her father made running a Ponzi scheme that is now sitting in a bank account in her name.


There are some fascinating characters in this novel, all are well developed with complex lives and all add intrigue to the story. The character interaction is fluid, with good descriptions that made it easy to set the scene and imagine the characters in my head. I found Evan particularly intriguing as I just couldn't work him out at all.


There is some violence here, though it doesn't feel gratuitous in any way, merely matter of fact and it is necessary to illustrate exactly what is occurring. This book is part psychological thriller, part crime, with some romance, more than a smidgen of mystery and tons of suspense. It's fast paced, like a washing machine on a fast spin that had me clinging on by my fingernails at times, with a few 'WTF?!' moments too.


Rita Brassington has written one hell of a debut novel in The Good Kind of Bad  and I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for her second offering.


Get yourself a copy of #TGKOB from amazon uk       amazon us


Catch the rest of the blog tour here...

Review: Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre (author), Frank Wynne (translator)

Blood Wedding - Pierre Lemaitre

Published by: Maclehose Press (20th April 2017)


ISBN: 978-1848666009


Source: Real Readers


Rating: 5*



Sophie Duguet is losing her grip. Haunted by visions from her past, of her loving husband, who committed suicide after a car accident.

One morning she wakes to find Leo, the child in her care, strangled in his bed by Sophie's own shoelaces. She can remember nothing of the night before. Could she really have killed him? She flees in panic, but this only cements her guilt in the eyes of the law.

Not long afterwards it happens again - she wakes with blood on her hands, with no memory of the murder committed. Just what is it that comes over Sophie when she sleeps? And what else might she be capable of?


Wanted by the police, and desperate to change her identity, Sophie decides to find a man to marry. To have and to hold. For better or for worse. Till death do them part . . .



Blood Wedding is a tightly wound psychological thriller told in the third person and partly in first person in the form of diary entries, and consists of three distinct parts.


When we first meet Sophie in the first part of the story, she has had both her mother and her husband die, and she appears to be very emotionally traumatised by these deaths and other events. At first, I was unsure whether Sophie was, in fact, guilty of the heinous murder of the young child she is nanny to or whether something else entirely had occured.


The second part of the book introduces Frantz, a unknown character whose narrative spins Sophie's story on its head. When the shocking other explanation for the child's murder is first mentioned, I couldn't believe what I was reading. I think I sat there with my mouth hanging open in disbelief for several seconds! When a book truly shocks me and throws up surprises, I really start to enjoy it. Blood Wedding gets progressively darker from hereon in, and it's fascinating. A real roller coaster ride of events and emotions.


The last part of the book brings even more unforseen shocks and turns things yet again. It's hard to say anything without giving the game away, but suffice to say that it's a thrilling delight, a scary page turner that will have your heart beating fast. A masterful, delightfully dark tale.

Review: Midnight in Malmö (Inspector Anita Sundström #4) by Torquil MacLeod

Midnight in Malmö (Inspector Anita Sundstrom Mysteries) - Torquil MacLeod

Published by: McNidder & Grace (30th March 2016)


ISBN: 978-0857161307


Source: Publisher


Rating: 5*



When a woman is stabbed to death while jogging in Malmö's main park, the Criminal Investigation Squad need to discover who she is before the case can properly get under way. Soon they realise the victim had flown in from Switzerland, and with links to important people in the city, she wasn't everything she seemed.


Meanwhile, enjoying the hot summer away from Malmö, Anita Sundström is on her annual leave and is showing Kevin Ash the sights of Skåne. Their holiday is interrupted by the apparent suicide of a respected, retired diplomat. After a further death, Anita finds herself unofficially investigating a case that has its roots in the 1917 chance meeting of a Malmö waiter with the world s most famous revolutionary. All she knows is that the answers lie in Berlin.



Anita Sundström is one of my favourite female detectives. I feel I've got to know her quite well over the first three Malmö mysteries, and was looking forward to seeing her outside the work setting in this latest book. I was hoping for some more interactions with Kevin as this gave another dimension to the last case. Seems Torquil MacLeod granted both my wishes!


The case of the murdered jogger is not as simple as it first seems, and Anita cannot help herself but get involved, dragging Kevin along for the ride. I love their fledgling relationship, it brings a bit of light relief from the disturbing case. Kevin is a great character; he's likeable, believable and funny, exactly the sort of person I can see Anita falling for. As they work together to investigate the case, their professional appreciation for each other seems to grow too. It really felt like I was rooting for two friends, in both their relationship and the case, instead of characters in a book. I was completely drawn into the story, so much so that I was oblivious to everything happening around me; I was completely engrossed.


If you're a fan of crime thrillers and you haven't discovered Torquil MacLeod, you're really missing out. Midnight in Malmö is intriguing and utterly compelling. I can't wait to read about Anita Sundström's next case!


Thanks to Torquil MacLead and McNidder & Grace for providing me with a copy of this book in return for my honest review.




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