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Top Ten Tuesday – 12th April 2022

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday question comes from  Deanna at A Novel Glimpse who has requested a list of the authors I haven’t read, but want to. I found this a lot harder than I thought because there are so many wonderful authors out there that I just haven’t got round to trying yet. I decided to split my list between some authors whose books I own, but still need to read, and some authors who come highly recommended, but whose books I am yet to purchase.

  1. Victoria/V.E. Schwab – I own The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and I have watched numerous online chats that Victoria has given and her books all sound right up my street, but for some reason I have never got round to reading any of them.
  2. Jay Kristoff – I have owned the Nevernight series for a while, but even though I haven’t read a single page, I was totally won over by Jay in an online interview he gave, and went dashing out to buy the hardback edition of Empire of the Vampire from my nearest bookshop. It is a beast of a book though, and so far I just haven’t managed to squeeze it in between review commitments. I love Jay though – if you don’t already follow him on social media, I highly recommend it.
  3. Katherine Arden – In Katherine’s case, I have purchased the entire Winternight trilogy before even reading the first book, purely off the back of an interview that I read with her about the first book. It just sounded so wonderful and exactly the kind of book I love. In my head, they are books to be read curled up under a blanket in the middle of winter, so I think I will be setting aside some time this winter to really immerse myself in them.
  4. Stuart James – now, this is a tricky one. I know Stuart through a Facebook book group and have even met him (lovely guy), and I really want to support his writing. I have heard amazing things about his books, but quite frankly, I am a big fat chicken and I worry that they will freak me out! Just as soon as I can work up the courage though, I will be reading them!
  5. Holly Bourne – I have picked up various book by Holly Bourne, but something has always stolen my attention away from them for a variety of reasons. I am determined that 2022 will finally be the year that I will check her out!
  6. Colleen Hoover – I have added Colleen Hoover simply because her books seem to be everywhere I turn right now. I know very little about her writing, but with so many people talking about them, I feel a little bit like I am missing out.
  7. Meredith Russo – Meredith is an author who was recommended to me by a friend, and whose work I am interested to discover more about.
  8. Shea Ernshaw
  9. Elizabeth Acevedo
  10. Lara Avery

These last three entries on my list were recommended by my oldest, dearest friend, the one person in this world who knows me better than I know myself. I can guarantee, without a shadow of a doubt, that if she thinks I should read a particular author, then I will absolutely love them. As such, all three of these authors have made it onto my “Must Read in 2022” list.

Have you read any of the authors on my list? If you were to recommend one of their books as the best one to start discovering the writing through, which would it be? Which authors would make your Top Ten of authors you haven’t read yet, but want to?

As always, thanks to Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl for hosting!

Book Review

Reading Challenge Update – February

I can’t believe that’s another month gone already! I just ticked a couple more books of my challenges this month – it was more a month of catching up on reviews and reading for relaxation than picking challenge books this month. The books I did read for the challenges this month though are all firm favourites of mine.

The Island – Victoria Hislop

This was my choice for the “read a book inspired by a place in a movie you’ve watched and enjoyed.” I am pushing things a bit here because I chose the setting of Crete taken from the “In-Betweeners” film, which I didn’t love, but the location was beautiful and I have been meaning to reread The Island for a while to refresh my memory before reading One August Night.

The Embroidered Book – Kate Heartfield

This little beauty is my selection for “a book with a magical element.” To be honest, I could have chosen any number of books off my shelf for this prompt as magical books are my “go to,” but I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy of this gorgeous book by the publisher as part of the blog tour, so I just had to include it. You can read my full review HERE.

Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

I choose this as my “book that makes me happy.” I read this during a power cut in aftermath of Storm Eunice when I really needed a comfort read. I first read this book years ago, and have been meaning to re-read it for ages to jog my memory before diving into the rest of the trilogy, and honestly, I had forgotten how much I loved it.

Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E Frankl

This was my “book that is a memoir” selection, and is a book that was recommended to me years ago, but that for some reason I had never got round to reading. I am only halfway through, so I will share more in next month’s round-up, but for now I can just say that it is a very powerful book.

OTHER BOOKS READ THIS MONTH:

The Millionaire Murders by Rachel McLean

The Hemlock Cure by Joanne Burn (read review HERE)

The Stone Monkey by Jeffrey Deaver

Rock Paper Killers by Alexia Mason (review coming soon)

The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee (review coming soon)

Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen

The Butterfly Garden – Dot Hutchinson

Sparks and Shadow – Ceara Nobles (review coming soon)

In case you would like a reminder, here are the challenges that I am following.

