When she was thirteen, Lizzie lost her best friend in what she always believed was a terrible accident.
Even though she was with Alice when she died, Lizzie has no memory of the accident itself. Now there is doubt around if it was in fact an accident at all.
Alice’s friends and relatives seem to suspect Lizzie had a part to play in Alice’s death, but Lizzie knows that can’t be true. She would never have hurt Alice.
Twelve years later, unpacking boxes in the new home she shares with her fiancé, Lizzie is finally beginning to feel like she can move on with her life.
But someone has other ideas.
Twelve years is a long time to wait, when you’re planning the perfect revenge.
Lizzie has no memory of what happened in the moments before her best friend Alice died, she only knows that it must have been a tragic accident. Skip ahead to 12 years later and Lizzie is moving on with her life, she has moved in with her fiancé and is going to go back to college. But strange things keep happening, is she being haunted by the past or is someone out for revenge.
This is the second thriller I have read by Lesley Kara as I was on the blog tour for who did you tell, and I think this is even better than the last. I read it in just a few sittings and was thinking about it when I was I put it down. The tension the author creates oozed off the page and at times I just wanted to shake Lizzie and say ‘can’t you see what’s happening here!!’
I did predict two of the main twists but in no way did this detract from my reading pleasure, in fact it enhanced it as it played out as I wanted it to in my head which gave me a whole separate sense of satisfaction.
Thank you to @randomttours and @lesleykara for my review copy of the book.
Lesley’s debut The Rumour was the bestselling crime thriller debut of 2019. It was a Sunday Times bestseller in both hardback and paperback, a Kindle No.1 bestseller, and has now sold over 350,000 copies globally. The Rumour has been optioned for TV by Cuba Pictures, and has sold in 15+ territories to date. Who Did You Tell? her critically acclaimed second novel was also a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller.
Lesley is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She lives on the North Essex coast, inspiration for the locations in her novels.
Jeremiah O’Connell made his name solving problems in London and now does the same in LA. The problems other people can’t or won’t touch? They’re the ones that end up at Jerry’s door.
Suddenly Jeremiah has problems of his own when he sets out to right a wrong and finds himself on the hitlist of one of LA’s most feared drug gangs.
As the stakes rise, so does the body count, and Jerry has the fight of his life on his hands. Now, with high-class escort Noah in tow, Jeremiah must revisit his old London stomping grounds and assemble his team in order to wage all-out war on the streets on Tinseltown…
Jerry ambled towards the strip club entrance, pulled open a
door and moved into a vestibule area, where a doorman sat
on a bar stool looking at his phone. Jerry tried to hide his
contempt, resisting the urge to tell the guy to get his arse
outside, which was where he should be. Standing. Watching.
Being a fucking doorman. Not sitting inside texting like a
The guy looked up at Jerry, down at his phone and then,
in a double take, back at Jerry. In the next second, he was
scrambling to his feet, broadening his shoulders and narrowing
his eyes. ‘What up?’ he croaked.
From behind him came the muffled thump of the strip
club music. The phone went away, hands into the pockets of
his bomber jacket. Making it clear to Jerry where he kept his
weapon – whatever that might be.
‘All right, mate?’ said Jerry. ‘You open for business, are
you?’ He was taking the piss, but it went clean over the head
of the doorman.
‘Always, always,’ nodded the doorman, ‘just as long as
you’re not after trouble . . .’
Jerry held up his hands. ‘Just here for the booze and the
The doorman held the door open for him and he moved
through into the foyer. A woman in a booth took his money.
He passed into the main club and took in the scene: dancers
gyrating at poles on a central stage; sleepyeyed
a clientele who looked like part of the furniture. The overall
feel was one of lethargy, boredom. The afternoon after a
heavy night when the world has nothing more to show you.
He took a seat, ordered from a waitress who introduced
herself as Ashley, and then, when she returned with the
bottle, asked her, ‘You got a girl here called Commodore?’
Lord D’Arque is dead, enquiries have led to the Lord’s loved ones being ruled out, and the search for a clear picture has put the servants of the manor in the frame. But what possible motive could the staff have for wanting their mean and miserly master murdered?
You’d be surprised what secrets are lurking behind the doors of the Manor!
