Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Watching Edie by Camilla Way

The Description

A brilliantly written, incredibly unnerving psychological thriller about friendship, deception and betrayal that will have you captivated from the first to the last page.

“Who's good? Who's evil? Those questions are at the heart of WATCHING EDIE, a taut, tricky suspense novel that drops secrets in all the right places. As she explores the heart of a dark female friendship, Camilla Way twists her way to an original ending that rings with truth.”
Julia Heaberlin, author of BLACK-EYED SUSANS

“WATCHING EDIE has a clever plot, a fateful friendship, a callous betrayal, and an ending that is as twisty as it is inevitable—it’s all there!”
Alexandra Burt, international bestselling author of LITTLE GIRL GONE

‘Wonderful -- one of those novels that sucks you in and doesn't let go for a moment.
Way brings a powerful new voice to the psychological thriller genre that promises much for the future.’
Alex Marwood, bestselling author of THE WICKED GIRLS and THE KILLER NEXT DOOR

Beautiful, creative, a little wild – Edie caused a stir when she walked into Heather’s life. Back when they both had dreams for the future. Before it all went horribly, terrifyingly wrong…

Years later Edie is pregnant and alone, desperately trying to rebuild her life. But someone’s been watching her, waiting for the chance to prove what a perfect friend she can be.

It’s no coincidence that Heather shows up just when Edie needs her the most.

A dark secret lies between them and Edie’s about to learn that those who have hurt us deeply—or who we have hurt—never let us go…
My Review
I loved, loved, loved this book. I thought it was extremely well written. The story is absolutely absorbing, horrifying, and heart rendering. The characters, especially the two main ones, are superb, very well developed, and extremely believable. The relationship between the two kept me gripped. I can assure you there is enough tension in this book to send your blood pressure soaring.
It is very cleverly written from two different perspectives, then and now. Then being from the socially inept, overweight Heather's view point, and now being from popular and good looking Edie's. Both girls belong to dysfunctional families and because of this they are drawn together, however, both their friendship, and they, begin to unwind when Edie finds a boyfriend, Connor.
Camilla Way had a knack of messing with my emotions like no other, I didn’t know who to believe in, and then came the ending.
If you want a book that will grip you from beginning to end, that will have you sitting on the edge of your chair and shouting out nooo, then this is the book for you. It could leave you feeling a little unsettled, but that’s the sign of a great psychological thriller.  
An immensely satisfying read.
This is my favourite book of 2016 so far.
To purchase a copy of this book Click here

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Nowhere Girl Ruth Dugdall

I'm big fan of Ruth Dugdall, Humber Boy B was one of the best books I have read, so I was very excited when I was asked to read Nowhere Girl. I wasn't disappointed, this book is another fabulous read.

Book Description

Probation officer, Cate Austin, has moved for a fresh start, along with her daughter Amelia, to live with her police detective boyfriend, Olivier Massard. But when she realises just how casually he is taking the disappearance of Ellie, Cate decides to investigate matters for herself. She discovers Luxembourg has a dark heart. With its geographical position, could it be the centre of a child trafficking ring? As Cate comes closer to discovering Ellie’s whereabouts she uncovers a hidden world, placing herself in danger, not just from traffickers, but from a source much closer to home.

My review

Cate Austin is once again the protagonist of this book. It does follow on from Humber Boy B but it can easily be read as a stand alone, (although I recommend you read all of Ruth's novels). Cate has given up her job, left her home in England, and along with her daughter Amelia, has moved to Luxembourg to live with her boyfriend Olivier.

The story centres on Ellie, a teenage girl, the sister of Cate's daughter's friend. Ellie's relationship with her mother is very strained so when she disappears at a local fair it is assumed that she has ran away. At first Cate doesn't want to get involved but as the days pass she becomes increasing frustrated by the attitude of the local police, and especially Olivier.

Ruth DugdallRuth, an ex probation officer herself, was born in Felixstowe but now lives in Luxembourg with her family, not surprisingly, she captures the setting perfectly.

The pace of the story really suited me, and I loved the way it switched from character to character.

The characters themselves were very believable, and I quickly found myself being drawn into their lives. The fear and panic of the children was utterly convincing and unsettling.

There are twists in this story that I was not expecting, some that are quite shocking.

It is a great novel, one that will open your eyes to the horrors of child trafficking. I loved it, and thoroughly recommend it.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Legend Press for giving me a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Fabulous night with Peter James

My hubby and I attended a performance of the stage play of Peter James' DEAD SIMPLE this month.

I'm a great fan of Peter's, and luckily it fell close to my birthday, my hubby's not really into reading, and especially not crime fiction, so I didn't think he'd want to go to see the production, but he did like The Mousetrap when it came to Nottingham, and said he like to see a more contemporary play.

I'd received an email from the Nottingham Theatre Royal and Concert Hall telling me that if I had a ticket I could also attend a crime writing workshop Peter was putting on before the performance, so hubby got the tickets. I called the box office, as the email instructed but the girl on the other end of the phone didn't know anything about the workshop. Finally, she found out that it did exist but only for people with the best price tickets, we had tickets for the dress circle because I like sitting there. I pointed out that the email didn't say that, and if I had known we could have purchased the more expensive tickets.

