Don’t tell teacher by Suzy K Quinn 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Blurb

School should have been the safest place…

For Lizzie Riley, switching her eight-year-old son Tom to the local academy school marks a fresh start, post-divorce. With its excellent reputation and outstanding results, Lizzie knows it’ll be a safe space away from home.

But there’s something strange happening at school. Parents are forbidden from entering the grounds and inside, there are bars across the classroom windows.

Why is Tom coming home exhausted, unable to remember anything about his day? What are the strange marks on his arm? And when Lizzie tries to question the other children, why do they seem afraid to talk?

Tom’s new school might seem picture-perfect. But sometimes appearances can be deceiving…

My Review

This is not what I expected going in at all!!! I never do spoilers and writing a spoiler free review is proving difficult so I won’t mention plot at all.

I will however tell you that I loved the characters, every single last one of them. From Kate Noble the over worked, close to burn out social worker and her overbearing boss Tessa. The Neilson kids who despite their tough exteriors you can’t help but feel for. Lizzie struggling on her own after divorce and her bat shit crazy mother.

The pacing is slower than the usual thriller but it needs it to really develop both the plot and characters so it didn’t bother me one bit and still managed to finish it within 24 hours. The story is that gripping and the need to know what the hell is going on at the school will keep you flicking the pages furiously.

The last third of the book the pace and tension intensifies until you are left jaw slacked as all is revealed.

I recommend this to readers who love a character led thriller

About the author

Suzy K Quinn is a British fiction author, and writes in three different genres: psychological thriller, comedy and romance.

She was first published by Hachette in 2010 with her debut novel Glass Geishas (now Night Girls), then self-published a romance series, the Ivy Lessons, which became an international bestseller and a #1 Kindle romance bestseller in the US and UK.

After her second daughter was born in 2013, she self-published the Bad Mother’s Diary series, which also went on to become a #1 Kindle romantic comedy bestseller.

Suzy K Quinn’s novels have been translated into 7 languages and her books have sold over ¾ million copies worldwide.

Suzy lives in Wivenhoe, Essex, with her husband Demi and two daughters, and travels to Mexico every year to write and study Mayan story telling.

Suzy loves her family, friends and readers, but when pushed to add more to the list, she also loves travelling, food and alcohol. 

http://www.suzykquinn.com
http://www.facebook.com/suzykquinn
Twitter: @suzykquinn

Link to buy

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dont-Tell-Teacher-psychological-bestselling-ebook/dp/B07FXN4K14

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BLOG TOUR – Savage Children by Peter Boland 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to Sarah @BOTBSPublicity for my place on the tour and my e-book. All opinions are honest and my own.

Blurb

Children are disappearing from London parks. Caught on CCTV, they go in but never come out again…

Days after each disappearance, the distraught parents receive a hand-drawn picture of their child as an angel. A sign they’ll never see them again. The police have no clues or leads. All they have is a nickname for the abductor – the Archangel.  
When Savage’s neighbour’s ten-year-old son Callum becomes a victim, he vows to find him, and catch this Archangel. Savage has his headstrong friend Tannaz to help him. This time it’s going to take more than her brilliant computer skills to find the truth. They’ll have to enlist the help of some new friends – and some old enemies. 

As more children go missing, Savage realises the Archangel is a formidable adversary. Clever, elusive and terrifying. Savage also has the police on his back, watching his every move. The deeper Savage becomes involved, the more he realises all is not what it seems…

My Review

Where has this book been all my reading life? I’m completely new to Peter Boland’s books and after reading this I feel like I’ve finally got an invite to the best party in town.

I said yes to this as the hook grabbed my interest. I’m useless with technology but still find it really interesting. Caught on CCTV going in but not leaving WHAT?????

Well not only has it got a terrific original hook , it’s got a smart arse protagonist with inner demons ( imagine an invisible friend on steroids) a terrible dress sense (crocs and elasticated house trousers what was he thinking?) and a feisty side kick who is not only whip smart but tough too.

Now this is book three, however I read it as a stand alone and had no problems. But I will say I enjoyed it so much I’m going to have to read out of order and get books one and two now.

So what did I enjoy so much ? EVERYBLOODYTHING!! I will be honest and admit I actually guessed something fairly early on. Go me!! But even that didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Instead I gave myself a pat on the back for being a clever little sausage and carried on with this belter of a story.

