Thursday, 27 July 2017

Friend Request by Laura Marshall

Publication date: 27 July 2017

Published by: Little Brown

Purchase from Amazon here

The Blurb:

When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past she feels sick.

Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook.

Because Maria Weston has been missing for over twenty years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers' party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life knowing herself responsible for Maria's disappearance. But now Maria is back. Or is she?
As Maria's messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress, to try to piece together exactly what happened that fateful night. But when another friend's body turns up in the woods outside their old school, Louise realises she can't trust anyone and that she must confront her own awful secret to discover the whole truth of what happened to Maria . . .

My Review:

I was drawn straight to the title of this book, and then when I saw the synopsis I couldn’t wait to start reading. Many of us, myself included, use social media as a way to connect and converse with friends past and present, and it is becoming almost part of our daily life. I am guessing most of us have received friend requests from people we used to work or go to school with, but I am betting you won’t have received one from someone you believed to have died many years before. This is exactly what Louise receives…..

From this moment the book is narrated by Louise, telling the story from two moments in time, the year she left school and the present day. Alternating between them both I got insight not only into who Louise is and the life she leads now, but also the events of her teenage self that bought her to this moment and make her so scared of receiving this request.

Friend Request provides a fast paced, psychological thriller that had me guessing what was really going on until almost the last page. The book is cleverly written, with a cast of supporting characters who along with Louise’s existing fears transported me into the mystery as it took twists and turns, and kept me captivated. I felt compelled to keep reading and was totally engrossed throughout.

As the events of the past and present reveal themselves and clash I found myself bamboozled and not sure who to trust and what to believe. I felt myself trapped in a game where I needed to piece the clues together to solve the puzzle. But there are traps in there and I got caught in some of them!

Friend Request reminds me of my experience of reading Before I Go To Sleep. Both books totally grabbed me, made me question who and what is real and had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I loved Friend Request and find it hard to believe that it is a debut piece of work by the author. Written with real talent I cant wait to see what they write next!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Each Little Lie by Tom Bale

Out Now
Published by Bookouture
Purchase from Amazon here

The Blurb:

One split second can destroy your life forever

Single mother Jen Cornish is just trying to hold things together for the sake of her seven-year-old son Charlie. Until the day when she does an impulsive good deed to help a neighbour, setting off a terrifying chain of events that quickly spirals out of control…

When she is arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, Jen quickly starts to wonder if someone is playing a cruel game with her - or is she losing her mind?

Desperate to clear her name with the police, she must first untangle a chilling web of lies. But someone is watching her every move – and it isn’t just Jen who is in danger.

They’re watching her child as well.

An unputdownable psychological thriller with plenty of twists that will keep you hooked until the very last page…

My Review:

I had high expectations of Each Little Lie having already read and loved the authors previous books. Infact I put aside the book I was halfway through to get stuck in the minute it appeared on my Kindle.

Each Little Lie gets off to a cracking start! We meet Jen, who sets out to do a good deed, but it turns into an absolute nightmare which threatens to tear her world apart as she is arrested and accused of a crime that soon escalates into even more of a hideous situation.

I can’t really say too much more about the plot without giving it away and I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone. But what I can mention is the cast of characters. Oh boy, they are good!!! Jen is a fabulously vulnerable character who whilst I thought I had a grasp of who she was and what she was capable off, I found myself questioning whether she was being falsely accused, or if infact she was guilty of the accusations levelled at her. But the stars of the show for me are a couple of really mean and creepy characters that emerge within the storyline. They really made my skin crawl and my blood boil. One of my favourite things about Tom’s work is his talent at developing characters who get under your skin. This book once again puts us in the midst of some of the vilest!

I have to be brutally honest and say that unlike his previous work I didn’t find Each Little Lie quite as enticing and as gripping as others. There was nothing wrong with the book, but I managed to suss out what had happened quite early on and I guess that just wained my interest a bit. However, I have spoken to others, and read reviews from readers who have absolutely loved the book, so please don’t let me put you off!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Blog Tour - The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

Hi everyone

Oh my goodness, words cannot express my excitement and delight to be part of the blog tour for one of my favourite authors. I am such a massive fan of Karin Slaughter and ALWAYS have her books on pre-order so I can drop everything when they are released. Many of you will also have had me bending your ear going on and on about her books. If you have read her Will Trent series or Grant County series you will know just why I love her work so much. If you haven't then you need to rectify that!!! She also writes great standalone novels, such as The Good Daughter which is released tomorrow (Thursday 13 July). 

Anyway, enough of my waffle and fan-girling!! Let me pass you over to Karin who has so kindly taken part in a Q&A answering some questions we all want to know about!

Don't forget, you can purchase a copy of The Good Daughter from Amazon by simply clicking here. Let me know if you are a fan of her work, who your favourite characters are, and anything else as I love chatting about her work!

Q&A with Karin Slaughter 

The Good Daughter includes some very violent passages. Do you think readers are more shocked when a female writer includes extreme violence in her books? Why do you think that is?

This was absolutely the case when I started out, but I’m not sure it’s true anymore.  I’ll never forget the story Mo Hayder told me about her first US tour with her first novel: she was on an airplane over the Atlantic, heading toward her first US tour, when a review came out blasting her for the violence in her book. By the time she landed, her tour had been cancelled because of it.  I don’t think that would happen today.  It’s much more acceptable for women to write about violence in a believable, realistic way.

When my first book (Blindsighted) was published in the US, it was me, Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell, basically, who were doing this kind of writing.  That’s not to take away from Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky—both amazingly talented women in their own right—but as far as what was considered “hard-core” (or, in the vernacular “manly”) writing, we three were it.  I can’t really complain about it because I think it got us a lot of attention, but it was absolutely considered shocking for us to be interested in forensics and violence and all the things that are commonplace in the genre today.  Weirdly, it was more acceptable in the UK and Europe, I think because y’all have had a long line of women writing about nasty things.  Or maybe it’s because you don’t have that same Puritanical streak that many Americans still clung to at the time.

Have you read anything recently you would recommend?

I really enjoyed Denise Mina’s the Long Drop.  I had no idea it was based on an actual case (I don’t read flap copy!) but halfway through, I thought, “hmmm…I bet this really happened.”  Denise excels at something that is incredibly hard to do: she writes the way people talk.   Add to that her amazing story-telling ability and you’ll understand why she’s one of my favorite writers of all time.

If you were stuck on a desert island, which book would you take with you?

The Complete Harry Potter Collection.  I’ve always told myself I’ll read all of them when I retire, but I think a desert island is just as good as a retirement home.  Ha, probably better because you don’t have to talk to cranky old people like yourself.

What is the best advice you’ve been given as an author?

Two things from two different authors.  Tess Gerritsen told me when I go on tour, to always pack more underwear than I need, and she was absolutely right.  Harlan Coben told me that the problems you have when you are successful are much better than the problems you have when you are not. Also correct.

Can I just say a massive thank you to Karin and to the team at Harper Collins for making my day, year by allowing me to host Karin.

Have a lovely day

Jill x