Book Review: The Split by Sharon Bolton

Set to be released in paperback on 29th October, The Split by Sharon Bolton follows Felicity Lloyd who has desperately signed up for an extended research trip working on the remote island of South Georgia. It was her only way to escape. But now Freddie Lloyd is coming for her. He has just got out of prison for murder and is on his way to where Felicity is hiding. And this time, he won’t stop until he finds her. No matter how far you run, some secrets will always catch up with you…

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Book Review: The Kill Order (The Maze Runner #4) by James Dashner

“If she tried to speak, it would all come out: Her pain, her fear. Her anger. Her tears. And then her efforts to be strong for the boy would have been for nought. So she kept it in, a dam against a raging river.”

The Kill Order is the fourth instalment in James Dashner‘s The Maze Runner series. Set before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built and before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease. The story follows Mark and Trina who were there when it happened. And they survived. But surviving the sun flares was easy compared to what came next. Now a disease of rage and lunacy races across the eastern United States, and there’s something suspicious about its origin. Worse yet, it’s mutating, and all evidence suggests that it will bring humanity to its knees. Mark and Trina are convinced there’s a way to save those left living from descending into madness, and they’re determined to find it.

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Book Review: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

“In life you have to learn to count the good days. You have to tuck them in your pocket and carry them around with you. So I’m putting today in my pocket and I’m off to bed.”

Written by the well-known TV presenter Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club follows four unlikely friends – Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron – who meet once a week in their retirement village to discuss unsolved crimes. Together, they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. But while they may be pushing eighty, they’ve still got a few tricks up their sleeves. When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, The Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can this unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

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Book Review: The Housewarming by S.E. Lynes

“When I think about that morning, it is beat by beat, like a heart – my own hear, my daughter’s, at the time so enmeshed it seemed she was part of me: my body, my tissue, my bones. She is part of me. She will always be part of me.”

Set to be released on 23rd October, The Housewarming by S.E. Lynesa follows a grieving mother, Ava, who is struggling to accept that her daughter is missing. She only left her in the pushchair for five minutes. The buckle was fastened, and she was sure it was safe. But when she came downstairs, the door was open and Abi was gone. A year later, her neighbours throw a housewarming party, showing off the results of their renovation. Ava doesn’t want to go. She can’t bear to look down that end of the road, to see the place where Abi vanished, and she doesn’t want to spend time with people who don’t share her grief. But is she finally about to find out the truth about the day she has relived a thousand times? Ava thought she knew every last detail of that day. She’s about to find out she was wrong…

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Book Review: The Woman In Black by Susan Hill

“For a long time, I did not move from the dark, wood-panelled hall. I wanted company, and I had none, lights and warmth and a strong drink inside me, I needed reassurance. But, more than anything else, I needed an explanation. It is remarkable how powerful a force simple curiosity can be. I had never realized that before now. In spite of my intense fear and sense of shock, I was consumed with the desire to find out exactly who it was that I had seen.”

Originally released in 1983 and written by Susan Hill, The Woman In Black follows Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor living in London who is summoned to Crythin Gifford to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, and to sort through her papers at her estate. Travelling to Eel Marsh House, Arthur sees a woman in black and begins to gain an impression of the mystery surrounding her. But despite the chilling events he begins to experience since arriving at Eel Marsh House, he resolves to spend the night and fulfil his professional duty. But the night contains the greatest horror for Kipps, as he soon discovers the reasons behind the hauntings.

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Book Review: Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich

Released earlier this year, Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich follows police captain Linda Turner, who is haunted by the murders of two small children, buried in their tattered Disney pyjamas with their pastor father in the flower garden behind a church parsonage in Lincoln, Nebraska. Meanwhile, as Linda becomes obsessed with solving the harrowing case, televangelist Ray Williams is about to lose his show, when one of his regular attendees approaches him with an idea that will help him save it. Despite his initial misgivings, Ray agrees to give it a try. He can’t deny his attraction to this woman, and besides, she’d assured him that God gave her the instructions in a dream. While Reverend Williams is swept up in his newfound success and plans for his wedding, Linda can only hope that she will catch the Hansens’ cunning killer before more bodies surface.

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Book Review: One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

“I guess we’re almost friends now, or as friendly as you can get when you’re not one hundred percent sure the other person isn’t framing you for murder.”

Published in 2017, One Of Us Is Lying is written by Karen M. McManus and follows five students at Bayview High walk into detention: Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule; Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess; Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing; Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher; and Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out of the classroom.

Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investi­gators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Thursday, he died. But on Friday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they just the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

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Book Review: Every Missing Thing by Martyn Ford

“The truth is a kind of prey – a creature that has to be pursued and dragged into the light. But I think of it more as a predator. I think, given time, the truth will take up the hunt itself. All we have to do is wait – because, Daniel, sooner or later, it will come and find you.”

Set to be released next month, Every Missing Thing by Martyn Ford follows one family, two missing children, and a lifetime of secrets. Eight years ago, ten-year-old Ethan Clarke’s disappearance gripped the nation. Just as his parents are starting to come to terms with it, their world is ripped apart once more when their daughter, Robin, disappears in almost identical circumstances. Now, doubts about their innocence are setting in.

