The After Wife – Cass Hunter Review

The after wife

Wow this was such a great read. I would like to say thank you to Sam Eades at Trapeze books for sending me this book!

I feel like I have to point out that I did lose my father at the beginning of this year and I definitely felt that I maybe, interacted and related to this better in a more personal way because of this. You don’t need to have lost someone to enjoy this story, I just felt like I connected to parts of the story a lot more because of this.

I loved the sound of the story as soon as I read the blurb; this follows Rachel, who is a scientist in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics who unfortunately passes away. This leaves her husband. Aiden and her daughter, to pick up the pieces and carry on without her. And things get even more interesting when they find out that Rachel left them a gift, called iRachel.

This was such a well crafted book and dealt so well with so, so many issues including death and family issues and we even get some teenage issues courtesy of Chloe. We get to see the story progress from point of view of Chloe and also iRachel herself as well Aiden’s which I really enjoyed as it helped bring the story together. I loved how the humour was included also; it was ‘tastefully’ done and didn’t feel forced at all. One of my favourite parts in the book had to be when they’re holding the wake at the family home – it was so relatable and yet humorous and upsetting all at the same time and was fantastically done.

I felt something for Aiden and Chloe and they were definitely likeable characters. I also loved iRachel (which I presume is one of the points of this book!) and the way that the character was built in the book was fantastic. I thought that iRachel might just blend into the background or I’d really dislike but she was great for the part she played in the plot. Although Luke was annoying and an obvious dislikable character, I though his inclusion within the plot was great and I’m sure is someone that a lot of people in a couple could relate to.

You can pick this up at Amazon UK in paperback and eBook and I highly recommend this. It’s such a fun yet deep contemporary and I would highly recommend you pick it up!

Sign off

Advertisements

Look to your Wife – Paula Byrne Review

Look to your wifeThank you to William Collins for sending me a copy of this book! All opinions are my own and are honest!

So, I went into this not really knowing what to expect; it said it was a contemporary, but it also mentioned an online stalker, so I wasn’t sure how serious it was going to be and whether it would have a slight thriller element in it (maybe that’s just me and all my thriller novels!).

This was a debut fiction novel from Paula Byrne as she has written many non-fiction novels on the Austens and other topics. I did feel that some of her non-fiction writing did creep through in this novel however. This book is split into different parts and the first part is following Lisa and her Husband as they meet and ultimately how they ended up where they are in the main story. This definitely read more like a biography of their lives and less like a story which was a shame. I didn’t feel like it followed through the book too much but there were parts of the story that did read like a non-fiction biography and a factual telling of events.

This was a fast enjoyable read and I loved how it included actual transcripts of the tweets and the letters that were being sent. One of my favourite things in recent novels is the inclusion of tweets and media in order to help tell a story and this ticked all the boxes. I enjoyed how the other characters in this book weren’t just mentioned in passing either, they each had their own back story or something that made them unique and identifiable. I fin that sometimes in stories when it’s a standalone and there are characters that are just put into the story to help flesh it out, they can blend into the background a bit and they can become forgettable or you can start mixing them up, but I didn’t find that in this novel. I remembered each side character because she’d given them a back story and made them more memorable.

I did struggle in some places with the dialogue and trying to figure out who was saying what as it wasn’t always that clear. The story was fast paced but I did feel like the ending was just rushed; I think it was maybe meant to be a big ‘reveal’ moment but it fell a bit flat and I’d sort of figured out who it was earlier on in the story and thought it was quite easy to deduce.

I did enjoy this overall and would recommend this if you’re wanting a fast paced, enjoyable contemporary!

Sign off

Exhibit Alexandra – Natasha Bell Review

Exhibit Alexandra

Thank you to Net Galley and Penguin Randomhouse UK for providing me with an e-ARC copy! All opinions in this review are my own and are honest.

Wow this was such a unique read! When I first started reading this, I was so confused. I’ve been pretty behind on my NetGalley reading so I’ve been going into a lot of my e-ARC’s without re-reading the blurbs and just going in blind which is what I did here. I did have to go back and read the blurb and I do have to point out here that this is told from Alexandra’s POV and she’s also the character which has gone missing.

