House of Correction – Nicci French

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I have read most of the novels by Nicci French and am trying to catch up on those I have missed.  This is another gem.  I devoured this in less than 24 hours and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The novel begins when we learn that Tabitha is on remand for the murder of Stuart, her neighbour and former teacher whose body was found in her garden shed.  Tabitha had returned to the small village, Okeham, she grew up in even though she never thought she would. Okeham is close to the sea and there is only one road in and out with everybody knowing everybody else’s business.

The investigating officers view this as a ‘slam dunk’ and it appears as if everybody believes her guilty, even her solicitor who suggests she should plead guilty to manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, having suffered mental illness throughout her life.

She fires her solicitor and decides to represent herself unaware about how much evidence she will have to sift through.  She uses her former cellmate, Michaela, to assist her as her ‘McKenzie friend’.

As the story line twists and turns bringing out a variety of secrets, lies and horrors the reader is given an insight into small village life and the underhand behaviour of people.

Thank you to NetGalley, Simon and Schuster UK and Nicci French for my ARC in return for my honest review.

Another must read, highly recommended.

 

The Baby Group – Caroline Corcoran

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Another addictive read from Caroline Corcoran. I read her first novel and this one is just as good. I couldn’t put it down.

Scarlett, Cora, Emma and Asha are four women who have just had babies and have formed a group which meets regularly and spends time together as mothers and with their families.

The novel centres around Scarlett who is due back to work and the initial chapters highlight her feelings on leaving her baby, delving back into the work environment and the mixed emotions of it all.  However, as soon as she reaches the office, she realises something is wrong.  Her immediate boss shows her the sex-video that has been sent to all of her work colleagues, family, clients and many others.

The havoc this creates is enormous including the impact on her marriage and ability to go back to work. She endeavours to find out who posted it online and after meeting the two men in the video she doesn’t believe it is either of them.

The storyline twists and turns and is excellently plotted when the final reveal happens I was stunned.

Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books UK and Caroline Corcoran for my ARC in return for my honest review.

Brilliant read and highly recommended.

 

Lost Souls – Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman

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I have read several Jonathan Kellerman’s novels and thoroughly enjoy the plots and characters.

Bones are found in a local park when developers are demolishing it, leading to the investigation involving Deputy Coroner Clay Edison.  This brings to light an unsolved cold case. Clay is working the graveyard shift and added to this has a new born who refuses to sleep through the night.

As always with this author the characters are real and well-developed along with an enthralling plot which twists and turns along the way.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Random House, UK, Cornerstone, Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman for my ARC of ‘Lost Souls’ in return for my honest review.

Good read and recommended.

 

 

 

 

Little Whispers – K.L. Slater

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Blurb

Janey Markham is thrilled to be moving with her family to Buckingham Crescent, the smartest address in a desirable suburban town.

Worried she’ll be excluded by the glossy local mothers, Janey is thrilled when she meets Tanya, the kind of woman she has always looked up to. Tanya takes Janey under her wing, and her teenage daughter Angel is amazing with Janey’s little boy. As Janey and Tanya grow closer, Janey feels she can finally leave her troubled past behind.

But then everything changes…

In a weak moment over a bottle of wine, Janey finds herself telling Tanya her most shocking secret. Why wouldn’t she trust her new friend?

The following day, Janey sees Angel, with a man old enough to be her father, pushing someone into a car. The next day a body is found and police appeal for witnesses – and share a picture of the same car…

When Janey tells Tanya she is going to the police, Tanya turns threatening. She’ll stop at nothing to defend Angel, even if her daughter is guilty. If Janey says anything, Tanya will make sure that her dark secret gets out.

Janey faces an impossible choice. Stay quiet about what she saw that terrible day. Or speak up, and destroy the family she has worked so hard to protect…

From million-copy bestseller K.L. Slater comes this twisty and absolutely unputdownable roller-coaster ride of a read. Fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will be totally hooked on Little Whispers.

 My review

I have read all of K L Slater’s previous novels and have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. Her ability to tell a chilling tale is exceptional and ‘Little Whispers is no different.

The story is told mainly from Janey’s viewpoint as her husband gets a new, better paid job, they move house to somewhere lovely and Janey wants to be accepted by those who live in the same prestigious street.  There is an underlying problem in that Janey remembers her mother always saying not to trust people and, from the beginning of the novel, we learn that her mother told Janey something awful before she died.

Her life seems to be changing and as she becomes close to the women from Buckingham Crescent, she lets her guard down and tells her deep secrets to one of the new friends.

The plot twists and turns throughout and there are times when I wondered what was coming next.

A brilliant read and highly recommended.  Thanks to NetGalley, Bookouture and KL Slater for the ARC in return for my honest review.

About the author

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she gained literary agent representation and a book deal. As Kim says, ‘it was a fairy-tale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer. She has one daughter, two stepsons and lives with her husband in Nottingham.

Available to buy:

Amazon: https://bit.ly/3cKxlJm

Apple books: https://apple.co/2zI94VP

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2X5gZod

Google Play:  https://bit.ly/3670IDm

 

 

Seven Lies – Elizabeth Kay

Seven Lies: The addictive debut thriller that is chilling readers to the core by [Elizabeth Kay]

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Jane and Marnie have always been more than best friends.  Since the days of school, through university and into adulthood they have remained close and their lives interwoven. The intensity of this relationship is made clear.  Into this there were jealousies, obsessions and the way jane needed her friend.

Jane is narrating the story and it is clear that she is the dark, temperamental one whilst Marnie is the bubbly, effervescent one.  The complexity of the relationship as the pair find men and marry with tragedy right from the beginning.

I found the author’s writing first class as she managed to create a tone of menacing foreboding as the lies were revealed gradually.  It was fast-paced and wove a destructive path through the numerous twists and turns.

Thoroughly gripping read.  Highly recommended.