The servants are our lead suspects and it’s up to you as detectives to prove which one committed the dastardly deed. Playing good cop or bad cop? Picking from these two game versions will determine the type of investigators you’ll be whilst you try to solve the crime, but which detective will crack the case first?
Foul Play is a murder mystery card game for 2-5 players in which you need to find three clues to work out who the murder is and then convince the other players that you know who it is and put your evidence forward to back it up.
I sat down to play this with my husband after putting the little one to bed. The set up was really easy and there is even a photo on the website that shows how it should look for anyone who is unsure. We started off playing good cop but quickly moved on to bad cop as we are both very competitive and wanted to be able to win quicker! The game was fast paced and fun and we will definitely introduce the family to it over Christmas. The one recommendation I would give is to read the instructions online over the small card instructions as they didn’t seem to be as clear about what do with cards you had played/picking up new cards so the first few games we ran out of cards!
Thank you to @damppebbles , @DamppebblesBTs and @afterdarkmurder for my chance to play along! Check out these other lovely bloggers who will be taking part over the next ten days:
Unfortunately, Tom Cooper, like the rest of the world, has found himself stuck in the middle of a pandemic. He’s going to be spending the next few months trapped inside a small flat with sole responsibility for his two single digit children.
Separated from his girlfriend (and any possibility of help with childcare), Tom is plunged into a world of home schooling, awkward Zoom calls, supermarket feuds, al fresco workout sessions, cash strapped tooth fairies, aging parents who won’t stay home and competitive clapping for the NHS. Not to mention the problem of trying to fulfil his girlfriend’s request for an erotic selfie of his rapidly deteriorating body…
Join Tom as he navigates the lockdown in the stand-alone sequel to last year’s hilarious The Rebuilding of Tom Cooper. Laugh-out-loud with real heart.
Lockdown has never been so entertaining!
To be honest I was a little worried about reading this at the start of a second lockdown but this was a thoroughly enjoyable look at lock down from the perspective of a single parent. I really liked seeing all the parts I didn’t see from living in the country side and I especially enjoyed the observations of how different lockdown was for the rich vs the poor as (not knowing any very rich people) was something I was curious about.
This book is more about the challenges and joys of raising children and all the hilarious situations they put us in and is one I would recommend to all if you want a fun, light hearted read. That being said it did have some very tender and real moments that had me welling up!
I didn’t realise this was the second book when I signed up for the tour but I am glad of that as I might not have said yes had I know and it read absolutely fine as a stand alone. I will definitely be on the look out for book one!
Thank you to @randomttours @marottebooks and @thespencerbrown for my copy of the book in exchange for review.
Spencer Brown began performing comedy with the Cambridge Footlights alongside John Oliver (HBO’s This Week Tonight) and Matthew Holness (Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace), before becoming an internationally acclaimed stand up. He has performed everywhere from London’s The Comedy Store to Mumbai and the USA, TV credits including Nathan Barley (Channel 4), Edinburgh Comedy (BBC 2), Last Comic Standing (NBC), his own special on Swedish television. As a TV presenter, he fronted ITV’s Lip Service alongside Holly Willoughby and Five’s The Sexy Ads Show. He is also the writer-director of the multi-award-winning film The Boy with a Camera for a Face. The Lockdown Diary of Tom Cooper is his second novel.
Emily is sure she’s getting this baby stuff all wrong. Why does everyone look like they’re smashing motherhood when she’s barely made it out of the house? She’s usually covered in sick, eating yet another beige freezer dinner, and relying on wet wipes to clean the baby, herself and the house. And coffee. All the coffee. Surely she can’t be the only new mum totally winging it?
