The Liar’s Room

The Liar's Room: The addictive new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of THE HOUSE

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Penguin Books UK

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The House

Synopsis:

ONE ROOM. TWO LIARS. NO WAY OUT…

Susanna Fenton has a secret. Fourteen years ago she left her identity behind, reinventing herself as a counsellor and starting a new life. It was the only way to keep her daughter safe.

But everything changes when Adam Geraghty walks into her office. She’s never met this young man before – so why does she feel like she knows him?

Then Adam starts to tell her about a girl. A girl he wants to hurt.

And Susanna realises she was wrong. 
She doesn’t know him. 
BUT HE KNOWS HER. 
AND THE GIRL HE PLANS TO HURT IS HER DAUGHTER…

Thoughts:

I was excited to get my hands on a copy of The Liar’s Room after really enjoying Simon Lelic’s book The House. I actually think this book was a much stronger read than The House. It was clever, manipulative and so easy to read. I raced through the book eager to find out what was going on. This book has definitely made me quite the fan of Simon Lelic’s writing!

The Liar’s Room has so much going on within its pages. It centres around Susanna and her new client Adam. Susanna has a secret that goes back so many years. She has reinvented herself, not realising that her new client knows more about her than he initially lets on. Adam talks about wanting to hurt a girl. Susanna soon realises that the girl is her daughter, Emily. Susanna is determined to protect her daughter. Adam takes Susanna on a trip down memory lane and she finds out that she is closer to him than she had ever expected to be!

This is one of those books that is SO hard to review without spoiling it, so apologies for my vagueness. I will say that this book has some utterly fascinating characters. I was so eager to find out the truth between lies. I had moments of not really trusting many of the characters and I love that. I adore an unreliable narrator/characters. I thought this book had them in abundance.

With a seemingly simple plot, a counsellor and a client, Simon Lelic really wove a tangled web. The story was incredibly intense. I loved how the characters were trying to get the upper hand at points. It really was quite the battle. I also really appreciated how there were journal entries within the story from Emily. I thought this was a clever touch and really added to the story.

I am excited to read more from Simon Lelic in the future. He has a compelling writing style and his books keep me guessing.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderful thriller! It definitely didn’t go where I expected!

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No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Bloodhound Books

Synopsis:

What would you do if you came home to find someone in your house? 

This is the predicament Polly Cooke faces when she returns to her new home.The first weeks in the house had been idyllic, but soon Jacob, a local man, is watching her. 

What does he want and why is he so obsessed with Polly? 

In a situation where nothing is what it seems, you might end up regretting letting some people in.

Thoughts:

The first thing that drew me to this book was the synopsis. I am a huge fan of psychological thrillers and this one sounded right up my street. I wasn’t prepared for how dark it was going to be. A word of warning, if you are triggered at all by any sort of violence/graphic content, then this book may not be for you. I found it to be quite disturbing in places but it just added to the intensity of the story for me.

No Place Like Home centres around Polly Cooke who has just got her new home. Finally she has a home that she can call her own. One night when she’s on her way back from work, Polly notices a shadow in the window upstairs. Someone is in her house! She’s not sure whether to go in and confront them or tell the police. I can’t say too much more without giving away spoilers and I really think this book is made for reading without knowing too much about it.

I can’t even discuss the characters without giving too much away. Just know that they are all very interesting. I kept thinking I had picked a side to be on, but my mind changed constantly. No Place Like Home has lots of twists and turns along the way. The story can seem a little disjointed but as you read it begins to unravel and you begin to understand what on earth is going on.

I think this book is well worth reading, especially if you’re into intense page-turners!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

This is an incredibly dark thriller with some intense, disturbing content within its pages.

Hush Little Baby

Hush Little Baby

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Synopsis:

When baby Oliver breaks his arm, no-one can (or will) say how it happened.

His mother is exhausted.

His father is angry.

His older sister is resentful.

And they all have something to hide

Thoughts:

My sister and fellow book blogger, Beth, thought I’d enjoy this book, so I decided to give it a go. I knew it was going to be a page turner. It certainly was. I found it completely addictive to read.