I adored Savage’s and Tannaz’s partnership , I want to be in their gang and am happy to make the teas and coffees. I even found that I stopped caring about the missing kids as I was more interested in these two (aren’t I terrible) and trying to solve the mystery alongside them. And as for mystery damn this is a clever one and way out of my armchair detective capabilities. I don’t want to go into plot details as the less you know the better, trust me on this one.

I highly recommend this book but maybe buy all three so you can read them in order unlike this doofus.

About the author

After studying to be an architect, Pete realised he wasn’t very good at it. He liked designing buildings he just couldn’t make them stand up, which is a bit of a handicap in an industry that likes to keep things upright. So he switched to advertising, writing ads for everything from cruise lines to zombie video games.

After becoming disillusioned with working in ad agencies, he switched to writing novels (or was it because he just wanted to work at home in his pyjamas?). He soon realised there’s no magic formula. You just have to put one word in front of the other (and keep doing that for about a year). It also helps if you can resist the lure of surfing, playing Nintendo Switch with his son, watching America’s Next Top Model with his daughter and drinking beer in a garden chair.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeterBolandWriter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PeterBoland19

Goodreads Author Page: 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7102414.Peter_Boland

Link to buy

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Savage-Children-John-Action-Thriller-ebook/dp/B07VYTJ1LQ

Here to stay by Mark Edwards – 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Blurb

Gemma Robinson comes into Elliot’s life like a whirlwind, and they marry and settle into his home. When she asks him if her parents can come to stay for a couple of weeks, he is keen to oblige – he just doesn’t quite know what he’s signing up for.

The Robinsons arrive with Gemma’s sister, Chloe, a mysterious young woman who refuses to speak or leave her room. Elliot starts to suspect that the Robinsons are hiding a dark secret. And then there are the scars on his wife’s body that she won’t talk about . . .

As Elliot’s in-laws become more comfortable in his home, encroaching on all aspects of his life, it becomes clear that they have no intention of moving out. To protect Gemma, and their marriage, Elliot delves into the Robinsons’ past. But is he prepared for the truth?

My Review

Well that turned dark pretty bloody quick.

Poor Elliot believing he had finally found his happy ever after quickly realises his dream is becoming a nightmare.

For someone who has a neat and orderly home inviting his in-laws to stay (who funnily enough reminded me of psychopathic versions of Wayne and Waynetta Slob) was not a wise idea.

I was completely absorbed as Elliot was pushed to the brink of insanity by their rapidly increasing mental torture.

They say a man’s home is his castle. Well this castle is now plagued with cockroaches in human form.

This is my second of Mark’s books and I’m becoming a huge fan. He takes nice and normal and makes it dark and nasty, and that to me is a big selling point.

About the author

Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people.

He has sold over two million books since his first novel, The Magpies, was published in 2013, and has topped the bestseller lists several times. His other novels include Follow You Home, The Retreat, In Her Shadow, Because She Loves Me, The Devil’s Work and The Lucky Ones. He has also co-authored six books with Louise Voss.

Originally from Hastings in East Sussex, Mark now lives in Wolverhampton with his wife, their children, two cats and a golden retriever.

Mark loves hearing from readers and can be contacted through his website, http://www.markedwardsauthor.com, or you can find him on Facebook (@markedwardsbooks), Twitter (@mredwards) and Instagram (@markedwardsauthor).

Link to buy

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Here-Stay-Mark-Edwards-ebook/dp/B07HQ5S1NW

BLOG TOUR – A House Of Ghosts by W.C.Ryan

Thank you to Tracy #CompulsiveReaders and Zaffre Books for my place on the tour and my beautiful paperback copy. All opinions are honest and my own.

Blurb

Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives.

At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die.

For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one . . .

My Review

With it being the month of Halloween what better than a nice mystery featuring spiritualists, ghosts and a strange mirror that breaches the curtain of death.

This beautiful black and gold book on opening includes a map of Blackwater Island and a great opening chapter introducing Captain Donovan. We then go on to discover he is there for a meeting with military intelligence as top secret information is finding its way into enemy hands.

At the meeting he meets Kate Cartwright, her brother is MIA and her engagement has been called off. I loved Kate, her intelligence shone from the page.

