Synopsis: When three domestic abuse offenders are found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.
The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered. And he is Lucy’s husband.
Now the finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?
My Review: Okay so I have to be completely honest here and say that I know Noelle as she first became a reviewer on my Blog, and not long after that we became firm friends. When she mentioned she would like to write a book, little did I realise that here I would be years later reading her debut novel. I also have to confess I was nervous going in, because all my friends, and some followers as well as authors know I am always honest about books. I mean what if I didn’t like it and had to say as much in the review? Well I was so busy worrying about all that I didn’t consider how I would feel if I started reading, and then realised that I hadn’t put the book down because it was so good? Thankfully, it seems the Universe has aligned Noelle with the job she was meant to do as her debut novel was written like she was a seasoned pro.
Lucy Sherwood is our main character and what a character she is. Instantly you are drawn into the story as it becomes very apparent that Lucy has two very separate lives. Her work life as a Probation Officer was genuinely authentic (and Noelle’s previous career knowledge shone through there) and she was a likeable character. However, then there is the issue of her home life which is nothing short of harrowing.
On the other side of the fence is DC Maggie Jamieson who is investigating the murders of 3 men with a history of violence and domestic abuse. Sadly for Lucy all three men had her as their Probation officer. When Lucy’s husband becomes the fourth victim all eyes turn to Lucy!
I really thought I would be able to pull some criticisms from this but I truly couldn’t. It kept me gripped from start to finish and fits the bill perfectly for what a true psychological thriller should be. I would absolutely recommend this to people, the only thing I would say is that it obviously does touch on domestic abuse and some of it is not easy to read. I would suggest if the subject matter is something you are sensitive to then this may not be to your taste, but I felt it was dealt with extremely well. I am thrilled that Noelle is finally writing as it’s pretty clear that this is what she should have been doing for a career! An amazing debut novel!
Synopsis: Paramedic Abi Quinn is hailed as a hero by the patients she saves with the London Ambulance Service; but a secret she’s kept since she was a teenager now threatens to shatter that perfect illusion.
When her daughter Rose goes missing while studying at Brighton university, and ghosts from her past return to haunt her, Abi’s caught in a race against time to untangle the web of lies she set in motion over twenty years ago.
Everyone has something to lose.
Everyone is trying to protect themselves.
Everyone is broken.
But what lengths will they go to in order to stop the truth from being exposed?
My Rating: 5/5
My Review: Woahh okay I kind of didn’t expect this book to be what it was…so let me explain. So Tara is somebody I met a few years ago and we talked about her book she had released etc. However we also became firm friends and I can tell you now for a fact I have at various points on reading a book of hers actually picked up my phone and messaged her to say I hated something. She knows I will never write a fake review and will always be completely honest about it so I am going to try and do both. What happened was, I began to read her series of books featuring DI Hamilton, I started out liking them (not loving them) but her latest release with Denis Hamilton was awesome and a smashing 5 star read. When I picked this up I assumed it was another in the series. I was wrong, but a few chapters in realised I actually didn’t want to stop reading. However, there were things I didn’t like about the book but I still had that overwhelming urge to continue.
I read quite a few chapters the first time around and then the next time I picked it up, well… I finished it in one sitting. On one hand this was a TRUE psychological thriller and on the other there were things I just couldn’t gel with. Even after having negatives about this book I absolutely refuse to give it anything other than the full 5 out of 5. I didn’t want to put the thing down and was totally and utterly absorbed in the story line. My main gripe was the lead character Abi, I just didn’t like her. She felt a bit too much like a neurotic Mother for my liking. However, even though I didn’t like her it was pretty clear there were quite a few sinister things going on from the very early stages of the book.
Her daughter Rose appears to have gone missing and it becomes apparent that Abi’s own secrets may well have played a part in her disappearance. The first quarter of the book was a little slow as it felt a little bit like listening to a Mother harping on about her child constantly, but the last three quarters literally took my breath away. Just when I thought the story couldn’t get any better I reached the last chapter….and all I can say is I was a little in shock! An absolute belter of a book that is a must read for psychological thriller fans!