Detective Sam Maguire has unfinished business with the Clarkes. He is convinced that discovering what happened to Ethan holds the key to finding Robin. But what if the Clarkes know more than they’re letting on? With the world watching eagerly, the clock is ticking for Sam as he embarks on an investigation that forces him to confront his own demons. To uncover the truth, he must follow a trail of devastating deception.

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Book Review: Death On The Nile by Agatha Christie

“They conceive a certain theory, and everything has to fit into that theory. If one little fact will not fit it, they throw it aside. But it is always the facts that will not fit in that are significant.”

First published in 1937, Agatha Christie‘s most exotic murder mystery, Death On The Nile, sees the acclaimed Hercule Poirot set to board the steamer Karnak to tour along the Nile while on holiday in Cairo when he must investigate the murder of a young, rich and beautiful socialite, Linnet Ridgeway. She had everything – until she lost her life. Nothing is ever quite what it seems in this exotic setting, as Poirot must find out the truth by questioning those aboard, including Linnet’s husband Simon; her best friend Jacqueline de Bellefort; her maid Louise Bourget; her trustee Andrew Pennington; romance novelist Salome Otterbourne and her daughter Rosalie; Tim Allerton and his mother; American socialite Marie Van Schuyler, her cousin Cornelia Robson and her nurse Miss Bowers; outspoken communist Mr Ferguson; Italian archaeologist Guido Richetti; solicitor Jim Fanthorp; and Austrian physician Dr Bessner.

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Book Review: I Know What I Saw by S.K. Sharp

“Even now, after a bad day, I can lie awake and relive those memories and it’s all as vivid as ever: the colour and the joy, the anticipation, the love that brings tears to my eyes… But a blessing? Imagine the moments that broke your heart and crushed you flat. A loss, a humiliation, a betrayal. Imagine every slight, every rejection, every disappointment, all kept polished for safekeeping in a little chest inside you.”

Set to be released on 1st October, I Know What I Saw by S.K. Sharp follows Nicola, a woman with a peculiar gift: she can remember everything. Only a handful of people in the world have a truly perfect memory, and Nicola is one of them. But her condition proves to be more of a curse than a blessing, especially now that a body has been found on the estate she grew up in. Nicola remembers the night that the man went missing with perfect clarity, but she never discovered the truth of what happened. Now, she must use her ability to save the man she loved from being wrongly convicted of the crime.

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You Should Be Reading: Rebecca

Written by Daphne du Maurier and published in 1938, Rebecca is a classic English novel that follows the narration of an unnamed protagonist who, whilst working as the companion to a rich American woman vacationing in Monte Carlo, meets a wealthy widowed Englishman named Maxim de Winter. When he suddenly proposes her hand in marriage, she agrees to accompany him to his mansion, the beautiful West Country estate Manderley, but soon finds that the memory of his first wife, Rebecca, still maintains a grip on her husband and the servants, especially on the housekeeper Mrs Danvers. Haunted by her memory, a mystery that lives on even after Rebecca’s death begins to unravel.

Set to be released next month, the film adaptation is directed by Ben Wheatley and will star Armie Hammer as Maxim de Winter, Lily James as Mrs de Winter, and Kristin Scott Thomas as Mrs Danvers.

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Book Review: Watch Her Vanish (Rockwell and Decker #1) by Ellery Kane

The first book in the Rockwell and Decker series and written by Ellery A. Kane, Watch Her Vanish follows Criminal Psychologist Olivia Rockwell who is forced home to Fog Harbor, California, to look after her little sister. Struggling to adjust to life in a town so small she can hardly breathe, things take a turn for the worst when a scream leads her to the body of a missing local teacher, and all evidence points to Olivia’s most threatening patient, who is safely locked up behind bars.

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Book Review: The Passengers by John Marrs

“When people are part of a mob, they stop being individuals, their inhibitions disappear, they don’t follow their normal moral compass… When they’re surrounded by like-minded people, they don’t see themselves as violent individuals, it’s the group that’s responsible for the violence, not them personally.”

Written by John Marrs and published in 2019, The Passengers is set in a dystopian future where self-driving cars are becoming the norm. Soon, all of England’s manual vehicles will be banned as roads will become a completely autonomous network. Some have their concerns, but it’s not until the day that Libby is forced to attend jury duty that the trust in artificial intelligence becomes painstakingly clear, when someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars and sets their passengers on a fatal collision course. The passengers include a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a suicidal man, and a husband and wife who are travelling in separate vehicles. Now, the public has to judge who should survive. But are the passengers all that they first seem?

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Book Review: Jessicaca by Suzy Blackledge

Written by Suzy Blackledge, Jessicaca follows thirty-one-year-old Jess who isn’t having a great time lately. She has the most boring job in her company, her boss tries to place the blame on her every chance he gets, and she’s just had to sack one of her best friends. As for the men in her life, they all seem to be morons, cavemen, or serial womanisers. Then she meets Steven. Mature, handsome and ever so enticing, Jess starts to think he might be the solution to a lot of her problems. The only issue is he’s younger. MUCH younger.