As said above, this was such a unique read; all we know going into this is that Alex is missing and is being held in a room against her will. We follow the story of her husband (Marc) and her kids as they struggle to live life with her gone and as her husband starts discovering that maybe he didn’t know his wife as well as he thought as he deals with trying to figure where she’s gone and why. He’s adamant that she’s been taken and wouldn’t just leave but he struggles to convince the police of this and just keeps digging and digging. Obviously, this is all just conjecture as it’s being told from Alex’s POV who, as mentioned, is being held in a room so she actually really has no idea of what’s going on with her husband and kids.  We get reminders every now and then where her captor asks her questions about her life and shows her police appeals on her disappearance which I thought were great. It was so easy to just forget that Alex was telling this story, so these little conversations were so useful to remind you.

I really enjoyed the plot and twist of the book and although I never really had much interest in art, this made it so interesting to read about and showed me a completely different side that I never really considered. Especially when you learn that most of the work that is featured in the book is actually based on real life works. The way this is told is meant to deceive you and I loved that, I started to work out what happened maybe half way through the book but because of how the story is told, you do second guess yourself and I loved that.

I really enjoyed that this wasn’t just the story of Marc of trying to find Alex and included quite a lot of a police procedural which I do really enjoy. It was nice that it wasn’t told from the police side either and we got to see it all from ‘Marcs’ POV as he has to deal with the police questioning his every move on the day of Alex’s disappearance, dealing with them digging into all their personal life and also the intricacies of putting together a missing person appeal.

I 100% would recommend picking this up; it’s a very unique read that I loved and just found that I couldn’t put it down. And like I said, I had no interest in Art but this made me so intrigued and presented in such a different way but not in a way that shoved it down your throat made you enjoy it. It’s a very interesting spin on a psychological thriller mixed with some police procedural and I highly recommend picking this up!

Sign off

Turn A Blind Eye – Vicky Newham Review

Turn a bind eyeThank you to Net Galley and HQ for providing me with an e-ARC copy! All opinions in this review are my own and are honest.

This story follows DI Maya Rahman as she investigates a murder at her old primary school where the head teacher has been killed. This story is told in different perspectives and also alternates between the present and some of the past from Maya’s point of view and we get to see some of her old life when she was a child and living with her parents and attending the primary school. I enjoyed seeing the story being told for the different perspectives, especially since we didn’t just get the police perspective, we got the perspective of other people who were possible people of interest in the investigation.

This was filled with culture which was great to see, and I feel isn’t something we get in a normal crime / thriller book. The murderer is leaving Buddhist precepts as the murders and so we see the investigation go into detail about what they could mean in relation to the killings. The school and location itself lends to all sorts of cultures which are explored throughout the story and also at the school itself as it deals with issues that students are facing including forced marriages. Maya herself is orginally from Sylhet and we see her dealing with her Brothers suicide and also being looked down on by other people from her culture for becoming ‘too white and British’ whilst trying to embrace her culture and also live in the Country that she now calls her home. Maya is also dealing with other aspects of her home life in this book however they aren’t fully resolved here, so I presume that they will be revisted in the next book.

I did figure out who did it however it wasn’t that far from the actual book reveal anyway so I didn’t read through the book knowing who did it already which was good. I thought the actual investigation and the leads it took were very good and did keep you guessing as to who was the murderer1

I think this is a cracking debut novel and the culture and diversity in this book is really what makes it stand out from other police procedurals. I found the topic of ethnic diversity to be one of the most compelling aspects of the novel – and it certainly drove the plot of this contemporary police procedural – although I didn’t know whodunnit until all was revealed at the end. There is also an intriguing Rahman family mystery weaving itself through the storyline, but it’s left unresolved, meaning it will undoubtedly reappear in future books. I will definitely be picking up the next book in this series and urge to give this a read if you’re a crime/thriller fan!

Sign off

Losing Leah – Sue Welfare Review

Losing leah.jpgThank you to Net Galley and Mirror Books for providing me with an e-ARC copy! All opinions in this review are my own and are honest.

This is yet another psychological thriller, which follows Leah and her husband Chris. Leah disappears without a trace when they stop at a service station on their way to their Welsh holiday home and this story follows all the events that happen from this disappearance.

Whilst this was a gripping and quick read; I was able to fly through it, I did feel that the writing style did let this down a lot. This apparently follows Sergeant Mel Daley as she tries to unravel the mystery that is Leah disappearing. However, when I picked this up, I had no idea who it was we were following, and I had to read the blurb to figure out who we were following in this story. It was strange because we had little back story about her and I struggled to realise who was telling the story, yet we did see a large section of her private life involving a risqué relationship in the book which just stumped me. I would have loved a better introduction to Mel and to find out more about her as she was the main narrator in this story.