Book Review

The Hollows – Mark Edwards

I have a creepy thriller to share with you all today, as I am reviewing The Hollows by Mark Edwards. Many thanks to Mark for my copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley.

BLURB:

From the bestselling author of The House Guest comes a chilling story set deep in the woods…

With his marriage over and his career in freefall, journalist Tom decides to reconnect with his fourteen-year-old daughter, Frankie. Desperate to spend precious time together now that they live an ocean apart, he brings her to Hollow Falls, a cabin resort deep in the woods of Maine.

From the outset there’s something a little eerie about the place—strange whispers in the trees, windchimes echoing through the forest—but when Tom meets true-crime podcasters David and Connie, he receives a chilling warning. Hollow Falls has a gruesome history: twenty years ago this week, a double slaying shut down the resort. The crime was never solved, and now the woods are overrun with murder-obsessed tourists looking to mark the grim anniversary.

It’s clear that there’s something deeply disturbing going on at Hollow Falls. And as Tom’s dream trip turns into a nightmare, he and Frankie are faced with a choice: uncover the truth, or get out while they still can.

REVIEW:

I am a big fan of Mark Edwards, and having read a number of his books now, I couldn’t wait to add this one to my list. Within a couple of pages, I knew this was going to be Mark’s creepiest book yet. A remote resort in the woods with no phone signal or WiFi, a mysterious, unfriendly town complete with a deeply disturbing set of twins, and a trip to The Hollows really is the stuff of nightmares. I absolutely could not put this book down from start to finish, and not just because I was scared it would haunt my dreams if I tried to sleep before knowing the outcome! Mark’s writing just gets better and better with every book, and I look forward to what comes next.

Book Review

Reading Challenge Update – January

At the start of the year, I set myself the goal of completing not one but two reading challenges in 2022. I will be cheating just a smidge and using one book for both challenges where there is crossover, but I am hoping that following the prompts will help me blitz through my ever increasing TBR pile! Here is a round up of how the first month has gone. Full details of both challenges can be found at the bottom of the post.

FIVE FEET APART – RACHEL LIPPINCOTT

This was a book that I could use for a prompt on each challenge, covering “a book already on my bookshelf” and “a book featuring a health condition.”

Five Feet Apart is a book that I had owned for quite a while without reading it. I think I was trying to prepare myself mentally for it being a very emotional read. Although it wasn’t quite the full on heartbreaker I was expecting, it was still a very powerful book and one that I learnt a lot from.

ALL FOR YOU – LOUISE JENSEN

I chose this book for  the “a book from an author I already know” prompt.

I am a huge Louise Jensen fan, and will read anything she writes without even looking at the blurb. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book and take part in the blog tour organised by HQ. I have also had the privilege of meeting Louise and she is just the loveliest person. You can read my review HERE.

ONLY A MONSTER – VANESSA LEN

This was my choice for the prompt “a book published this year.” I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley. It is released on 17th February, but in the meantime, you can read my review HERE.

KEEPING THE DEAD – TESS GERRITSEN

I chose this book for my “book that’s a guilty pleasure,” although in all honesty, I don’t feel remotely guilty about loving the Rizzoli & Isles series. Police procedurals and crime thrillers are my easy reads when I need a breather from all the fantasy books I read, and I particularly love a series because I can dive in to characters that are already familiar.

I think was my favourite of the Rizzoli & Isles books so far, partly because it reminded me of the the museum where I did my work experience at school. We even had a mummy and a stuffed bear.

RHYTHM OF MY SOUL – ELIN DYER

I chose little beauty as my “book that’s a YA novel.” To be honest, I read a lot of YA, so there will be a number of books over the course of the year that would fit this brief, but I am a fan of the author, so this was my first choice. You can read my review HERE.

SILENT SCREAM – ANGELA MARSONS

This was my choice for “a book that’s a murder mystery.” This is another challenge prompt that I knew I would have no problem fulfilling. I opted to read this book for the prompt because I had been hearing so many great things about Angela Marsons Kim Stone series, and had been slowly collecting the books, but hadn’t actually read any of them. The book totally lived up to the hype and I am so glad to have discovered a new series to immerse myself in.