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Book Review: Close To The Bone (Detective Megan Thomas #2) by Susan Wilkins

“We’re the police, that’s our job. We’re not judge and jury. And we’re certainly not executioner.”

Due to be released on 8th September, Close To The Bone is the second book in the Detective Megan Thomas series by Susan Wilkins. The story follows Detective Megan Thomas who hoped that moving to Devon would mean a quiet life, but when her sister Debbie finds the body of local businessman Greg Porter, that peace is shattered. Her boss won’t allow her anywhere near the case, leaving Megan on the sidelines. Caught between the job she loves and what she feels she must do, Megan finds herself faced with an impossible decision. She’s desperate to save her sister, but what if Debbie is lying about her involvement? When a second body and a surprise confession takes the case into even muddier waters, Megan must decide where her loyalty lies – with her family, or the truth.

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Book Review: The Other Girl by C.D. Major

“Was she insane? Declan had wondered. Are desperation and madness the same? That thought should have tormented him more as he’d sent her down to have electric shock treatment, administered to patients capable of violent outbursts. Instead, he signed her notes with a heavy hand, ushered in the next patient.”

Due to be released this month and written by C.D. Major, The Other Girl is set in Seacliff Lunatic Asylum, New Zealand, in in 1942, where Edith has been locked away for a long time. She was just five years old when she arrived. Fifteen years later, she survives a devastating fire that destroys her ward and is questioned by the police and a young doctor, Declan Harris. Intrigued, Declan begins to doubt the official reasons for her incarceration. Is she truly mad—or could the impossible stories she told as a child actually be true? They thought she was insane. But what if she was telling the truth?

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Book Review: In Cold Blood (DI Isabel Blood #1) by Jane Bettany

“Time is a strange, liquid thing. It moves in one direction, of course, but it’s capricious. Sometimes it flows swiftly, other times it can be sluggish and wearisome.”

Set to be published on 27th August 2020 and written by Jane Bettany, In Cold Blood is the first book in the DI Isabel Blood series, which follows the titular character as she and her team are called to investigate a body that is discovered in a back garden. But as Isabel approaches 23 Ecclesdale Drive, a feeling of unease settles in her gut. She used to live here, and she hasn’t seen her dad since he left their family forty years ago. Isabel can’t escape the unnerving sense of dread that it’s his body buried in the garden, but she knows best that secrets can’t be buried forever.

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Book Review: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

“Women shouldn’t judge each others lives, if we haven’t been through one another’s fires.”

Written by Lisa Taddeo an published in 2019, Three Women is a non-fiction story that follows the sexual and emotional lives of three women from different backgrounds and regions of the United States. Lina is a suburban Indiana mother who’s stuck in a sexless marriage and starving for affection, Maggie is a seventeen-year-old high school student from North Dakota who finds a confidant in her married English teacher, and Sloane is a successful restaurant owner in the Northeast whose husband likes to watch her have sex with other men.

Taddeo spent eight years writing the book, driving across the country six times to embed herself in the lives of the three women. The result is a portrait of erotic longing, exposing the fragility, complexity, and inequality of female desire with unprecedented depth and emotional power.

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Book Review: Here Is The Beehive by Sarah Crossan

“I want him to tell me that our love shattered you.
I want him to tell me that if you were alive
you would have picked me
eventually.”

Here Is The Beehive by Sarah Crossan is set to be released next week on 20th August. The story is written completely in verse and follows lawyer Ana who receives a phone call from a woman declaring that her husband has died. The husband is the man that Ana has been having an affair with for the past three years, meeting in hotel rooms and coffee shops, swiftly deleting texts after brief snatched weekends where they have built a world with none but the two of them in it. Now, Ana finds herself alone, trapped inside her secret. How can you lose someone the world never knew was yours? How do you grieve for something no one else can ever find out? In her desperate bid for answers, Ana seeks out the shadowy figure who has always stood just beyond her reach – Connor’s wife, Rebecca.

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Book Review: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

“My dad likes to say, ‘Life is never simple’. This is one of his favourite aphorisms. I actually think it’s incorrect. Life is often simple, but you don’t notice how simple it was until it gets incredibly complicated, like how you never feel grateful for being well until you’re ill, or how you never appreciate your tights drawer until you rip a pair and have no spares.”

Written by Beth O’Leary and published in 2019, The Flatshare follows Tiffy and Leon. They share a bed, but they have never met. Leon is a night nurse and has rented his apartment out during his working hours to earn some extra money. Tiffy is desperate after being dumped by her cheating boyfriend and urgently needs a new (and cheap) flat. The solution? To share a bed, of course… As Leon and Tiffy’s unusual arrangement becomes a reality, they start to connect through Post-It notes left for each other around the flat. At first, they’re only about what day is garbage day or polite requests to put the toilet seat down, but Tiffy and Leon soon feel like good friends. And then maybe more.

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