Synopsis: ‘I’ve fled from my husband and the only life I’ve ever known. I’m terrified that if he finds me, I’ll never find myself.’
Kat is trapped in a world where she has never belonged. As a traveller, she has always felt lost, especially since the death of her parents in a fire when she was fourteen years old. Having been taken on by the Denton family as their own, Kat falls in love with their son, tearaway Jimmy. His charm soon wears off and Kat finds herself married to a controlling and violent thug.
Sixteen years later, Kat decides enough is enough and begins plotting her escape from a lifetime of abuse.
Stripped of her personality, Kat has no idea how to start again but she finds an unlikely ally in her sister-in-law Ellie who shows Kat that she is not alone.
Kat and Ellie Denton begin their venture into a new world, where they meet new people and build new lives. But Kat still wants to know more about her parents’ past and when she seeks the location of an address on the back of a family photograph, Kat begins to uncover more than she expected including a revelation that will lead Kat back to the traveller site she had been so desperate to escape from.
Will she find the answers she is looking for, or will she fall prey to the violent Jimmy Denton once more?
Kat’s Rating: 5/5 Continue reading
Synopsis: Izzy is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a local newspaper. Her somewhat-intimidating boss William sets her the task of dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month, and writing about it for the paper.
Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.
Follow the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble’, whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets’ Jake.
By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr Right?
My Rating: 4/5
My Review: Isabel our leading lady is a journalist who has been set a mission by her boss. 31 days in a month so she needs to have 31 dates via INternet Dating Sites all for her column! I think Izzy is somebody as a character I had to warm up to but once I did I found her quite funny. This was almost like reading snippets from hilarious stories either you have had or your friends have had in the past with all of her dates she goes on.
I did initially think this would be a little reminiscent of the film How To Lost A Guy in 10 Days, but it wasn’t however it does give you a real insight into the idea behind the theory. There were some moments in the story which had me laughing out loud and as time went on I felt Izzy’s pain of wanting the month to be over.
This is certainly a fun and light-hearted take on dating and was an enjoyable read. If you want something to make you giggle and something not too serious then this may well be the book for you.
Synopsis: It’s the week before Christmas and Isla McCoy has just received an unexpected gift: a letter announcing she is due a life-changing inheritance, but only if she’s willing to make amends with the father who abandoned her.
She has absolutely no intention of forgiving him, but who could resist an all-expenses-paid trip to the French resort of St Martin-de-Belleville?
There she meets smooth-talking Justin and nerdy glaciologist Sebastian; two very different men, with two very different agendas. Torn between her head and her heart, Isla finds herself utterly lost in a winter wonderland of her own feelings.
Surrounded by twinkling candles and roaring log-fires, Isla’s resolve finally begins to melt. But will she learn how to reconnect, not only with a whole new family, but with herself and her heart?
Kat’s Rating: 5/5
Kat’s Review: I really enjoyed the last book by Tilly featuring Isla’s friend Dodie. However I wanted to get stuck in with this book as I was curious about her best friend Isla. This book moves on to the same time period as Dodie, but we get to catch up with what Isla has done. Isla has had a strange phone call saying that her Grandmother she never knew has left her something in her will. However, that means visiting the French resort of St Martin-de-Belleville and seeing the Father who walked out on her and her Mum when she was a girl. <blog_break>
As Isla arrives in the resort she has no idea but upon meeting Dahlia the owner of the place she is staying, and geeky but loveable Glaciologist Sebastian things seem to take a turn for the better. I absolutely adored Sebastian and although Isla is quite prickly and defensive you could tell that she was thawing to both him and the lovely Dahlia that owns the hotel. Tilly does a cracking job describing this beautiful place and it was easy to fall in love with it all as you read.
There are certainly some hairy moments as Isla faces her fears and meets not only the Father she doesn’t know but the new step mother and half siblings. There are a couple of curveballs going on and you get the feeling that all is not as it seems on the surface. However, Isla doesn’t suffer fools gladly and you can see her battling to do the right thing. What I did love was that the process wasn’t shown to be easy. If she would have met her Dad and everything was instantly wonderful it wouldn’t have had the same impact.