This did feature a lot of police procedure in it which I loved however, a lot of it felt like we were being told things out of a manual on how to be a police officer and what to do in certain situations. It just really struggled in its story-telling capabilities for some of the book which did make it very flat and difficult to connect with the story and also the characters. However, seeing the police procedures in a lot of detail was very, very interesting and this could have been a really interesting 4-star read if the writing was slightly different.

I did enjoy the plot of the book and I did find myself wondering how on earth does a grown woman just completely vanish without a trace?! I did have an idea of what had happened, but I definitely didn’t see the plot twist coming and I did enjoy that part of the book. There was a bit at the very end which seemed like it was chucked in there just to make the book darker and didn’t really make much sense or could have done with more explanation. But overall, it was an interesting plot and I loved how in depth it went with all the investigation into her disappearance and Leah and Chris’s lives.

This was an ok read but wasn’t perfect. I have seen a lot of other bloggers really enjoy this so maybe go and check out their reviews on goodreads to see if this is something that you want to pick up!

Sign off

Bring Me Back – B.A.Paris Review

Bring me backThis is the third and most recent book of B.A.Paris’ that I’ve read and yet again, there’s not going to be much in terms of plot here because it’s a thriller and obviously too much plot will give it away!

This follows Finn who went on holiday to France with his partner Layla; whilst driving back home, they stop at a service station where Finn goes to the toilet and when he comes back out, Layla has vanished. Years later, Finn is happy, and he has a new fiancé; it’s only when he comes home and finds his fiancé fingering something only Finn, Layla and Layla’s sister (and also Finns soon to be wife) Elllen, would know about. More and more things happen, and more questions are raised about Layla’s disappearance and what actually happened.

I did originally rate this 5-stars I decided to change it to 4-stars because I just didn’t enjoy it as much looking back, as it wasn’t as gripping compared to her other 2 novels. I did remember what happened in the plot which is generally a good sign that I did like a book, but it simply wasn’t as gripping, and I just didn’t enjoy it as much. This surprised me a lot as I’ve seen a lot of people say that they liked Bring Me Back the most out of the 3 novels that B.A.Paris has written. I struggled to get through the start of this a lot more than her other 2 books. Now, I have found that with B.A Paris books I tend not to feel gripped for the first third or so and it does tend to take a while for me to get stuck in, but this just seemed to take a lot longer and I don’t think I ever felt fully invested in the novel or fully gripped.

This is going to be yet another frustrating review as I really can’t say much without ruining the plot, but I just found this book more infuriating and whilst I thought that the twist was clever, I just found it so difficult to believe. Like really, would you really not notice that?! I have to admit that I didn’t see the plot twist coming and I really liked that the whole back story of the twist was explained as it gave us a proper idea of what had happened. This story also included bits from Finn’s past such as how he met Layla and his back story with his friend Harry which I really appreciated.

I’d still recommend picking this up, it is an intriguing thriller and does have B.A.Paris’ good writing. It was a quick, easy and enjoyable read but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as her other books! Although I do feel that she did set herself a pretty high bar to begin with!

You can pick Bring Me Back up now on Amazon UK in paperback and kindle!

Sign off

 

Behind Closed Doors – B.A.Paris Review

behind closed doorsThis is the second B.A.Paris book that I’ve read and as with The Breakdown review, there’s not going to be much in terms of plot here because it’s a thriller and obviously too much plot will give it away!

This follows the couple Jack and Grace who look like the perfect couple to everyone looking in; beautiful house, Jack has a great job and they can want for nothing. But then you realise that Grace is never alone, and she can’t meet for coffee with Jack being there, if at all and just maybe, not everything is as it seems.

Although I gave this 5-stars and I did really love it as a thriller, I have to say that I still preferred the Breakdown to this! This was such an interesting concept and worked so well – it seemed like B.A.Paris had really thought about all the workings in this story and had all the bases covered. There were a few times that I thought, ‘ooo but what about this’ and then that question would be answered so it was so great that all my questions and loose ends got tidied up.

I enjoyed the family aspect that was brought into this book and how it was used to explain things and pull it all together. And wow, that ending. I loved that it was just that one little thing that helped the ending pull together and I finished this and was sat there saying ‘wtf’ for a good 5 minutes afterwards. I don’t really want to say anymore in case I spoil this for anyone!

I would definitely recommend picking this up if you’re a fan of thrillers and if you’ve read the Breakdown then you should definitely pick this up; it’s a great story and very wll written with a completely different plot!

Sign off