Emily’s about to discover that when you’re starting a family, what you really need are your friends…
Our baby is stuck. The previously calm birthing room is full of doctors shouting at the midwives. ‘We need to get her to the operating theatre, now!’ one yells. ‘Why the hell isn’t she there already?’ I strain to see behind me as the pain grips and twists. ‘Nick? NICK? Where are you?’ ‘Here,’ Nick says. His hand firmly grabs mine. ‘What’s happening?’ I shrill, my voice not sounding like my own. ‘It’s OK, Emily,’ my midwife reassures me, ‘you’ve been in second stage labour for some time now. We are going to help you get your baby out.’ She squeezes my shoulder and hurries out of the room. ‘Nick, what’s happening? What does she mean?’ I demand as my entire innards crunch and tighten in the world’s strongest vice. ‘It’s going to be alright,’ Nick says. ‘How do you know?’ I screech at him. The mother of all contractions takes hold as I’m wheeled down the corridor. ‘Holy fuck!’ I hear myself scream. The porters push the trolley through the swing doors and the waiting doctor greets me, ‘Hello, Emily, I’m Doctor Marston. We’re going to move you into a sitting position and ask you to keep very still as I insert a spinal drip into your back. Do you understand?’
‘Yes,’ I respond, as the contraction eases and I get my breath back. ‘OK, Emily, you need to keep still. That’s it, remain absolutely still.’ Can he stop asking me to stay still? It’s like asking a boxer to remain static as his opponent repeatedly punches him in the face. My body wants to push our baby out. ‘Right, it’s in!’ he says triumphantly, and my midwife appears, guiding me back into a horizontal position on the bed. ‘You’re so close, Emily, you can do this,’ my midwife encourages. ‘I can do this,’ I agree weakly. ‘You’re doing brilliantly.’ Nick wipes my sweaty forehead with the sleeve of his jumper. This isn’t how it’s meant to happen. I wanted ‘Here Comes the Sun’, the Nina Simone version, playing triumphantly as my child effortlessly slipped into the world. I’d imagined doing the whole thing drugfree; that I would get the baby out on willpower alone. It’s all typed up in the birth plan. Why isn’t it happening like the birth plan? ‘Get my baby OUT!’ The wave of another kneeshaking contraction is starting to rumble. I can hear a low, Maorilike wail, which I assume is coming from one of the other rooms but as I draw breath, I’m surprised to fi nd it’s me making the noise. ‘What are you doing?’ I ask as a doctor straps monitors to me linked up to big beeping machines. ‘Is there something wrong with the baby?’ I panic. Where’s Nick? He’s not next to me anymore. ‘Nothing’s wrong. You’ve been crowning for a while now and your baby has just become a bit distressed so we need to monitor the heart rate. Just try to relax,’ the doctor explains. ‘Nick? Nick?’ Where has he gone?
‘I’m here. I’m right here,’ he soothes as I grab for his hand and pull him close to me. He’s changed. He’s wearing blue scrubs, George Clooney in ER style, and a net that tames his uncontrollable curly hair; he looks like he works in a chip shop. Where did he get the outfit from? ‘They know what they’re doing, Em.’ His voice is calm but his eyes look wild with fear. My breath is becoming shallow and panting. People sound like they are talking underwater and the skin on my face feels like it is about three sizes too small for my skull. I squeeze Nick’s fingers together so tightly that his hand starts to twitch. I close my eyes and try to take in a deep breath but only feel as if I can fi ll about ten per cent of my lungs. ‘Just breathe, breathe, Emily. Release it slowly like we practised. Make your lips really tight. Like a cat’s bum, remember?’ Nick’s voice sounds far away and echoey. I exhale and open my eyes. My vision has altered, the harsh strip lights have developed a seventies porno soft focus quality; the doctors busy around me through a frosted pane of glass. Nick grins at me and I know he is trying to mask his panic. He’s squatting down so he’s at eye level but his face is too close to mine. I can feel his warm breath on my cheek and it smells like Cornish pasties. ‘I love you. I love you so much. You’re doing so brilliantly. You’re amazing. Keep going, keep going. You’re nearly there.’ He squeezes my hand and emphasises every word. I try to reply but no sound comes out. He tucks a sweaty clump of hair behind my ear and I momentarily close my eyes. When I open them, my legs are in stirrups. I hadn’t even felt them move. These drugs are brilliant. Why hadn’t I asked for them sooner? Stupid, self-righteous birth plan. I start to melt into a drug fuelled bliss. My head feels like it is full of cotton wool; sentences drift off unfinished. I try to smile at Nick but only half my face moves, like a kind of Anne Robinson wink. ‘That’s my girl.’ He leans over and kisses my forehead. ‘We’re nearly there,’ he whispers, ‘we’re so nearly there. I’m so proud of you.’ I reach out to touch his face but my arm feels like it weighs a ton so I drop it back down onto the bed. My midwife has both her hands pressed deep into my stomach to feel when I am contracting; I can’t feel anything at all now – thank fuck for drugs. ‘OK, OK, this is it. I can feel another contraction coming, Emily. I need you to do one last big push for me, can you do that?’ ‘How? I can’t feel anything. How do I push?’ My body is completely numb from my lower chest downwards. ‘Imagine you’re doing a poo. Push like you think you’re doing a poo, Emily,’ she orders. ‘NOW! DO IT NOW!’ The world suddenly stands still. I’m looking at the silent, scarlet faced midwife barking orders at me. Her mouth is moving but I can’t hear her. I am utterly gripped by fear. I can’t do this, I can’t do this. I want all this to stop. I can’t do this. I’m not ready. I scrunch my eyes shut as the tears spill down my cheeks. Can all this just stop for a moment? I’m not ready. Then quick as a fl ash I’m back in the room like I’ve been given a shot of adrenaline. A glob of spit sprays out the midwife’s mouth as she screams, ‘I SAID NOW, EMILY!’ I shut my eyes again, but this time, a sheer determination takes over my whole body. I tense every muscle I can feel and focus on tensing all those that are numb. I imagine myself sat on the toilet and then push. And push. And push. And push. ‘And PUSH. Keep going. The head is almost out. Your baby is almost here. ONE MORE BIG PUSH, EMILY!’
The doctor standing between my legs is nodding frantically at the midwife. Fuck. This is it. Come on, Emily, you can do this. Let’s get this baby out. I gulp in another huge breath, grip Nick’s hand with all my might and scream a deep, powerful scream from somewhere right down in my solar plexus. ‘That’s it, Emily, that’s it, keep going. This is the one, we’re going to get your baby out on this one, KEEP GOING,’ she bellows. I gasp for another lungful of air and use the last bit of upper body strength to bend forward, imagining I’m doing the biggest poo of my life. Suddenly there’s a sharp tug between my legs followed by what sounds like someone spilling a pint of water on the floor. ‘Yes! Well done, Emily, your baby is here.’ Our baby is here. Everything pauses. There is a collective intake of breath followed by an ear bleedingly loud wail and the room becomes a hive of activity again. I flop back on the bed, sweat dripping in my eyes. ‘Daddy, do you want to come and see what sex it is?’ It takes me a moment to realise the doctor is talking to Nick. ‘Oh my God, Emily . . .’ His voice cracks. ‘It’s a girl, she’s a girl!’ ‘Can I see her?’ I croak. The doctor carefully places her on my chest. I’m stunned by the alien feeling of having the weight of a one breath old human being on top of me. She has tiny, tiny fingers with titchy fingernails and a mouth the size of an old five pence, opening and closing like a goldfish. We have a daughter. All slippery, a full head of black hair matted to her purple scalp with blood and discharge.
I look up at Nick, who is taking a picture of us both on his phone, and say in a voice that comes out so deep it sounds more like a burp: ‘It’s our baby.’ Later, we look back at that photograph which he immediately texts to everyone we know, and both comment on how much I look like a transvestite. ‘Do you have a name?’ a nurse asks. Nick and I look at each other and without hesitation, proudly say, ‘Lucy’, in unison. Of the five million names we toyed with, we always came back to Lucy. We don’t agree on a lot of things, but thankfully we agreed on this. There is another tug between my legs. I’ve been so busy staring at our baby, I hadn’t noticed the doctor was still ferreting around down there. She looks up at me and says, ‘Would you like to see your placenta?’ I nod before I’ve really had a chance to think it through and she passes it to the midwife who presents me with what looks like a massive bloody steak. ‘Are you keeping it?’ she asks. ‘Am I what?’ ‘Some people like to keep them, have it dried and made into capsules, or necklaces.’ She’s still holding the meat tray of bloody flesh. ‘Err . . . No, no, I’m fi ne thanks.’ ‘Yes, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.’ She shrugs, putting it down. ‘Can I hold her?’ Nick whispers. ‘You can do better than that, would you like to cut the cord, Daddy?’ I wish she’d stop calling him ‘Daddy’. It’s totally creeping me out. Nick looks terrified as the midwife gently takes Lucy from me and hands him a pair of scissors. He says afterwards how he wished the midwife had done it. ‘It was horrible.’ he explains.’ ‘Like sawing through really gristly cheap meat, knowing that you might slip and stab your new born baby.’ Nick picks her up tenderly and holds her in the crook of his arm. He reminds me of the Athena poster, if the guy was dressed like he worked in a chippy. A wave of emotion shudders through me. This is my family now. Nick passes Lucy back and I wrap a sheet around us both. A purple, wrinkly hand rests on my chest territorially and I think, I’m your mum. I’m your mum. I’m your mum. The room has emptied so it’s just me, Lucy, Nick, the midwife and one doctor, who looks at me reassuringly as she settles on the stool between my legs, which are still strung up in the stirrups. ‘Just relax,’ the doctor says perkily. ‘We had to cut through several layers of your vaginal wall to get your baby out, so I’m going to sew it up for you. You won’t feel a thing for now. I’ll tidy it up as best I can so it’ll be nearly as good as new.’ I don’t think I ever want to use my vagina again. She might as well just sew the whole thing up. ‘Would you like some tea and toast?’ the midwife asks in a kind voice that makes me want to cry. I am suddenly the hungriest I’ve been in my entire life, having done the whole labour on two peanut Tracker bars and a Milky Way. Under normal circumstances, that would be an in between snack snack. I give my brand new baby a big sniff on the top of her sticky head, and gratefully say, ‘Yes please.’ ‘I’ll go and put that toast on for you. Just relax, you’ve done the hard work now.’ She smiles. Those words stick with me, and later I will think how cruel it is to mislead someone so much, so early on.
The hard work has only just begun…
Thank you to @orionbooks and @alexxlayt for letting me share this extract with you as part of the blog tour.
The stunning debut from the new name to watch in espionage thrillers. For fans of Charlotte Philby, and The Bletchley Circle, this is perfect Sunday night drama.
When her cover is blown, SOE agent Elisabeth de Mornay flees Paris. Pursued by the Gestapo, she makes her way to neutral Lisbon, where Europe’s elite rub shoulders with diplomats, businessmen, smugglers, and spies. There she receives new orders – and a new identity.
Posing as wealthy French widow Solange Verin, Elisabeth must infiltrate a German espionage ring targeting Allied ships, before more British servicemen are killed.
The closer Elisabeth comes to discovering the truth, the greater the risk grows. With a German officer watching her every step, it will take all of Elisabeth’s resourcefulness and determination to complete her mission.
But in a city where no one is who they claim to be, who can she trust?
City of Spies is a spy thriller that had me hooked from page one. The story starts in France with our main character Elizabeth De Moray who is a trained SOE (Special Operations Executive) SOE agents purpose was to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe against the Axis powers, and to aid local resistance movements during the second World War.
Unfortunately, Elizabeth’s cover is blown, and she must leave Paris and the first part of the book follows her across France as she endeavours to contact London to receive new orders. When she does receive help, she is moved to Lisbon to start anew undercover assignment as Solange Verin, a wealthy French Widow mixing with high society to Spy on the Germans.
I actually had no idea that Portugal was neutral in the WW2 and to find out that there was a country where in the Capital City the British Embassy was across from the German Embassy and citizens of these countries mixed socially was a complete eye opener and had me reaching for google to read all about it. I enjoyed learning something new.
I very much liked that the main character was a strong and independent, intelligent woman who could very much hold her own against the male characters. Normally when a female lead shows these characteristics she is shown as a hard-facedball breaker, but I did not feel Elisabeth was. I would have liked her past to have been a explained in a bit more detail as we find out that she was shunned by her family for a bad marriage but we didn’t find out why the marriage was unacceptable. Also references to her family go unexplained but I believe this is done deliberately so it can be explored in future novels. This book had the terror of being in occupied France and trying to escape the Germans to the glamour of the 1940’s jet set in Lisbon with all the underlying twists and turns of espionage. Mara Timon sets the scene of both beautifully.
I was really enjoying the book and even before I had finished it was recommending it to people that is right up until the last page. I was disappointed that it just finished. Literally just stopped. I understand that this is so a follow up book can be written but I would have liked more of this book to be wrapped up and I was left feeling a little bit conned.