FROM BAGHDAD WITH LOVE – JAY KOPELMAN

This was another double challenge winner for me, matching the briefs of “a book that is set in the continent of Asia” and “a book set in a foreign country.”

I loved reading about how one little puppy won the hearts of so many people, and the efforts they went to so that he could make his escape from Iraq, but I found the writing style hard to fully engage with. It was quite matter of fact, with little emotion, although I can see that this would most likely be the author’s way of processing his experiences in Iraq.

THE LEVIATHAN – ROSIE ANDREWS

The Leviathan was my choice for “a book that has a green cover,” and isn’t it a stunner!. This is another book that I receive an advanced copy of via NetGalley. It is released on 3rd Febraury, and you can read my review HERE.

I am really pleased with how the first month of my challenge has gone, with two books ticked off the Fiction Cafe Book Club challenge, and eight ticked off the second challenge.

OTHER BOOKS READ THIS MONTH:

I did manage to squeeze in some non-challenge books this month, a mix of books read for blog tours, as part of an author’s advanced reader team, and some read purely for relaxation.

The Unravelling – Polly Crosby (read my review HERE)

Dusky Dahlia – Lucy Holden (read my review HERE)

Blue Lilies – Lucy Holden (review coming soon)

The Coffin Dancer – Jeffrey Deaver

The Killing Place – Tess Gerritsen

Night Shade – Lucy Holden (review coming soon)

Livingston Girls – Briana Morgan

The Empty Chair – Jeffrey Deaver

These were great books, all of which I heartily recommend you checking out.

As promised, here are the full details of the challenges in case you fancy joining in. The first of these comes courtesy of the fantastic Fiction Cafe Book Club on Facebook and the second via a friend, so I am not too sure of its origins – if anyone knows, please shout so I can credit the author. I will be back with another update of my progress at the end of February.

Book Review

All For You – Louise Jensen

I am delighted to be joining the blog tour for All For You and wishing a very happy publication day to Louise Jensen! Many thanks to Louise and the team at HQ for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

MEET THE WALSH FAMILY

Lucy: Mother. Wife. Falling to pieces . . .

Aidan: Father. Husband. In too deep . . .

Connor: Son. Brother. Can never tell the truth . . .

Everyone in this family has something to hide, but what are they trying to protect, and at what cost?

IT WAS ALL FOR YOU.

REVIEW:

As you will all know by now, Louise Jensen is one of my favourite thriller writers, and I usually devour her books. Reading All For You, I found it a little slower to really grab me than her other books, in part one at least, although I confess I am not quite able to put my finger on why this was.

Told from the perspectives of Lucy, Aiden and Connor, All For You gives you the opportunity to really get under the skin of each character, to the extent that Lucy’s emotions and thought processes felt so real that at times I had to stop and remind myself that I was reading fiction and this wasn’t about the author’s own family.

Although part one is something of a slow burn, it is full of tension and the sense that something big is coming. That said, nothing prepared me for the start of part two which was so shocking that I was glad to be reading in daylight and not at night – it was most definitely the stuff of nightmares. The pace definitely picks up in the second half of the book, and the revelations start coming thick and fast.

As always with Louise’s books, I jumped from one theory to another to another. Some were right. Others couldn’t have been more wrong. I will leave you to see which conclusions you leap to and how accurate they are.

You can order your copy of All For You here.

Don’t forget to visit all the amazing blogs that are joining me on this tour.

Meet the Author

Hunter’s Rules – Val Penny

I am joining the blog tour for Hunter’s Rules, the latest instalment in the Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series by Val Penny, and I have a treat for you all as I am being joined for a chat by Val herself.

Hi Val. Let’s start with an easy one. Why don’t you us a bit about yourself?

I am an American author living in SW Scotland. I have two adult daughters of whom I am justly proud and live with my husband and cat. I have a Law degree from Edinburgh University and my MSc from Napier University.

I have had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However, I have not yet achieved either of my childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, I have turned my hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels.

What inspired you to start writing?

I took early retirement when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and there were times when I suffered severe side effects from my treatment. I could not go out, spend time with friends or indulge in many of my favourite hobbies, but watching daytime television gets very old very fast, so I turned to reading. It was the only thing I had the energy to do and could do safely.