I read this book in just two sittings and absolutely loved it. As much as I enjoyed reading about Dodie in book 1, geeky Seb and stern Isla stole the show and this book was definitely my favourite of the 2. A wonderful book and a perfect Christmas present!
Synopsis: Christmas has always been a special time for Noelle Parker. Winter evenings spent with family and friends, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies at her family’s cozy bakery have shaped her love for all things festive. But this year everything is changing…
The beloved bakery is facing closure and Noelle needs a miracle to save Christmas.
Determined to raise funds for the family business, Noelle sets about revamping the bakery while juggling a surprise new job, caring for the elderly and cantankerous William Harrington in his luxurious, sprawling mansion.
As Noelle melts the frostiness of the house with cake baking, snowball fights and glittering decorations, she helps William to reconnect with a romance that has spanned decades and unexpectedly finds herself falling for his grandson – the gorgeous but mysterious Alexander Harrington…
In the countdown to Christmas, can Noelle save the bakery, reunite a family and create some magical memories of her own along the way?
Kat’s Rating: 5/5
Kat’s Review: I was thrilled to be a part of Jenny Hale’s blog tour as I am a huge fan! This latest Christmas themed book was an absolute corker and I loved it. Noelle Parker is in danger of losing the family bakery and as such she is pulling out all the stops to try and raise as much money as possible to be able to save it from closing. In her quest for money she finds a new job working for William Harrington and caring for him in his ridiculously large mansion house. The benefit for Noelle is that it’s a live-in position which enables her to live there with her son Lucas.
As time goes on Noelle and William form a bond and the story adds another layer, and then Noelle meets William’s Grandson Alexander and another element is added to the story. I don’t really want to re-has any elements of the storyline as it’s so much more enjoyable when you discover it yourself. What I will say is that this book just felt perfect for the Christmas season, love and romance, a fabulously engaging storyline and a splash of snow, you can’t really ask for too much more. I loved the characters in this book and I always think Jenny Hale does an amazing job with her descriptions as I literally feel transported reading her books.
Another cracking book by Jenny Hale and even though I think Summer at Oyster Bay remains my favourite of hers this definitely takes a close second. A wonderful book that I devoured in a day and would highly recommend.
Synopsis: The fairy lights are up and shoppers are flooding the snowy seaside promenade. It’s going to be a busy month at Forget-Me-Not Vintage, a magical shop with a warm heart where every item has a story to be told.
With bright red hair and an infectious smile, Dodie is a hopeless romantic and absolutely one of a kind, just like the pieces in her shop.
When Dodie finds a love letter in the pocket of an old woollen coat, she makes it her mission to deliver it to its rightful owner. Following the address, she manages to persuade the handsome but reluctant new tenant, Edward, to help her with her search.
As the story of the letter unfolds, Dodie is there, as always, to pick up the pieces and make things right. But who will be there for her when her own love story needs a helping hand?
Is it too much to dream of a happy ending like the ones in the black and white movies she adores?
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: I have loved Tilly’s books that I have read in the past and was looking forward to indulging in the one of the many Christmas Themed books I have at the moment (it’s never too early right?). The cover is to die for and gives it that Christmassy feel however although the book is centered around Christmas time it’s not too much overkill which I liked. Dodie is a little quirky, she dyes her hair all sorts of colours and owns and runs a Vintage clothing store in town. She finds a letter in among some bits she has brought but all she has is the name of the people who wrote and received the letter and an address. Considering it was in 1944 she has her work cut out but wants to know more about the people involved.
