Call Me Star Girl

Call Me Star Girl

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Tonight is the night for secrets…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.

Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after twelve years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …

What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…

Thoughts:

I have to admit that this is the first time that I’ve read Louise Beech’s work, even though I have heard a lot about her books. And boy, what a great first experience it was for me. I was absolutely gripped by this story and it barely took me long to read at all.

The story centres around Stella McKeever, a radio personality at a local radio station. Stella has a lot of secrets. For her final show, she wants to talk about secrets. Hers include… a boyfriend that likes to play games, a mother who abandoned her and has now returned… a mystery around a star-shaped stopper on a perfume bottle and her father who she recently found out his true identity. Will she spill any of her secrets? Stella is more intrigued by the mysterious man calling the radio station. There’s been a vicious murder of a pregnant woman called Victoria and this man knows who killed Victoria and he said he has the proof…

Wow, is all I can really say! What a plot. This book is so dark and devastating at the same time. I really didn’t expect one of the twists and it broke my heart. I can’t say anymore than that because I really don’t want to ruin the wonder that is this story!

If Louise Beech’s characters are always this well developed, I seriously need to check out more of her back catalogue. I loved getting to know these complex characters with all of their secrets. Louise’s writing is so easy to devour and get stuck into. This book was the perfect start to my holiday. It was intense, dark and a deeply disturbing thriller!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

I was gripped by this story! It has some awesome twists and turns along the way. A wonderful thriller!

The Missing Wife

The Missing Wife

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

Synopsis:

You think you know those closest to you. You are wrong…

A sleep-deprived new mother approaching her fortieth birthday, the very last thing Louisa wants to do is celebrate.

But when her friend Tiff organises a surprise party, inviting the entire list of Louisa’s Facebook friends, Louisa is faced with a room full of people she hasn’t spoken to in years – including someone she never expected to see again: her ex-boyfriend, Oliver Dunmore.
 
When Oliver’s wife Melissa goes missing after the party, everyone remembers the night differently. Someone knows what happened to Melissa, and Louisa is determined to find them. But the truth could be closer, and the deception more devastating, than she’d ever imagined…

Thoughts:

I hadn’t read anything by Sam Carrington before so I was intrigued to see what this book would be like. If you’re not new to my blog, you’ll know that I read a lot of thrillers, especially psychological ones. Sometimes I find the to be a little samey and predictable. Whilst I did pick up on where the story was going, I did still thoroughly enjoy this reading experience!

The Missing Wife centres around Louisa who is having massive problems sleeping after having a new baby. She’s starting to forget things and her mind is generally a bit of a mess. She’s definitely not in the right place for the surprise 40th birthday that her husband and her best friend have planned. She doesn’t really keep in touch with her old friends and finds herself being confronted with them at her party (including her ex boyfriend Oliver!) Their relationship ended badly several years ago and she hasn’t heard from him since. Yet things are set to get worse, Oliver’s wife Melissa goes missing. Louisa was incredibly drunk at her party and doesn’t remember anything about Melissa’s whereabouts. When Oliver arrives at her door asking for her help, she feels she has to help him… especially as he keeps alluding that she owes him a favour…

This book is interesting because of Louisa’s mental state. She’s remembering things slowly and her mind is incredibly muddled. You’re never sure, as a reader, whether Louisa is a character that’s stable enough to get on board and believe in. There are moments in the story where I doubted her. She’s certainly a fascinating character. Louisa and Oliver’s shared past is intriguing. I was eager to find out more about their history. There’s not many characters that you can trust in this story and I personally LOVE that.

I don’t want to say too much and ruin the story. Just know there’s plenty to get stuck into.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

This book kept me gripped throughout. I could have easily read it in one sitting!

Top Ten Books From The Psychological Thriller Genre

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week’s list is all about picking favourite books from our favourite genre. I used to only read what could be described as chick-lit. Now, I read more widely, but I am very partial to a psychological thriller. Here are some of my favourites, in no particular order!

Book images go to Goodreads

The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient

One of my recent favourites. Read it! Read it!

Cuckoo

Cuckoo

I read this thriller years ago but I absolutely adored it. It was so warped. I’m not sure what that says about me.