I read voraciously, as I always have and after a while, I began to feel a little better and decided to start reviewing the books I read in a blog www.bookreviewstoday.info I enjoyed doing that. Then, as I began to feel better still, I got restless, but was still did not well enough to do very much and I complained to my long-suffering husband about getting bored. It was then he challenged me: ‘If you know so much about what makes a good book, why don’t you write one?’ I did laugh.

How many books have you written and published?

So far, there are six books in my Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series and I am presently writing the second novel in my series of Jane Renwick Thrillers. I have also written and published a nonfiction book, Let’s Get Published.

Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?

I think Hunter’s Rules is my favourite because it is actually the continuation of a short story that I contributed to a charity anthology, Dark Scotland. Of course, both stories can be read independently, but I hope that those who read both will enjoy the conceit.

How do you choose the names of your characters?

I have always enjoyed unusual and interesting names. From those I have heard over the years, I often choose the first name from one place and the surname from another.

Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?

Definitely Tim! He is resourceful and strong enough to build a shelter, good company and easy on the eye.

Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?

I enjoy most crime fiction that I read and especially enjoy Erin Kelly’s books. She wrote the novel of the TV series Broadchurch. I also enjoyed her novel He Said/She Said.

What is the first thing you can remember writing?

The first book I remember writing was a handwritten story called ‘The Douglas Family’ when I was eight or nine. I still have the jotter.

If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go (backwards or forwards!)?

Gosh, I am not sure I am brave enough to go forwards, but if I went backwards, I would like to find out who killed JFK!

If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would have loved to meet Mother Theresa. I think she would be fascinating to talk to and learn from.

What are your favourite things to do?

I enjoy travelling – it is said by my family that I would go to the opening of a paper bag! I also like to swim, knit and spend time with friends and family. However, most of my time is spent reading or writing.

What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?

I was walking along the Mall in Washington D.C. with a friend from Virginia, only to notice another friend from Edinburgh sitting on the bench we were approaching. It was exciting and great fun.

If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?

Persevere. Keep writing and enjoy meeting other like minded people.

Name one book you think everyone should read?

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. He is mixed race and was born in apartheid South Africa when that was illegal. He tells his story with humour and intelligence. It is a book well worth reading.

And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?

Hunter’s Rules is the sixth novel in bestselling The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series. In it a bloody scene brings Hunter and Meera’s romantic plans to an abrupt end.

A young woman was attacked in a hotel lift. She has life changing injuries, but she is alive. Hunter notes that her wounds are like those inflicted on two women who previously died. 

Can Meera keep the injured woman alive long enough for her to identify her assailant? Is the same person responsible for all three crimes? When Hunter is identified as a suspect in the crime, can he establish his innocence and lead his team to solve the crime and keep Edinburgh safe?

Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me Val. 

If you would like to purchase a copy of Hunter’s Rules, here are the all important purchase links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

You can find Val all over social media with the following links:

Website

Twitter

Goodreads

Facebook

Giveaway to Win a PDF of Hunter’s Rules by Val Penny (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

ENTER HERE

Don’t forget to visit the other blogs taking part in the tour, which has been organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.

Book Review

Psychopaths Anonymous – Will Carver

Today I am joining the blog tour for Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver. Many thanks to Will and Orenda for providing me with a copy of the book, and also to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

BLURB:

When AA meetings make her want to drink more, alcoholic murderess Maeve sets up a group for psychopaths.

Maeve has everything. A high-powered job, a beautiful home, a string of uncomplicated one-night encounters. She’s also an addict: a functioning alcoholic with a dependence on sex and an insatiable appetite for killing men.

When she can’t find a support group to share her obsession, she creates her own. And Psychopaths Anonymous is born. Friends of Maeve.

Now in a serious relationship, Maeve wants to keep the group a secret. But not everyone in the group adheres to the rules, and when a reckless member raises suspicions with the police, Maeve’s drinking spirals out of control. She needs to stop killing. She needs to close the group. But Maeve can’t seem to quit the things that are bad for her, including her new man…

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

REVIEW:

When I signed up for the blog tour for Psychopaths Anonymous, I didn’t realise that it was connected to Will Carver’s other books, most of which I have read, but one or two I haven’t. However, that really isn’t an issue and you do not need to have read them for this book to be a great read. That said, if you have read them, keep your eyes peeled for Easter eggs tucked within the pages of Maeve’s life.

