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!

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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!

Apple Of My Eye

Apple of My Eye

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

Synopsis:

Just how far is a mother willing to go?

When a mysterious note arrives for six months pregnant Dr Eliana Hughes, she begins to doubt every aspect of her life – from her mixed feelings about motherhood to her marriage to Martin, who has become distant in recent months.

As the person behind the note escalates their campaign to out Eli’s husband as a cheat, she finds herself unable to trust even her own instincts, and as pressure builds, she makes a mistake that jeopardises her entire future.

Elsewhere, someone is watching. Someone who desperately wants a baby to call their own and will go to any lengths to become a mother – and stay a mother…

Thoughts:

This book is going to be ever so tricky to review, because it’s one where you don’t want to reveal too much about it before someone reads it. It’s definitely one to go into without knowing a lot about the plot. Trust me, you’ll find yourself fully immersed in this story before long. It’s fantastic.

Apple Of My Eye centres around Eliana who is seven months pregnant. Eliana is still suffering from horrendous sickness and she’s terrified that she’s not going to bond with her baby. She’s married to Martin and believes they have a happy marriage, until she starts receiving anonymous letters telling her that Martin is cheating on her. Eliana is close to her mother Angela. Angela is determined to protect her daughter no matter what. We also hear from a character Louise. We don’t really ever find out much about Louise but soon the story starts to come together. Eliana has to take maternity leave when an incident at the hospice she works at occurs. Life is become very intense for Eli…

That’s all I can really say without revealing what happens in this story. I really don’t want to ruin it for any potential reader. What I will say is, if you like your thrillers to be incredibly dark and twisted, then this might be one for you. I couldn’t believe how twisted some of it was. I have to admit, that I did guess a part of the twist, but I didn’t guess it too soon and it in no way affected my enjoyment as a whole. Apple Of My Eye is superbly written and so worth reading.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

An incredibly tense read. I couldn’t put it down!

Friend Request

Friend Request

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston is dead. Isn’t she?

1989. When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything the girls Louise hangs out with aren’t. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Within just a few days, Maria and Louise are on their way to becoming fast friends.

2016. Louise receives a heart-stopping email: Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface: those first days of their budding friendship; cruel decisions made and dark secrets kept; the night that would change all their lives forever.

Louise has always known that if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria’s sudden reappearance threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone she’d severed ties with to escape the past. But as she tries to piece together exactly what happened that night, Louise discovers there’s more to the story than she ever knew. To keep her secret, Louise must first uncover the whole truth, before what’s known to Maria–or whoever’s pretending to be her–is known to all. 

Thoughts:

I had heard really good things about this book, so was looking forward to checking it out. I put it on my Winter TBR and made it my mission to get to it. I really enjoyed this thriller and thought it was a great debut. I would definitely put this author on my radar to read more from in the future.

Friend Request centres around Louise who is a divorced mother. She lives with her son and has her own business. Everything seems to be going okay in her life until she gets a friend request from an old school friend Maria. The only trouble is…Maria has been dead for many years. The story flips between the past and the present. It becomes quite the mystery when the friend request comes at the same time as a school reunion. Louise is ashamed of her past, of when she used to do things to fit in with the popular kids and keep her friendship with Queen Bee Sophie. Those things included the bullying of Maria.

I really enjoy books that incorporate social media. It’s so current and so now. It also can be incredibly toxic and fascinating to read about. I’m just pleased Facebook and Twitter weren’t overly popularly when I was at school. It’s scary how much I have to teach about the dangers of social media in primary school now, because children are getting onto social media earlier than they should be. Terrifying.

I loved this plot because it’s something that so many people can relate to. I’m pretty sure many of us have done things that we regret when we were school age. Even if it’s not as intense as Louise and her friends. There are many interesting relationships to delve into. The pace of this story is quite fast. There are some plot twists along the way that definitely keep you interested. I didn’t really enjoy the ending which was a shame and that’s the reason I haven’t rated this book 4 stars.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

A gripping read and a very promising debut novel from Laura Marshall!

Open Your Eyes

Open Your Eyes

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

Haven’t we all wanted to pretend everything is fine?

Jane doesn’t like confrontation. Given the choice, she’d prefer to focus on what’s going well, the good things in life.

But when her husband, Leon, is brutally attacked in the driveway of their home, in front of their two young children, Jane has to face reality. As he lies in a coma, Jane must open her eyes to the problems in her life, and the secrets that have been kept from her, if she’s to find out who hurt her husband – and why.

Maybe it’s time to face up to it all. Who knows what you might find . . .

Thoughts:

As you can see by my previously reviewed section above, I’m quite a fan of Paula Daly’s books. I read her debut novel as an ARC and since then I’ve been a fan. I love Paula’s writing style and I always know I’m in for a decent read when I pick up one of Paula’s books. Fangirling aside, I genuinely did enjoy this book. It didn’t take me long to read at all and it was definitely worth the wait! (Lots of books got in the way of me reading what I wanted to read!)

Open Your Eyes is a real page turner. It starts with Jane and Leon having a bit of an argument after Leon doesn’t want to visit his parents for his birthday. Leon, a semi-famous author, is violently attacked with a nail gun. He suffers a brain injury. Jane, an aspiring writer, has to pick up the pieces and is left wondering who on earth would have something against her husband. It might seem like this plot has been done before, but it did take some twists and turns along the way.

I found myself questioning quite a few characters along the way. I did manage to work out who had done it by the end, but Paula Daly did throw some curveballs along the way which I absolutely love. She really does have such an engaging writing style. It always pulls me in and takes me on quite the ride. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Paula Daly does it again! A wonderful thriller.