Kate is commanded to accept an invitation which she had previously declined to attend a spiritualist event contacting the dead who have been lost at war with her ex fiancé (awkward) and Donovan posing as his valet (wearing an eye patch to explain why he is not fighting in the war).

The setting of an island cut off from any help, storms, secret passages and ghostly goings on it’s easy to see why this has been compared with Agatha Christie.

This is a slow burner and more a character driven book as the action doesn’t really start until three quarters of the way through. Don’t let that put you off though as the writing is enough to hold your attention.

This is not only a tale of espionage but a great little mystery with supernatural elements .

About the author

W. C. Ryan is a pseudonym for William Ryan, author of The Constant Soldier and the Korolev series of historical crime novels. His books have been shortlisted for numerous awards including the Theakston Crime Novel of the Year Award, the CWA Historical Dagger and the Ireland AM Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award and have been translated into over a dozen languages. William is married and lives in west London

Link to buy

https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Ghosts-gripping-mystery-haunted-ebook/dp/B07DDL8KKQ

Violet by SJI Holliday 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to TBC on Facebook for my e -book. All opinions are honest and my own.

Blurb

Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.

Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is also desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.

When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.

Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

My Review

Oh boy did I love this book. It has everything I want in a psychological thriller.

Palpable tension to the point I had to remind myself to breathe, wonderful vivid descriptions of the multiple settings , claustrophobia and dark delicious characters. But to me the clincher that really sealed the deal was the unreliable narration ( don’t do drugs kids) and Violet herself .

I bloody love it when women aren’t portrayed as victims but instead are the catalysts of complete and utter mayhem. I find it so much more interesting and this clever book had me wrapped round its finger from page one.

The emails interspersed throughout the narration were a fantastic addition along with social media inclusion. So if you didn’t pay attention to your parents on the importance of STRANGER DANGER then after reading this I’m sure you will .

And if that doesn’t make you want to read this excellent book then just look at the cover, that alone should make you buy it.

About the author

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday grew up in East Lothian, Scotland. A life-long fan of crime and horror, her short stories have been published in various places, and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize. 

She has written three crime novels set in the fictional Scottish town of Banktoun, which are a mix of police procedural and psychological thriller. They are: “Black Wood”, “Willow Walk” and “The Damselfly” – all featuring the much loved character, Sergeant Davie Gray. 

Her serial killer thriller “The Deaths of December” (written as Susi Holliday), featuring Detective Sergeant Eddie Carmine and Detective Constable Becky Greene was a festive hit in 2017.

Her spooky mystery “The Lingering” was released in September 2018.

Her latest book “Violet” – a psychological thriller set on the Trans-Siberian Express is out in September 2019.

Link to buy

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Violet-SJI-Holliday-ebook/dp/B07QW4CK9Y

BLOG TOUR – Good Girls by Amanda Brookfield

Thank you to Megan at Boldwood Books for my e-copy and place on the tour. All opinions are honest and my own.

Blurb

Everyone that meets Kat Keating is mesmerised. Beautiful, smart and charming, she is everything a good girl should be.

Her sister Eleanor, on the other hand, knows she can’t compete with Kat. On the awkward side of tall, clever enough to be bullied, and full of the responsibilities only an older sibling can understand, Eleanor grows up knowing she’s not a good girl.

This is the story of the Keating sisters – through a childhood fraught with secrets, adolescent rivalries, and on into adulthood with all its complexities and misunderstandings.  Until a terrible truth brings the sisters crashing together and finally Eleanor begins to uncover just how good Kat really was.

My Review

This has been a difficult review to write. Whilst I didn’t hate this book I didn’t love it either. I had a touch of confusion over the genre of this book and I’m still not entirely sure which I would categorise it as.

There were things I genuinely enjoyed, the characters although not likeable are very real and flawed. I just wish the one character who was the little bright spark of this book hadn’t committed suicide.

I normally like religious aspects, but this felt more like being preached at in a sermon reading than a religious take which can be done well. For example The testament of Gideon Mack, The Shack and more recently Little Siberia.

I have always prided myself on my wide range of vocabulary but this made me feel uneducated and a bit dim . I think a thesaurus was used heavily and the over use of the word insouciance at the start drove me bonkers.

I hate being negative as I’m normally such a positive person who loves raving about the books I read. But unfortunately this just wasn’t my cup of tea.