Maeve is a character who I found difficult to relate to, although that is probably no bad thing as she is, by her own admission, a murdering psychopath. At first, the lack of connection made for slow reading but it wasn’t long before I found her (mis)adventures utterly compelling. By the conclusion of the book, I really didn’t want it to end because I was desperate to discover what was going to happen next in Maeve’s life – I am really hoping for a follow up at some point in the future.

Usually, the cover of a book is one of the first things I notice, but for some reason (I am blaming it on a medication change) I completely didn’t register what the cover of Psychopaths Anonymous actually was. It was only when I was reading another review that it clicked and I am so glad it did, because it is utterly brilliant.

Entering into a new Will Carver book, you can never be too sure exactly what you are going to get, as he is the master of surprises. The one thing that is guaranteed though is that you will never be disappointed by what you find.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Will’s latest title published by Orenda Books, The Beresford, was published in July. His previous title, Hinton Hollow Death Trip, was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph, and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Twitter

Facebook

Don’t forget to visit the other blogs taking part in the tour.

Book Review

The Great Silence – Doug Johnstone

I am welcoming a familiar face back to my blog today, as I join the tour for The Great Silence, book three in Doug Johnstone’s Skelf series. Many thanks to Doug and Orenda Books for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

BLURB:

Keeping on top of the family funeral directors’ and private-investigation business is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the dog, a perplexing case presents itself.

Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: the mysterious circumstances of a dying women have led them into an unexpected family drama, Hannah’s new astrophysicist colleague claims he’s receiving messages from outer space, and the Skelfs’ teenaged lodger has a devastating experience.

Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny’s violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without a trace and a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh’s parks, real danger presents itself, and all three Skelfs are in peril.

Taut, dark, warmly funny and unafraid to ask big questions – of us all – The Great Silence is the much-anticipated third instalment in the addictive, unforgettable Skelfs series.

PURCHASE LINKS:

REVIEW:

Having read the previous books in the Skelf series, picking up this third book felt a little like returning home after an absence, and despite all the death and danger, the warmth of the kitchen, filled with the Skelf women, both blood and honorary, felt like a big hug in book form. I love the familiarity of a book series such as this where you can really get to know the characters and watch them develop.

Although The Great Silence is a tense thriller in places, and a dark comedy in others, there is a delicate sensitivity to the tone when writing about the funeral parlour side of Skelf life. The Skelfs are women who care deeply about their clients, putting everything else aside to treat them with dignity and respect, and this is one of the things l love most about this series. It would be all too easy to make this side of the business a source of humour, and I think it says a lot about the the author that he has resisted doing this.

Throughout The Great Silence, there is both heartbreak and danger for each of the women, and it was interesting to see their reactions to this, and how they have all changed since the first book. I particularly enjoyed seeing how Abi has grown up, although her role in this book is particularly upsetting. It was also great to see another side to Archie as he assists in one particular aspect of an investigation this time around.

The Great Silence is a gripping thriller, with some real edge of your seat moments, exactly as you would expect from Doug Johnstone, but it is his creation of wonderfully strong yet vulnerable characters that make the Skelf series stand out from all the other thrillers out there. I very much look forward to seeing what scrapes they get themselves into in the next book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Doug Johnstone is the author of twelve previous novels, most recently The Big Chill (2020). Several of his books have been bestsellers and three, A Dark Matter (2020), Breakers (2019) and The Jump (2015), were shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions over the last decade – including at a funeral parlour ahead of writing A Dark Matter – and has been an arts journalist for over twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three solo EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website

Twitter

Don’t forget to visit the other blogs taking part in the tour to read more about the Skelf women.

Book Review

Girl One – Sara Flannery Murphy

Today I am reviewing the thought-provoking thriller Girl One by Sara Flannery Murphy. Many thanks to Sara and Bloomsbury Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley.

BLURB:

Eighteen women down to two, two down to…. Girl One.

The world knows them as ‘The Homestead Girls’. Nine women who raised nine ‘miracle babies’ on an experimental commune in rural America.

But after a suspicious fire at the ranch kills both the doctor behind the pioneering experiment and one of the youngest of the girls, the mothers and their children are scattered across the country, some embracing the media spotlight, others refusing to talk about it.

