Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

Out Now

Published by Transworld

Purchase from Amazon here

What is it about?

Famous killers have fan clubs.

Hamish Wolfe is no different. Locked up for the rest of his life for the abduction and murder of three young women, he gets countless adoring letters every day. He's handsome, charismatic and very persuasive. His admirers are convinced he's innocent, and that he's the man of their dreams.

Who would join such a club?

Maggie Rose is different. Reclusive and enigmatic; a successful lawyer and bestselling true-crime writer, she only takes on cases that she can win.
Hamish wants her as his lawyer, he wants her to change his fate. She thinks she's immune to the charms of a man like this. But maybe not this time . . .

Would you?

What did I think of it?

Ooh ooh ooh what a fantastic book this is! I cannot rave highly enough about it. The plot is superb and something that always intrigued me. What would possess anyone to befriend and write to a prisoner – particularly one that has committed serious crimes like Hamish in this book who is a convicted serial killer?

The thing is that Hamish maintains his innocence and asks ex-lawyer and crime writer Maggie Rose to take on his case. At first she has no interest as she doesn’t believe he could possibly be innocent, but when the detective responsible for his conviction appears and urges Maggie Rose not to get involved it has the opposite effect, and she begins to speak with Hamish. It’s not long before Hamish is getting into her head. But what else is happening that un-nerves Maggie making her wonder about Hamish’s guilt, and also fearful for her safety.

With twists and turns, the plot is dark and uncertain which left me on the edge of my seat. Even better, we don’t just hear the authors narrative, we also see letters and reports from different bodies and authorities which make it at times feel a bit more like a non-fiction book about a serial killer.

I loved this book and have been telling readers who like thrillers to get this on their to read list. I want to tell you so much more but am fearful of giving something away that might ruin it for future readers.

This is the first book I have read by Sharon Bolton but it certainly won’t be my last. I have heard great things about her Lacey Flint series and after lapping this book up they have been downloaded on to my Kindle and close to the top of my list of books to get stuck into.

I don’t feel like I am really doing this book justice in this review because to do so would reveal bits of the plot and risk spoiling what is a fascinating and edge of your seat thriller. But trust me when I say, you need to read this book. It is fast paced, entrancing and dark, with twists and scenes that will make you wonder just what is going on and who you can trust.  

Sunday, 29 January 2017

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson

Publication date: 9 February 2017

Published by: Simon & Schuster

Purchase from Amazon here 

The blurb:

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world. 

Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. So has Tom. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

My thoughts:

Let me just come out and say it. A Song for Tomorrow is the most beautiful, moving, inspirational book I have ever read. Its story will stay with me for life, and will inspire me every single day. If I had a book hall of fame this would be top of the pile. Potentially the best book I have ever read! How on earth am I ever going to be able to explain what this book means to me?

The book is based on a true story. Alice Martineau was born with Cystic Fibrosis, a life limiting and debilitating disease. But Alice refuses to be defined as someone with a serious illness. Alice has dreams, ambitions and determination. Alice wants to be treated like anyone else, and not to be pitied or be thought of as brave (even though you cant help but marvel at her bravery). She is a daughter, sister, and staunch friend but as we meet her she has two other ambitions, to love and be loved, and most of all to be a singer. Everyone has told her it will never happen, that someone with CF could never manage it. But no way is Alice going to be deterred by their words.

And so we meet Alice, and come to know her and love her. Alice has had some bad eggs, but its not long before we see her fall in love with Tom. Within the pages of the book unfurl a true love story that is the depth of love and devotion we all dream of. Tom has battled his demons in the past and has ambitions of his own, but he is the most marvelous of men. The only thing is will this be too much to handle and is he strong enough to ride the storms?

We also follow Alice as she battles against the odds to prove everyone wrong and become the singer she so desperately wants to be. But oh my gosh, whilst reading this book I have never ever wanted anyone to achieve their dream. Alice has an extraordinary battle on her hands. I kind of knew a little bit about Cystic Fibrosis, but soon realized my knowledge barely scratched the surface. The battle Alice fought on a daily basis is awe inspiring. But never once did she look for sympathy, or waver in her belief and determination. In fact not only does she strive for her dreams, but she never stops being the most loving a caring person, who looks out for others, and has their backs.

It would be wrong not to also mention the supporting cast of her parents, brother, boyfriend, friends, medical staff and those in the music industry. They are also strong, supportive and showed the strength of unconditional love.

I could rave on about this book forever, but at the same time I am fearful of saying too much and spoiling what is more than a book to meit was a gift. A very precious gift that I felt deserved respect and so rather than devouring books as I usually do, this took a while to get through.

As a fan of Alice Peterson I was expecting to enjoy the book, and knew from the blurb and her other work that it was likely to pull at my heart strings, and be an emotional and moving read. But I wasnt expecting to be as affected and as inspired as I was. This book touched my heart and soul, and is better than any self help book out there. It is a book that demonstrates love and how to overcome adversity.

I know that Alices story will stay with me for life. She has already inspired me and made me determined that I am not going to be defined by my illness. Since starting the book there have been times when things have felt overwhelming, but thinking of Alice has stopped me in my path and given me the strength of mind to start over and go for it. Infact thanks to her I am now on the treadmill every day and I play her album to lift me and push me onwards.

Can I also recommend her music. As I was reading the book I became inquisitive about how she sounded, and I wanted to know if the battle was worth it I guess. So I downloaded her album Daydreams. Please do give it a listen. She is so so talented. I loved her voice, and the lyrics are beautiful. You can see a trailer for the book and hear a clip of her here

Thank you Alice Peterson for bringing Alice Martineau into my life and telling her story. She is a true inspiration who has evoked determination, strength and the gratitude for those in my life.

I hope you love this book as much as I do.

P.S. How gorgeous is the cover?!

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Missing by C.L. Taylor

Out now

Published by: Avon

Purchase from Amazon here

What’s it all about?

You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them.

But should you…?

When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire, 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?

Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to hide…

So what did I think?

Excuse me whilst I fangirl over C.L. Taylor. I love her work!! I have read all 3 psychological thrillers that she has published, and I have not been disappointed in any of them. In fact, my only criticism of her work is how tired I am when reading her books as I can’t put them down and sleep!

Another creepy cover that hinted before I opened the first page that I was in for another roller coaster dark and gritty plot which was exactly what this turned out to be. As usual with the authors work things are not straight forward and as you read you wonder what parts to believe and what to question. Like many books in this genre the story revolves around a child that is missing. In fact, they have been missing for six months as we meet the family and it is certainly every parent’s worst nightmare. So it no surprise that the family are feeling scared, devastated, guilty and dumbfounded. But like lots of families, all is not what it seems on the surface, and there are questions to be asked.

Claire is the Mum and main character in this book. Much of what we see is from her perspective. However, what can we believe and who is she really? Suffering from blackouts and memory lapses there are situations that just seem odd and make no sense to her or others around her. Is she insane or ill?

The story is also interspersed with text messages between two people, but we don’t know their true identity as they use alias names. How much of a bearing do these messages have and who are behind them?

I know this book has had a mixed reception, but to me it was a tense page turner that kept me engrossed from start to finish. As with the authors other work, this plot has twists as well as casting doubt on many of the characters. What happened? Who was involved? Where is it all leading? I love books that are not always what they seem, and I enjoy the challenge of trying to suss everything out, so this was right up my street.

I would definitely recommend this fast moving, engrossing tense thriller and am looking forward to reading The Escape when it is released later this week.