It centres around the events after baby Oliver broke his arm. No one will say what happened to him. His mother had been on a night out and come back quite drunk. Oliver’s father is angry. The sister is very resentful. The thing is everyone is hiding something. This starts quite the story…

I loved how the narration was by the mother, father and the sister. They really come across as a dysfunctional family. There’s been infidelity, eating disorders, post-natal depression…they’re a family where anyone could be guilty of hurting Oliver. The story follows their battle against social services. Social services have to decide whether Oliver is at risk with his family. Instead of fostering him, they give him to Richard (the father’s) parents for a while until a decision is made.

I loved how I couldn’t really trust any of the characters. I was trying to work out what had happened and although I had some inklings of who had hurt Oliver, the author does throw some curve-balls along the way.

I found the plot quite fast-paced. I wanted to know what had happened and if I had more time, I probably would’ve devoured this book faster than I did. It was both exciting and controversial. This book doesn’t focus on the details of the incident with Oliver, but it does focus on how the characters react with one another due to the terrible incident. I found this particularly fascinating!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A fabulous page-turner!

The Escape

The Escape

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Treatment
The Accident
The Lie
The Missing

Synopsis:

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.

The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

Thoughts:

I’ve come to realise that C.L Taylor’s books are dramatic and can sometimes a little unbelievable but do you know something? I’m totally okay with that. This is the fifth book I’ve read by C.L Taylor and I can confirm that I’m quite a fan of her writing!

The Escape centres around who has been suffering from agoraphobia for many years. However, Jo has learn strategies to cope with her agoraphobia. She’s able to work as long as she keeps to the rules she has set for herself. Unfortunately, one day Jo loosens the rules by giving a lift to a woman she doesn’t know. The woman’s name is Paula and she gives Jo very little chance to refuse. She has one of Elise’s mittens and gives her a very unsettling warning about looking after her daughter. It turns out that Paula knows her, her husband and her daughter. Jo’s worries heighten as you can imagine and this begins the tension. Jo ends up going to Ireland to lie low, but the trouble just follows her…

Jo isn’t the easiest character to like. I don’t know what it was about her really, but I was desperate for her to have a little more fight in her. However, I still found myself wanting things to turn out well for her. I found her husband a little infuriating too, but this didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story. There’s something about this author’s writing that I find totally compelling.

C.L Taylor sure has a way of keeping you turning the pages. Her characters are well fleshed out and totally believable, even if sometimes the situations may seem a little exaggerated- it still seems like these could be real people!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

I may not have thought much of these characters, but the story kept me turning the pages!

The Missing

The Missing

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Treatment
The Accident
The Lie

Synopsis:

You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them. Or do you…?

When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire Wilkinson, blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.

Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.

A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it?

Thoughts:

With The Missing, I continue my delve into C.L Taylor’s backlist. I’ve been gradually making my way through her books and certainly enjoying my journey into her writing. I’ve found her to be absolutely brilliant at creating some fascinating characters. Not always one you’ll like. Oh no. But completely fascinating all the same.

In The Missing we find out that 15 year old Billy has gone missing. No one seen him leave and six months later they are still searching for him. It’s come to the point where they’re starting to question whether Billy is still alive. We learn about Billy through the family that he’s left behind. We mainly learn through Claire, but we also get a glimpse of Mark, the father and Jake his older brother. They are all struggling to come to terms with Billy’s disappearance. We also get to know Jake’s girlfriend Kira, who is living with the family after experiencing terrible things in her own family. Each character is hiding something and you really don’t know who to trust as a reader. Claire begins to have amnesic episodes that make you question her reliability as a narrator.

As well as Claire’s narration, we also see messages between two characters on an instant messenger/text message format. These were quite intense and some were quite disturbing with some strong language (so be prepared if you’re offended by that!) I guessed one of the characters but I was completely wrong about another. I had assumed something (don’t want to spoil!) that was completely off the mark. Ha!

The Missing is fast paced and a page turner despite it being nearly 500 pages long. I never felt like it was too long. I just kept turning the pages eager to find out what was going on. It may not be my favourite book by her, but I have really enjoyed C.L Taylor’s plots so far. They’re not always predictable which I really appreciate. All too often, these books are quite similar so you can predict where it’s going. I love it when I’m completely wrong! I am certainly looking forward to reading more from this author, soon! 🙂

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

A fast-paced read!