Now years later, Josephine Morrow, aka Girl One, is studying medicine, following in the footsteps of her beloved mentor, when she is called home to discover that her mother has vanished, while her house has been trashed. If Josie is to find her, and find her alive, she will need to track down her estranged sisters and finally confront the secrets of their dark past – before it is too late.

cover218843-medium

REVIEW:

I will admit that I wasn’t too sure what to expect going into this book, the blurb giving an impression that it was part thriller, part sci-fi, and part coming-of-age. That certainly felt like a lot of genres to fit into one book, but Sara Flannery Murphy has somehow managed it.

Girl One tells the story of Josie, a young woman born as a result of a science experiment, as she searches for her mother, and the truth about a series of events that happened when she was a child. The story is interspersed with news articles from the Girls’ childhood and the birthday letters sent to Josie by her “father” Bellanger until he died, and this style had me on edge within a few sentences as it was clear from the outset that there had to be more going on than met the eye, secrets that Josie didn’t know. As Josie reconnects with the other Girls and each shocking revelation about the Homestead and the Girls comes out, life as she knew it unravels around her in ways that I never expected.

The only downside to this book, if you can call it that, is that I wanted more time to get to know each of the girls after their discovery of the truth surrounding their shared history, to see how this changed them, and learn what happened to each of them next. Can it really be a downside to say a book isn’t long enough though? That said, as much as I would love to know more, I suspect a sequel would not work, so perhaps some things are better left to our imaginations.

Girl One is a thought-provoking book examining the power of women, and the increased strength when they come together to support each other and lift each other up. I found the science absolutely fascinating, but it was really the depth of emotion and the ties that bound the Girls together that really drew me into this book.

Book Review

Say Goodbye – Karen Rose

I am thrilled to be joining the blog tour for Say Goodbye, the third book in Karen Rose’s Sacramento series. Many thanks to Karen and Headline for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

BLURB:

The closer you get to the truth, the more dangerous it gets.

FBI Agent Tom Hunter has been chasing down leads to find the brutal cult that damaged some of his closest friends. They managed to escape to tell their stories, but Eden’s location has always remained a mystery.

Liza Barkley is struggling with her feelings for Tom and wonders if their friendship can survive the secrets they’ve kept from one another. But they may be forced to confront the truth when a chance to help the investigation puts Liza directly in the line of fire. When the perpetrator of an attempted sniper attack on Liza and her friends is discovered to be one of the cult’s leaders, DJ Belmont, it becomes clear that he is out to get revenge on the victims who escaped Eden’s clutches.

But there is one person who has always had control over DJ, and who no one outside of Eden has ever glimpsed: cult leader Pastor. When a serious injury forces Pastor to seek help outside the confines of the Eden, Tom and his team finally have a chance to bring the cult down.

But DJ Belmont has his own plan, and is not going to stop until he gets what he wants…

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Say Goodbye Cover

REVIEW:

I have long been a fan of Karen Rose, and have read all of her books over the years. With a favourite author, there is always the risk that their next book won’t live up to expectations, but thankfully, Say Goodbye delivers on all levels. It is a fast-paced, action-packed read that I flew through, despite it’s fairly large size! I absolutely love the characters in this series, but in particular the wonderfully warm Sokolov family.

Being something of a book series addict, one thing I love about Karen Rose’s books is that although each series is separate from the others, and you don’t technically need to read them in order to follow the story in each book, there are links back to earlier books and series through familial relationships that tie all her books together. This particular series takes us all the way back to her first book, although I must admit it took me a little time to work out why the names were familiar, it being a few years since I read the first book.

Say Goodbye is exactly the type of book I have come to expect from Karen Rose – a complex thriller with a cast of characters that is, at times, mind-boggling. There is a lot to keep track of, but this effort really pays off as the tension builds and builds. By the time I reached the culmination I was a screwed up ball of stress, and it actually took me a while to wind down after reading it, which is just what makes a good book for me.

Say Goodbye is a fantastic read, and one I heartily recommend. Although it can be read as a standalone, you really won’t regret going right back to the start and reading all of Karen Rose’s books. You can find the reading order on her website – there is a link to this further down.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Karen Rose Author PicKaren Rose was introduced to suspense and horror at the tender age of eight when she accidentally read Poe’s The Pit and The Pendulum and was afraid to go to sleep for years. She now enjoys writing books that make other people afraid to go to sleep.

Karen lives in Florida with her family, their cat, Bella, and two dogs, Loki and Freya. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, and her new hobby – knitting.

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Say Goodbye BT Poster