Gone Girl

Gone Girl

If you want to meet some messed up characters, read Gone Girl. 

Before I Go To Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep

I remember being utterly gripped by this book!

Good Me, Bad Me

 

IGood Me, Bad Me

I absolutely adored this book and it earned its place on my favourite’s shelf. I don’t put books there often.

Dangerous Girls

Dangerous Girls

This book was another incredible, fast paced read. I highly recommend it.

I Let You Go

I Let You Go

Ooh, this is another cracking read! Worth giving a go!

The Foster Child

The Foster Child

This is another recent (ish) read of mine. I really enjoyed it. Creepy but SO good.

The Daughter

The Daughter

I was really impressed with this book! The story had me gripped from the beginning.

The Liar’s Room

The Liar's Room

I really enjoyed this book. Simon Lelic is a great author and I always love how his books build.

What did you do for your list this week? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by.

Before I Find You

Before I Find You: Are you being followed?

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Hodder & Stoughton

Synopsis:

Maggie is a husband watcher. A snooper, a marriage doctor, a destroyer of dreams, a killer of happy-ever-afters. She runs her own private detective agency specialising in catching out in those who cheat. And she is bloody good at it.

Helene is a husband catcher. A beautiful wife, a doting step-mother, a perfect home maker and a dazzling presence at parties. She has landed herself with one of the most eligible bachelors in town – handsome property developer Gabe Moreau.

Alice is just a teenager. A perfect daughter to Gabe, a kind stepchild to Helene, a tragic girl to a dead mother. She lives a sheltered but happy life, until she finds that handwritten note ‘You owe me. I’m not going away.’

All three women suspect Gabe Moreau of keeping secrets and telling lies. But not one of them suspects that these lies could end in cold-blooded murder . . .

Thoughts:

I think if you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know that I absolutely adore thrillers. Especially psychological thrillers. I thought the premise of this book sounded very intriguing, so I was excited to be approved for a copy. I had heard mixed things about this book. If I’m honest, I can see why it has mixed reviews, but I’m glad I read it because it was a story that captured my attention- even if it didn’t hold it all the way through.

It centres around a private detective named Maggie who specialises in catching cheating husbands. Helene is married to Gabe, a rich, successful man. She starts to doubt his faithfulness when she sees him with another woman. Helene hires Maggie to find out more. There are so many secrets and lies revealed as the story progresses and things aren’t what they seem.

I haven’t read this author before and I felt like she had a very easy to read writing style. I liked how she included a count down to an event from the very start of the book. It built tension and you just knew that something bad had happened. The characters were really interesting and well developed.

I think my trouble with this book was its pace. I like my psychological thrillers to pack a punch and move quickly.  I started to lose interest in the story. This book takes things very slow until the last few chapters where there are so many twists that you wonder if you’re still reading the same book.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Whilst it wasn’t my favourite psychological thriller, it was still a story that kept me reading!

The Day Of The Accident

Day of the Accident

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

Previously reviewed by the same author:
My Sister’s Bones

Synopsis:

They say you killed…But What If They’re Wrong?

Sixty seconds after she wakes from a coma, Maggie’s world is torn apart

The police tell her that her daughter Elspeth is dead. That she drowned when the car Maggie had been driving plunged into the river. Maggie remembers nothing.

When Maggie begs to see her husband Sean, the police tell her that he has disappeared. He was last seen on the day of her daughter’s funeral.

What really happened that day at the river?
Where is Maggie’s husband?
And why can’t she shake the suspicion that somewhere, somehow, her daughter is still alive?

Thoughts:

I really enjoyed My Sister’s Bones from Nuala Ellwood, so when I found out that she was bringing out another book, I got on and requested it. I’m thrilled I got the opportunity to read it, because I thought it was a brilliant thriller, that really kept me turning the pages.