I would still recommend the book and will look out for the next instalment. It was cleverly written and very well researched and opened a chapter of WW2 that I knew nothing about.
Thank you to zaffrebooks and compulsivereads for my spot on the blog tour!
George is a recently widowed seventy-nine-year-old. He nearly made it as a rock star in the 1960s and he’s not happy. Tara is his teenage granddaughter and she’s taken refuge from her bickering parents by living with George. Toby is George’s son-in-law and he wants George in a care home.
George has two secrets. 1) He’s never revealed why his music career stalled. And 2) No-one knows just how much the disappointment of opportunities missed still gnaw at him. He craves one last chance, even at his age. When it presents itself, through the appearance of a long-lost distant relative – whose chequered past should set alarm bells ringing – he can’t resist.
For Tara, living with her grandfather is a way to find her own path and develop her own musical ambitions. She isn’t prepared for the clash between different generations and living in a strange house full of her grandfather’s memories – and vinyl records.
They get off to a shaky start. George takes an instant dislike to the sounds from her bedroom that seem more suited to Guantanamo Bay than anything he would call musical. But as time plays out, they find there are more similarities – neither know how to operate a dishwasher – than differences, and parallels across the generations slowly bring them to recognise their shared strengths. But when Toby inadvertently sets in motion a chain of events, it leaves Tara with the same dilemma her grandfather faced five decades before with the same life-changing choice to make.
Homeward Bound features 79-year-old grandfather George, who didn’t quite make it as a rock star in the ‘60s. He’s expected to be in retirement but in truth he’s not ready to close the lid on his dreams and will do anything for a last chance. When he finds himself on a tour of retirement homes instead of a cream tea at the seaside his family has promised, it seems his story might prematurely be over.
He finds the answer by inviting Tara, his 18-year-old granddaughter, to share his house, along with his memories and vast collection of records. She is an aspiring musician as well, although her idea of music is not George’s. What unfolds are clashes and unlikely parallels between the generations – neither knows nor cares how to use a dishwasher – as they both chase their ambitions.
Everyone knows that I love an older character in a book so when the chance to be on this tour popped into my inbox I grabbed it and I am so glad I did!
This is a truly lovely story about family, old age and never giving up on your dreams. I really enjoyed the interactions between George and his Granddaughter, Tara, but felt that this was more of a story on the whole family rather than the pair of them as the blurb describes. That being said I enjoyed the whole family, all characters were well written and I loved that they were a realistic portrayal rather than a romanticised perfect family who could do no wrong. The only character flaw I found was that Tara’s character did come across as a little young for the age she was written (which 18 year-old do you know who would be caught dead reading a magazine called ‘Teen Tips”).
The musical element was a great addition to the book as really gave a feel of George’s era and his sense of character, I may have to make myself a new playlist!
Thank you to @rararesources @RichardWrites2 & @matadorbooks for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
Richard Smith is a writer and storyteller for sponsored films and commercials, with subjects as varied as caring for the elderly, teenage pregnancies, communities in the Niger delta, anti- drug campaigns and fighting organised crime. Their aim has been to make a positive difference, but, worryingly, two commercials he worked on featured in a British Library exhibition, ‘Propaganda’.
f I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin is an all-consuming novel about loneliness, obsession and how far we go for the ones we love.
Samuel, the day we met I knew I’d finally found what I’ve been waiting for.
Happiness, at last.
Then you left me.
And now I am alone.
Everyone I love leaves in the end.
But not this time.
I’m not giving up on us.
I’m not giving up on you.
When you love someone, you never let them go.
That’s why for me, this is just beginning.
If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin is published on 9th July by Mantle, priced £14.99 in hardback.
This is the story of Constance Little, a woman who has lost her mother and moved to a new city. She falls hard for a new Doctor at the practise she has been working at and we follow their relationship.
This was a very detailed and character driven plot build up. It shows how a normal relationship can quickly escalate to an unhealthy obsession.
I did like the ending and I can definitely see why lots of people are loving this one as it’s well written and leaves you with that creepy uncomfortable feeling so effortlessly, but for me it just felt a little slow & flat, with quiet a predictable story line.