A few days I got a call telling me that I could attend, and that the ticket was in the post, but a couple of days before I was due to go I received another phone call saying that the workshop was cancelled due to lack of interest! What is wrong with the people of Nottingham, we are talking about a workshop by the man voted the best crime writer ever!

That didn't stop me from enjoying the show. It was fabulous. I did wonder how they were going to pull it off, it was very clever. I'm not going to say too much because I don't want to give away any spoilers, but the play doesn't exactly follow the book, how can it, books are so long, plays are much shorter, but if you're a fan of Peter James, (and even if you've never read his work), you will love it.

Afterwards we were lucky to be able to go to a question and answer session with the great man himself.

Peter James is so engaging and amusing, and if you get a chance to see him you must. He is full of witty stories. The cast were great too. There is a lot of warmth between them all. It was a fantastic end to a great evening.

After all that Peter came out and did a book signing. Unfortunately all of his books are safely ensconced on my kindle, so we just said hi, and went home.

The other great thing about this evening is that my hubby is now reading Dead Simple, and really likes it, in fact, he likes it that much that he wants to read MORE crime fiction. Thank you Peter James, at last we'll be able to discuss books instead of talking about footy or the cricket!

Friday, 29 May 2015

Evil Games Angela Marsons

Warning, this book will keep you up at night. It is a fantastic read, with an antagonist as scary as a certain Mr Lectar.

When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work.

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim soon finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.

Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time - it’s personal.

The character of DI Kim Stone, who I just love, is developing more and more with each book. Ably assisted by DS Bryant, she is one lady I wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of.

Her antagonist in this novel is Doctor Alexandra Thorne, another fabulous character who is so evil she gave me chills. A dangerous sociopath, she makes it her business to delve into Kim Stone’s past in an effort to find her Achilles heel and destroy her. This is truly an evil woman, and she’s brilliant.

This book takes you on a wonderful, unnerving ride. Full of twists and turns, the action never stops.

This is the second book in the series, Silent Scream was the first, but it can be read as a standalone.

Silent Scream was great, but, in my opinion, Evil Games is better. It is definitely going into my top five books of 2015.

A definite 5* read, and thoroughly recommended.

This book is available now:

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

What She Left Behind by T.R. Richmond

Not sure what I really felt about this book. 

Yes it was original, and I, personally, have never read a book like it before, the concept of writing a book by using diary/blog pages, emails, tweets, and Facebook posts was great. 

It contains a lot of really nice prose, and the storyline is good.

I really like Alice Salmon. She had her faults, what heroine doesn't! She is the subject of the book, the girl who died, mysteriously, on a snowy February night. Prof Cooke is the protagonist. He’s the man who wants to gather all the information he can about her, to find out what sort of on-line presence she left behind, to see if he could make her dance again! Through this process we slowly come to realise the truth about Alice’s death.

The story is told through multiple viewpoints, Alice herself, the Prof, Alice’s boyfriend, friends and family, and through multiple time frames. The switch from one time frame to another is very cleverly done, and I was never unclear about where I was in the story. 

The characterisation is exceptional, I have a daughter the same age as Alice, and the things she did/wrote about, remind me so much of my daughter when she was younger, as well as now.

I think that what really bothered me about the book was I didn’t like Prof Cooke, I found him supercilious, and irritating. Some of the things he did, and wrote were truly awful, and I had no sympathy with him whatsoever.

I found it to be quite a sad book, but it was a book that I couldn’t stop reading. That was my dilemma, I hated the protagonist, but I had to get to the end.  That’s why I gave this book a 4* review. One thing this book does make you do is think about your own on-line footprint, it's amazing what stuff is out there in cyberspace!

Would I recommend this book, yes I would, it is a very clever, different read that grabs you in.

Available now:

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Friend or Foe?

One of the things we were asked in editing today was, Should editing be a collaborative process or not?
Collaborative editing allows the work to be edited by a group of people simultaneously, then having a feedback and discussion session with the writer on points they have picked up. This is the point of the group I belong to.
Editing my stuff -
I like to get different peoples viewpoints on my work. My editing group tells me what they feel works and what doesn't. It’s sometimes hard to listen to people pulling my words apart, but it is better in the long run to know something isn't working than to carry on regardless and waste months writing a novel no one will want to read because the tone is wrong, or there are mistakes with continuity. Never mind the grammar!  
Editors need to have good attention to detail, and be able to spot mistakes in the story. A number of people reading that story are able to pick up far more that the individual writer. I have found with my own writing that I am often too close to the story to notice many stand out errors. Even with my editor’s ‘hat’ on, there are still things I miss.
Whilst the others are reading the story it is uncomfortable but I have grown to trust their judgements, and they have picked up some humongous mistakes that I've made.
And editing isn't just about the mistakes that I've made, editors also pick up on the good things that I've written, and they are very encouraging and supportive.
There is a danger that the group of editors can become complacent with my work
Editing other peoples stuff –
I used to find editing other peoples work quite difficult, especially if it was a piece that I didn't like, but I now realise how useful it is to the writer, and I really don’t mind any more.  What I try to look for are the positives as well as the ways the work can be improved. When the author addresses the criticism I find that I get a lot out of it, I have gained a better understanding of the way people think, and the way they view things.
After all I am writing to be read, and so are the rest.