Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Review - Little Liar by Lisa Ballantyne

Little Liar by Lisa Ballantyne
Publisher: Piatkus
Release date: 2 August 2018
Back cover blurb: The accused. While Nick Dean is enjoying an evening at home with his family, he is blissfully unaware that one of his pupils has just placed an allegation of abuse against him - and that Nick's imminent arrest will see the start of everything he knows and loves disintegrating around him. Because, mud sticks, right? No matter if you're innocent or guilty. The accuser. When Angela Furness decides that enough is enough - she hates her parents, hates her friends and, most of all, despises what has recently happened at school - she does the only thing she knows will get her attention: calls the police. But Angela is unaware that the shocking story she is about to tell will see her life begin to topple. Because, once you've said what you've said, there's no way back, right? No matter if you're innocent or guilty. In a gripping tale of two families torn apart by one catastrophic betrayal, Little Liar illustrates the fine line between guilt and innocence, and shows that everyone has their secrets, even those we ought to trust the most...

Angela Furness is barely a teenager, but already she has serious anger and behavioural issues and absolutely hates living with her Mother. She is a bully, but hates herself, and her life is about to change dramatically for the worse.

Nicholas Dean is a former successful actor who now teaches drama workshops in schools to make ends meet. His wife is the breadwinner in the relationship and sometimes Nick feels inadequate. His feelings of inadequacy grow as his wife negotiates a successful account in her role.

But would this be enough to make him do something terrible?

This is very much a he said/she said novel, told from different perspectives and backgrounds, and questioning every little thing about every character all of the way through. Your suspicions will lie with each character in turn as they reveal something unsavoury about them as an individual.

Little Liar is an interesting novel as it is very hard to feel sympathy for Angela most of the way through it, due to her behaviour, even though you instinctively know that she has gone through something so terrible that you can't even begin to comprehend it.

Little Liar touches upon some very difficult subjects with sensitivity and is a very thought provoking and well written novel, and I look forward to the authors next!

Little Liar is available from 2 August 2018.
You can pre-order it now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Review - Now You See Her by Heidi Perks

Now You See Her by Heidi Perks
Release date:
26 July 2018
Publisher: Century
Back cover blurb: NOW YOU SEE HER She’s playing at the school fete with your children. You pull out your phone, scroll through Facebook, and look up again. NOW YOU DON'T Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second. Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable, tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching. Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again. Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface. Someone is hiding the truth about what really happened to Alice.

When Charlotte is left in charge of her best friend Harriet's daughter Alice she sees it as a real privilege. Harriet rarely lets Alice out of her sight. On the day in question she has little choice, as her presence at a book keeping course is required.

Charlotte, mother to three of her own children, is looking forward to having Alice for the day. She is a quiet and obedient child and is looking forward to the school fete where they are all headed. The fete is packed as these things usually are, and Charlotte is relieved for five minutes peace when the children all head for the jungle gym.

Her quiet time is short lived when the children return, without Alice.

Charlotte is devastated at the realisation her best friends daughter is missing, whilst in her care. How on earth is she going to break the news to Harriet? She must find Alice, and quickly. The police are quick to arrive, and quick to point the finger at Charlotte.

Was she distracted somehow? How did she lose another woman's child.

Charlotte could not feel any worse than she already does, but somehow the police make it seem even worse, treating Charlotte like a criminal.

I can't say too much more without giving anything away, but I will say that there are some surprises in this novel, and it may not take you exactly where you expect it too. For this reason, I really enjoyed it, though the subject matter is at times difficult it is worth persevering with.

Now You See Her is available from 26 July 2018

You can preorder it now via Amazon online.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Review - Lying to You by Amanda Reynolds

Lying to You by Amanda Reynolds
Publisher: Wildfire
Release date: 26 July 2018
Back cover blurb: Following on from her eBook bestseller Close To Me, Amanda Reynolds is back with Lying To You, another gripping psychological drama. Perfect for fans of The Husband's Secret and I Let You Go. You think you know the truth about that night, but what if your husband is LYING TO YOU? When Jess Tidy was Mark Winter's student, she made a shocking accusation. Mark maintained his innocence, but the damage was done. Karen Winter stood by her husband through everything, determined to protect her family. Now, ten years later, Jessis back. And the truth about that night is finally going to come out . . . A gripping drama with dark twists and turns, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and the BBC series Doctor Foster.

Jessica Tidy is forced back home by the death of her alcoholic mother. She was forced away from her home town as a teenager by a series of events that changed her life forever. She made the mistake of trusting someone she was close to, and has vowed never to make that same mistake again.

Jess’s brother, Will has always maintained that his sister has been telling the truth about that fateful night. He encourages her to return home for their Mother's funeral, although he knows more than most that she may not exactly be welcome.

Jess' old school teacher Mark Winter despite serving time, still protests his innocence about what happened between him and Jess. He does not blame Jess for his wrongful conviction as his wife does, more her teenage naivety and troubled home life.

Karen Winter has stood by her husband, convinced he has always been telling the truth. She is convinced that Jess is the guilty party; guilty of making up the accusation that sent her innocent husband to prison.

But what if the truth is more complicated than that?

What would you do if you found out that the person you thought was telling the truth has been lying to you for all these years?

Lying to You is available from 26 July 2018.