The book starts with Maggie waking up in hospital. She’s been in a coma for a few months and is understandably very confused. She finds out that her darling daughter Elspeth died in a car accident but she has absolutely no recollection of what happened. She’s determined to speak to her husband, Sean, to find out exactly what happened to her. However, he has been missing since the day of Elspeth’s funeral. Something doesn’t sit right with Maggie and she’s keen to find out what’s been going on. She can’t rely on her memory though…

This book was such a page-turner. It’s one of those highly frustrating books though where I don’t want to say too much in the review. It should be experienced for yourself. That would definitely make more of an impact. I can’t even tell you about the characters as if I did that, then that would ruin the story too. Just know that they are fascinating and some quite horrifying. It was really an unsettling read that got under my skin. It’s a story that will stay with me for a while…

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Another excellent read from Nuala Ellwood!

The Fear

The Fear

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

Thoughts:

I have been really enjoying catching up on this author’s books. I believe I am now all caught up! Yay. I was somewhat hesitant to start this book because I had seen some very mixed reviews surrounding it. I can see why it had mixed opinions. Certainly, it’s subject matter is very difficult to read about. As a teacher myself, I find it really hard to read about books that include relationships with young children/teenagers. However, there was something about The Fear that kept me reading.

The Fear centres around Lou Wandsworth who ran away to France with her teacher Mike when she was younger. Mike turned out to be as lovely as he seemed and he shattered Lou’s confidence and left her life in pieces. Now an adult, Lou finds out that Mike is involved with another teenager. She doesn’t want the same thing to happen to young Chloe, so she is determined to confront him. Mike is clever though and it’s not certain that Lou won’t the one being hurt…

There were a few points of view in this story and plenty of twists and turns along the way. I have come to expect a lot of twists when I read a C.L Taylor book and this book certainly does have twists and turns. I did see some coming, but I think that’s because I’m quite familiar with this genre and I’ve come to expect or at least anticipate some twists.

The characters are fantastic, even if Lou does make some very silly choices throughout. You want to reach into the book and tell her to get her act together. I have to say, I think Wendy was my favourite character. She’s not exactly a lovable character, but I thought she was the most interesting!

There were some inaccuracies within this story which is why I dropped half a star for its rating. I agree with other reviewers, that the social media involved in the story wasn’t around when the story was set. Other events described weren’t also around in the time period. I know it’s being really picky commenting on that, but when the story is as good as it is, inaccuracies can be incredibly frustrating. I think, aside from that, I would’ve rated it a 4 stars.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Not an easy book to read, but addictive all the same!

I’ll Find You

I'll Find You

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Bonnier Zaffre

Synopsis:

Emily Jacobs, a nurse, is in hospital for a minor operation. When she wakes in the night, woozy with anaesthetic, she sees the doctor frantically trying to resuscitate the woman in the bed next to her. In the morning, she is told that she must have had a nightmare. The bed has been empty all along . . .

When Emily returns to work she discovers a bracelet that she believes belonged to the missing woman. Soon, she becomes convinced that her colleagues at the hospital are hiding a terrible secret.
What if she’s wrong? What if her own troubled past has affected her more than she knows?

But what if she’s right?

What else could they be capable of?

Thoughts:

I had heard mixed reviews about this book, so I was somewhat hesitant to start it. However, I try as much as I can not to let reviews sway me. I went into this book with an open mind. I did find it enjoyable and it didn’t take me long to read at all, but I can see why some reviewers have had some trouble with it.

The premise of this book is really exciting.  Emily’s sister, Zoe, went missing from a hospital 12 months ago. Emily has been signed off work as a nurse after suffering with her mental health. Emily is about to return to work after deciding that she needs distraction. However, Emily discovers a lump in her breast and needs to get it removed. After surgery, Emily comes around to a young girl being revived by several members of staff. When someone notices Emily, they inject her, sending her into a deep sleep. In the morning, staff deny any knowledge of anyone ever being in the room with Emily. Emily won’t let it lie though and is determined to prove she was telling the truth, no matter what…

I was really intrigued by the plot line but I’m sad to say that it became a little unbelievable in places. It didn’t seem like real life. I’m not saying that stories should be similar to real life, but in thrillers, I do tend to like some sense of reality within the pages. A good thriller creeps you out because you know it could happen.

There are some really interesting characters in this story and there was certainly enough to hold my attention. It was clear that the writer has good medical knowledge, being a nurse herself. I just wish it had been more believable.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! (just!)

 

Despite my reservations about this book, I think many would enjoy it, so I would recommend it!