I think this would be enjoyed more by readers who love family drama and sibling rivalry.

About the author

From The Cat in The Hat onwards I was mad about reading. I studied English at uni and then got a job in advertising. Seeking adventure, I went to Argentina to work as a freelance journalist and that’s when I wrote my first book, ALICE ALONE. Since then I have produced fifteen more novels, loads of short stories, as well as two glorious sons.

Writing is like a life-long disease – you can’t ever shake it off even if some days you might want to. My memoir, FOR THE LOVE OF A DOG, arose out of a traumatic time in my personal life. I lost two people I loved and hit a wall. A Golden Doodle puppy helped me back on me feet, as did writing about the experience. Making sense of the chaos around us is such a comfort and the reason I am a storyteller. 

Link to buy

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Girls-perfect-book-club-ebook/dp/B07V2XF69J

BLOG TOUR – The Birthday House by Jill Treseder

Thank you to Anne Cater, SilverWood Books and the author for my place on the tour and the paperback. All opinions are honest and my own.

Blurb

The year is 1955, the location picturesque Devon.

In a house by the River Dart, schoolgirl Josephine Kennedy posts invitations to her twelfth birthday party – a party that never takes place.

Horrific violence is committed that night in the family home, leaving all of its occupants dead. 

Based on a disturbing real-life crime, this compelling story explores Josephine’s fate through the prism of friends and family – the victims and survivors who unwittingly influenced the events that led up to the tragedy.

Josephine’s best friend, Susan, is haunted by the secrets of the birthday house. Can she ever find a way of making peace with the past?

My Review

This book is a fictional story based on a tragic event that took place in Dartmouth and is the authors tribute to her friend.

Retelling the tragedy is the authors attempt at asking why and I hope laying ghosts to rest. Knowing this was based on truth made it all the more harrowing to read.

At just under 150 pages it’s a quick read but no worse for it. Packing in beautiful writing and rich characters this is a glimpse behind the net curtains of the 1950’s neighbours.

The old saying “you never know what goes on behind closed doors” couldn’t be truer here. Although some had their suspicions and rumours were circulated.Voicing them was not what they did. You kept out of other peoples business. It’s such a shame that even today nearly 65 years later people still keep quiet when they suspect domestic violence, not wanting to get involved. Although I am glad the laws have recently changed to include coercive control. However throughout the book you realise the potential triggers, a parental suicide, public shaming, alcohol misuse, rumours of affairs and mood changes.

Although the author will maybe never know the real reason her friend died I hope writing this was cathartic.

About the author

from www.jilltresederwriter.com

I started writing in a red shiny exercise book when I was seven years old. But in that time and place it was an ‘invalid’ activity, was overlooked, but never went away. It was many years before I felt able to call myself ‘writer’.

But there came a day when the phrase ‘I am a writer’ no longer sounded pretentious, but legitimate, and even necessary. Was it because I had a writing room instead of the corner of a landing? Or because I spent more time writing? Or because I’d got better at it? Or because I get miserable and bad-tempered if I don’t write? Probably a combination of all of the above.

Writing is my third career. The first was as a social worker with children and families, a job I loved, but left because I could no longer cope with the system.

This led to a freelance career as an independent management consultant, helping people to handle emotions in the work context. I worked in the IT industry, in companies large and small, as well as public organisations. Later I became involved in research projects concerned with the multi-disciplinary approach to social problems such as child abuse. So, in a sense, I had come full-circle.

All these experiences feed into the process of writing fiction, while my non-fiction book The Wise Woman Within resulted indirectly from the consultancy work and my subsequent PhD thesis,Bridging Incommensurable Paradigms’, which is available from the School of Management at the University of Bath.

I live in Devon and visit Cornwall frequently and these land and seascapes are powerful influences which demand a presence in my writing.

Writers’ groups and workshops are a further invaluable source of inspiration and support and I attend various groups locally and sign up for creative courses in stunning locations whenever I can. I try doing writing practice at home but there is no substitute for the focus and discipline achieved among others in a group.

I have written some short stories and recently signed up for a short story writing course to explore this genre in more depth.

I live with my husband in South Devon and enjoy being involved in a lively local community.

 

Twitter @Jill_Treseder

Link to buy

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Birthday-House-Jill-Treseder/dp/178132879X