Thank you to @ed_pr @Panmacmillan and @MantleBooks for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
Everyone knows the story of the girl from Widow Hills.
When Arden Maynor was six years old, she was swept away in terrifying storm and went missing for days. Against all odds, she was found alive, clinging to a storm drain. A living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book, and fame followed. But so did fans, creeps and stalkers. It was all too much, and as soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and left Widow Hills behind.
Now, a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden is known as Olivia. With the twentieth anniversary of her rescue looming, media interest in the girl who survived is increasing. Where is she now? The stress brings back the night terrors of Olivia’s youth. Often, she finds herself out of bed in the middle of the night, sometimes outside her home, even streets away. Then one evening she jolts awake in her yard, with the corpse of a man at her feet.
The girl from Widow Hills is about to become the centre of the story, once again.
I have read all the missing girls by this author and still have the last house guest on my tbr so I knew I wanted to give this a try when it was offered for reviewers and I am very glad I did.
This was a fantastic thriller that kept me guessing right the way through. Every time I thought I knew what was coming something threw me off the trail! The short sharp chapters really had me on edge and I loved the addition of the transcription at the end of each chapter that revealed what happened all those years ago.
I also really enjoyed that this was two mystery’s to solve in one, the past when the younger Olivia going missing in the storm and the present question of who has killed the person Olivia finds.
Thanks to @randomttours and @coverus for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
Megan Miranda is the author of All The Missing Girls, The Perfect Stranger, and The Last House Guest, which was the August 2019 Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine pick. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. Follow @MeganLMiranda on Twitter and Instagram, or @AuthorMeganMiranda on Facebook.
Cold Comfort Farm meets Adrian Mole in the funniest debut novel of the year.
Yorkshire, the summer of 1962. Sixteen year-old Evie Epworth stands on the cusp of womanhood. But what kind of a woman will she become?
Up until now, Evie’s life has been nothing special: a patchwork of school, Girl Guides, cows, milk deliveries, lost mothers and village fetes. But, inspired by her idols (Charlotte Bronte, Shirley MacLaine and the Queen), she dreams of a world far away from rural East Yorkshire, a world of glamour lived under the bright lights of London (or Leeds).
Standing in the way of these dreams, though, is Christine, Evie’s soon to be stepmother, a manipulative and money grubbing schemer who is lining Evie up for a life of shampoo- and-set drudgery at the local salon. Luckily, Evie is not alone. With the help of a few friends, and the wise counsel of the two Adam Faith posters on her bedroom wall (‘brooding Adam’ and ‘sophisticated Adam’), Evie comes up with a plan to rescue her bereaved father, Arthur, from Christine’s pink and over-perfumed clutches, and save their beloved farmhouse from being sold off. She will need a little luck, a dash of charm and a big dollop of Yorkshire magic if she is to succeed, but in the process she may just discover who exactly she is meant to be.
Published by Scribner on July 23rd 2020, 361 Pages
I really enjoyed this light, fun, coming of age tale set in the 60’s. I quickly fell in love with Evie as, I too, am a bracket-loving, celery hater! (read the book and it will make sense). Taylor really manged to capture the characters essence as you fall in love with Evie, feel sorry for her Farther and strongly dislike Christine.
I really enjoyed the small interludes that gave us quick snippets into the past and felt they worked really well to give us the parts of the story we were missing with it being in first person narration. I loved Taylor’s style of writing and will definitely look out for his future work!
Also I cant not say it, I LOVE THE COVER!!
The only thing that I didn’t buy into was how old Evie was, she came across as very young for her age, had I not been told she was 16 I would have put her at 12. This may have been done purposefully by the author to give us a sense of how grown up our teenagers are now or may just be that I feel teenagers are older, either way it didn’t take any enjoyment away from the book, was merely a feeling I had whilst reading.
Thank you to @ScribnerBooks @matson_taylor_ and @randomttours for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
Matson Taylor grew up in Yorkshire but now lives in London. He is a design historian and academic- writing tutor and has worked at various universities and museums around the world; he currently teaches at the V&A, Imperial College, and the RCA. He has also Camden Market, an Italian TV and been a pronunciation coach for Catalan worked on appeared commercial, in opera singers.