On her quest to find out more she meets Ed who somehow gets involved in her search. Other notable characters were Dodie’s friend Isla, her slightly kooky Gran and even Nick, the homeless guy who Dodie talks to. Dodie’s Gran definitely stole the limelight for me and it was hillarious listening to her regular updates on what ‘classes’ she was attending! It took me a few chapters to get into the story but once there I was completely enthralled.The story of the Wartime romance adds another level to this book and for me made it so much more interesting as it intertwines with Dodie’s life. Overall this is another great book by Tilly and what makes it even better is knowing there is another installment soon! A Cosy Candlelit Christmas is being released in October 2017 and features Isla who is seen in this story. I can’t wait to get started on it!
Synopsis: The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…
When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before.<blog_break>
As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago.
Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack.
But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.
Kat’s Rating: 4/5 Continue reading
Synopsis: Who can you really trust?
Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is dragged into a gruesome murder investigation, while on annual leave at Lake Windermere. A handwritten note, with a woman’s name, is found inside the corpse.
When a direct link to London is identified, Hamilton must race against the clock to make the connection before the body count rises.
Meanwhile, four friends with strained relationships, are reunited. What past event do they want to keep buried and is there something linking them to the murders?
Then, when a person from Hamilton’s past returns, he must ask himself: how well do we really know our friends?
Kat’s Review: I really enjoyed book 2 featuring Denis Hamilton and was thrilled to get my hands on an early review copy of book 3. DI Hamilton is on holiday with his wife Elizabeth when lo and behold he stumbles across a murder scene. Denis being the type of man he is, decides to give the local police a helping hand. As his holiday quickly turns to a distant memory it becomes clear than Denis wants this case for himself and his team. Lucklily his boss pulls some strings and before you know it their wish is granted.
The dead man was a relatively well known celebrity Warren Speed. The discovery of his body uncovers the dissapearance of a close friend of his in the same spot some a couple of years prior to his body being found. That gives the team two angles to work with. It was lovely to see the return of Hamilton’s team all of whom are quickly becoming integrated in my mind as one unit. Rocky, Fraser and Clarke return along with the newest member Dixon. The interaction between the team was what made this book for me, and the storyline a close second. Now I know that sounds strange but for me it’s crucial that your become involved with all the characters and this third book in the series encompasses all that I want from a book like this.
Although the main storyline focuses on the what starts with the death of Warren Speed, I also liked the sub plots that appear and it keeps the book fresh and interesting. Hamilton is a character I am quickly becoming quite attached to and I love how close the team are and they all have their place firmly in this series in my mind.
Synopsis: Single mother Jen Cornish is just trying to hold things together for the sake of her seven-year-old son Charlie. Until the day when she does an impulsive good deed to help a neighbour, setting off a terrifying chain of events that quickly spirals out of control…
When she is arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, Jen quickly starts to wonder if someone is playing a cruel game with her – or is she losing her mind?
Desperate to clear her name with the police, she must first untangle a chilling web of lies. But someone is watching her every move – and it isn’t just Jen who is in danger.
They’re watching her child as well.
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: Jennifer Cornish is a normal single mother working a job and looking after her boy Charlie, until one day she makes a really stupid decision! What Jen thinks is a sensible a neighbourly thing to do, ends up being the thing that sets off a chain of events that puts her and her sons life in danger. The start of the book lets the reader dive straight in and almost instantly I realised that one small mistake would not lead to anything good.
I liked Jen, even though I thought her decision was stupid. That said, I had no clue how the story would unfold and exactly what it all lead up to. Pretty soon when the police arrive at Jen’s door with all sorts of accusations things seem to spiral pretty quickly. The one element I loved about this latest was just how far the deciept went. Jen’s ex Johnny seems to be a pathetic and rather delusional character but written in a way that left me thinking he was just weak. HIs father Gerard however is a whole other ball game and a character that I think readers will love to hate.
Conspiracy and lies lay at the heart of this latest Bale book and although it has a slightly different edge to his others it was certainly no less enjoyable. His last book was a little more up my street as it seemed a lot more fast paced than this one. However, once I had reached the end I realised that this was just a different type of suspense and one that has the reader questioning every single character. Another enjoyable read and I will be interested to see what he comes up with next. Tom Bale has a rather clever edge with his writing in making it seem like the extraordinary could literally happen to the ordinary person!