The Lie

The Lie

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Treatment
The Accident

Synopsis:

Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.

Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women.

Jane has tried to put her past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves.

Thoughts:

I have been making my way through C.L Taylor’s books after seeing so many of them around. I thought it was time to get around to them. I’m pleased I have because I’ve found another brilliant writer of thrillers! Whilst The Lie isn’t my favourite book by C.L Taylor, it still didn’t take me long to read. It still made my skin crawl a little bit which I’m coming to expect from a C.L Taylor book!

The Lie centres around a character we believe is called Jane. We find out that ‘Jane’ is her new identity. Five years previously, Jane was Emma and she went to Nepal with her friends to cheer up one of her friends. It was definitely not a relaxing holiday and Emma returned needing to change her name. We know from the start that something bad happened to the girls, but the terrible details start to unfold slowly as you read her story. ‘Jane’ feels like she’s moving on with her life with a job she loves and a relationship that’s developing nicely. However, she soon finds out that someone knows about the past and is going to make sure that she can’t forget it!

I thought The Lie was an incredibly dark read with some awful characters. Awful characters that I loved to read about though. I loved how the story unfolded through flashbacks of 5 years ago and present time. It added to the tension of the story. I have to admit that most of the chapters set in Nepal really were menacing. I found them tricky to read at some points, especially when they were becoming increasingly more violent. It became so tense and the cracks in the friendships really started to show. That’s when I began to dislike characters more and more, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.

I was also intrigued by Emma/Jane’s present day story. I always try and work out who is behind everything during these sorts of stories, but I didn’t quite get there, although I began to have some suspicions. Once again, C.L Taylor does weave a wonderful plot.

I think you’ll enjoy this thriller if you enjoy intense, menacing and uncomfortable thrillers!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Whilst it wasn’t my favourite book from C.L Taylor, I still tore through it desperate to find out what was happening!

The Accident

The Accident

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Treatment

Synopsis:

Sue Jackson has the perfect family but when her teenage daughter Charlotte deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma she is forced to face a very dark reality.

Retracing her daughter’s steps she finds a horrifying entry in Charlotte’s diary and is forced to head deep into Charlotte’s private world. In her hunt for evidence, Sue begins to mistrust everyone close to her daughter and she’s forced to look further, into the depths of her own past.

There is a lot that Sue doesn’t know about Charlotte’s life. But then there’s a lot that Charlotte doesn’t know about Sue’s …

Thoughts:

I have heard so much about C.L Taylor’s adult fiction that I made it my mission to get to some of her backlist. This especially became the case when I read The Treatment, the author’s YA release. I loved that book so thought it was time to get to The Accident. I’m pleased I did because I found it to be a completely addictive read. I think I’ve found another thriller author that I adore.

It centres around Charlotte and her family. Charlotte is in a coma after being hit by a bus. Her mother, Sue,  believes it may have been deliberate after reading Charlotte’s diary and finding ‘keeping this secret is killing me.’ Sue is desperate to find out what Charlotte’s secret is. Through Sue’s exploration we find more about Charlotte’s life. We also find out about Sue’s past which is much darker than you first anticipate.

I loved the narration because it had flashbacks to what had happened to Sue in the 1990s when she was with James. A very dangerous partner. As a reader, we learn about Sue’s past and begin to understand her reasons behind her decisions she makes when trying to uncover Charlotte’s secret. I loved reading the diary entries. They were intense and hard to read at points, but still so intriguing to begin to piece the story together. I found Sue to be such an unreliable narrator. She suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which makes you question her every move as a reader. She wasn’t afraid to directly accuse people of being involved with Charlotte’s accident. I loved that her relationship with her husband wasn’t perfect. It was incredibly authentic.

I thoroughly enjoyed the pace of this story. I was constantly turning the pages to try to figure out what had happened to Charlotte. A very decent psychological thriller!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderful debut psychological thriller. Its narration really kept me guessing!