You can pre-order it now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Review - Sticks and Stones by Jo Jakeman

Sticks and Stones by Jo Jakeman
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Release date: 16 July 2018
Back cover blurb: How far would you go for revenge on your ex? Imogen’s husband is a bad man. His ex-wife and his new mistress might have different perspectives but Imogen thinks she knows the truth. And now he’s given her an ultimatum: get out of the family home in the next fortnight or I’ll fight you for custody of our son. In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable. Something that puts her in control. But how far will she go to protect her son and punish her husband? And what will happen when his ex and his girlfriend get tangled up in her plans? Sticks and Stones is a deliciously twisting psychological thriller from an exciting new voice.

Imogen is still reeling after the death of her husband when we meet her at his funeral. However it quickly becomes apparent that all may not be as it seems. Imogen and Phillip are going through a rather messy divorce, and Imogen is Mrs. Rochester in name only; the two having been separated for some time.

Phillip Rochester's first ex-wife Ruby and his girlfriend Naomi are also present, at his funeral, none of the three women are particularly upset by the departure of Phillip, more shell shocked if anything at his sudden death.

Phillip Rochester was a well respected Policeman, concerned only with his reputation, as he was a very different man in the force to the man he was at home.  All three of the women in his life, saw the different side to Phillip to some extent but Imogen and Naomi bore the worst of his behaviour.

For Imogen, it was one of the drivers behind her divorce, the other finding out about Naomi, and realising finally that another woman was more than welcome to him, if she wanted him. Following the funeral, we are taken back in time to the days and months leading up to the funeral.

I can’t say much more without giving anything away, so I’ll just say that Sticks and Stones is a rather dark, but brilliant debut and I look forward to the author's next novel!

Sticks and Stones is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Review - Dear Mr. Pop Star by Derek and Dave Philpott

Dear Mr. Pop Star by Derek and Dave Philpott
Release date: 20 September 2018
Back cover blurb: For nearly 10 years, ‘Team Philpott’, as their followers fondly refer to them, have been on a quite bonkers crusade, writing good old-fashioned letters to pop and rock stars (sometimes even sent to their home addresses with prior consent!), either picking up on genuine ambiguities within their lyrics or often deliberately misunderstanding them for comedic effect. The letters are eminently publishable in their own right, mixing sharp wit, confusion, and mundane daily chores with trips to the shops, daytime telly, Derek’s legs playing up, and unarguable logic in relation to questioning the offending chart hits under scrutiny. What makes this project especially deserving of attention, however, is that it has achieved a feat never before attempted or probably even thought of. With the missives online for all to see on what was becoming a hugely popular website, the artists quite unexpectedly started to reply, writing back in just as witty and articulate a fashion, politely pointing out exactly where the original letter went wrong...or right. Also, crucially, nearly all of the responses were procured via ''the back door of the industry'', via roadies, mutual fans, cousins of bass players ... Contd. here

What would you do if I sang out of tune?

Er, probably stick my fingers in my ears and tell you to shut up if I’m honest!

It’s funny isn’t it, how we listen to popular music day in, day out without paying too much attention to the lyrics. 

At least, that goes for the majority of us...

But then there are others, like me, and Derek and Dave Phillpott who sit and listen to a song and wonder what exactly the meaning behind those lyrics are.

Because let’s face it, an awful lot of pop songs just don’t make sense.

What exactly were these people thinking when they put pen to paper? What utter nonsense was going through their head? Let’s face it, a lot can be attributed to their hedonistic life style, sure, but what if there was more to it?

Now is your chance to find out, because the aforementioned Derek and Dave acted upon their curiosities and started writing (actual) letters to various pop stars, some of whom decided to write back and something wonderful was started. 

This is the second book in what I hope will continue to be a popular series. I mean let’s be honest, there are still so many songs to explore!

Personal favourites for me are, Stan Cullimore - The Housemartins (Me and the Farmer), the Jags (Back of my hand and the B-52’s (Love Shack) but there are many many gems in this amazing collection and I urge you to snap up a copy as soon as you can!

Dear Mr. Pop Star is available from 20 September 2018.

You can pre-order it now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank you hugely to Dave who sent me an advanced proof copy of this novel in exchange for a (very) honest review.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Review- In the Dark by Cara Hunter

In the Dark by Cara Hunter
Publisher: Viking
Release date: 12 July 2018
Back cover blurbA woman and child are found locked in a basement room, barely alive. No one knows who they are - the woman can't speak, and there are no missing persons reports that match their profile. The elderly man who owns the house claims he has never seen them before. The inhabitants of the quiet Oxford street are in shock. How could this happen right under their noses? But DI Adam Fawley knows that nothing is impossible. And that no one is as innocent as they seem . . .

Wow. Another stunning novel from Cara Hunter.

This is the second novel to feature DI Adam Fawley, but can be read as a stand-alone novel. That said, Close to Home is such a good novel that you should just read it anyway...

DI Adam Fawley once again has his work cut out. This time investigating a complex abduction case after a woman and a young child are found locked in the cellar of a large and expensive property. Discovered by the wealthy neighbor who is renovating his own multi million pound property, the woman and child are both clearly traumatised by their ordeal.

The police are at first, are baffled, as there’s no trace of the woman on any missing persons register. The only woman to go missing around the same time as her presumed capture is already dead, the victim of a brutal murder, her killer already doing time.

But somehow, these two case seem to be linked. Just how is one of the many headaches that Fawley and his team must face in order to get to the truth.

Having got used to Cara Hunter's writing style, I like that there are no defined chapters, and instead the narrative is interspersed with snippets of newspaper clipping, social media, police interviews etc. Admittedly it’s unusual, but it does genuinely work.

In the Dark is an intense thriller that will have you guessing again and again. It’s got a killer twist that I didn’t see coming in a million years and will definitely keep you on your toes!

In the Dark is available from 12 July 2018.

You can pre-order it now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.