Blog Tour: Deserve to Die

About the Book

Dom and Stacey have the perfect life. Until they meet Tamara. Brilliant, beautiful, she hides a horrifying secret. One that may destroy them all.

Happily married with two beautiful children, Dom and Stacey have it all. He runs a successful design agency, she is finding fame as an author of children’s books.

Everything is perfect. Until they meet Tamara.

Because Tamara is a woman with a plan.  She executes it step by step – patient, systematic, methodical.

And as her plan unfolds, Dom and Stacey find their lives slipping out of control.  Taking them from heaven into the deepest, darkest hell.

My Review

This book had me gripped from the first chapter. The book started with a murder and I had to know what was going on. It immediately grabbed my attention and I read the entire book in one sitting.

Right from the beginning of this book it’s clear that Tamara has a plan and she’ll do anything to see it through to the end, she’s already killed one person to get where she needs to be. What isn’t clear is why she’s doing this, and who the target is. Does she want Dom for herself, or is she plotting against Stacey?

The character with a history of mental illness, being made to seem like they’re slowly going crazy is a plot point used in many books. Despite this Miranda Rijks keeps the story interesting and distinct from other books with this feature.

We see chapters from the point of view of both Stacey and Tamara. This gives the reader insight into both characters. It’s fascinating to see Stacey become less sure of herself as the book progresses and then gain this confidence back as she starts to realise there must be an external factor.

This book hooked me early on and I couldn’t stop reading as I was desparate to find out Tamara’s motives and how far she was willing to go. This is a gripping thriller that doesn’t let you go until the last page, and I highly recommend it.

Deserve to Die is the first book by Miranda Rijks I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be the last.

A huge thanks to Damppebbles and Inkubator for inviting me onto the blog tour, and for my copy of the book.

About the Author

Miranda Rijks is a writer of suspense novels.

Miranda has an eclectic background ranging from law to running a garden centre. She’s been writing all of her life and has a Masters in writing. A couple of years ago she decided to ditch the business plans and press releases and now she’s living the dream, writing suspense novels full time. She lives in Sussex, England with her Dutch husband, musician daughter and black Labrador.

Miranda loves connecting with her readers, so you can reach out to her at www.mirandarijks.com

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MirandaRijks

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

Website: www.mirandarijks.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/mirandarijksauthor/

Blog Tour: Riverflow

About the Book

After a beloved family member is drowned in a devastating flood, Bede and Elin Sherwell want nothing more than to be left in peace to pursue their off-grid life. But when the very real prospect of fracking hits their village, they are drawn in to the frontline protests. During a spring of relentless rain, a series of mysterious threats and suspicious accidents put friendships on the line and the Sherwells’ marriage under unbearable tension. Is there a connection with their uncle’s death? As the river rises under torrential rain, pressure mounts, Bede’s sense of self begins to crumble and Elin is no longer sure who to believe or what to believe in.

My Review

A huge thanks to damppebbles and honno for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. This is a beautifully written book, and I don’t think I would have discovered it otherwise.

Riverflow focuses on the story of Bede and Elin, particularly how Bede is coping after his uncles death. Bede isn’t ready to move on, but soon there’s the threat of fracking to deal with, and the harrassment from their neighbour, all putting a strain on their relationship.

This is  an interesting story with a lot of different elements coming together. Layland explores some of the issues facing the world today in a way that clearly shows her passion. You can’t help but be moved by the couple’s plight and determination to cope as best they can. 

There is a slow build up of suspense and tension throughout the book. This isn’t too overt, but it lets you know that there’s something not quite right.  This isn’t the level of suspense found in a typical thriller, but there’s a sense of unease throughout the book as you know something isn’t quite right.

The story introduces a cast of characters, all experiencing their own problems that Layland forces you to care about. This is a very character driven story with incredibly real people that engages the reader in a way that makes the plot feel incidental. 

I’m not sure how I’d classify this book, there are subtle elements of a psychological thriller, but there’s something that moves it beyond this. Riverflow brings together a range of elements to create a beautiful story that stays with you. This is the first novel I’ve read by Alison Layland, but I’ll be sure to check out her backlist.

About the Author

Alison Layland is a writer and translator. Raised in Newark and Bradford, she now lives on the Wales/Shropshire border. She studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge University and translates from German, French and Welsh into English. Her published translations include a number of bestselling novels.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlisonLayland

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

Website: http://www.alayland.uk/

#24in48 Reading List

This weekend is 24in48, or an excuse for me to spend the entire weekend reading. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump for the last couple of weeks so this has come at a great time. If you’ve never done #24in48 before, the goal is to spend 24 hours reading over the 48 hour period. It’s not too late to sign up, and you can get more info here.

I did this for the first time back in January and loved it. This time around I have a huge list of books for blog tours, NetGalley releases, library books, books I own, and a couple of audiobooks in case I need to leave the house (they count towards the 24 hours).

Blog Tours

Deserve to Die: A psychological thriller with a heart-stopping ending by [Rijks, Miranda]
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Deserve to Die – This is the first book I’ve read by Miranda Rijks, but I saw a lot of great reviews for I Want You Gone a few months ago so I have a good feeling about this.

Clear My Name – I missed out on this when the first invites when I’m, so I was thrilled to get a spot when the blog tour was extended.

One Year Later – This arrived earlier today, so just in time for the weekend.

NetGalley

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The End of the Line – This was released at the start of the month and I feel really bad that I still haven’t read it. I’m determined that I’ll read it this weekend.

We Were Sisters – I’ve read a lot of thrillers, but I’m always looking for the next one. The plot of this sounds great and I’m looking forward to starting it.

Endgame – I love a good crime thriller, in any form, and this one sounds like it has everything I want.

Library Books

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The Uncommon Reader – This isn’t my usual read but it’s for the book club at work. It’s short and lighthearted so it will make a good read in between the more serious books.

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with YA, but I read Legend a couple of months ago and loved it. So I have Prodigy and Champion to finish the trilogy.

Owned Books

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The Chain – I saw so much for this book before it was even released that I had to buy it. I’m so excited to finally read it and I’m hoping that it lives up to all of the hype.

The Whisper Man – This is another book that I’ve seen a lot of hype for. It sounds really eerie and I’m sure it will keep me on the edge of my seat.

Keep You Close – There have been some great reviews for this, and it’s the type of book that I usually love, so I’m hopeful that it’ll meet my expectations.

Audiobooks

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All These Worlds – I loved the first two books in the series, but I’m not quite ready for it to end so I’ve been putting off finishing the series, but it’s the perfect story to break up the weekend when I need a break.

The Fold – I got this because I liked the narrator, and realised afterwards that it’s the sequel to 14 so I’m looking forward to this.

This is a pretty ambitious reading list, and I probably won’t finish all of them, but this has made me excited for the weekend. Are you doing 24in48? Do you have a reading list for the weekend?

Review: 55 ★★★

About the Book

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There were 54 victims before this. Who is number 55?

Wilbrook in Western Australia is a sleepy, remote town that sits on the edge of miles and miles of unexplored wilderness. It is home to Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who is proud to run the town’s small police station, a place used to dealing with domestic disputes and noise complaints.

All that changes on a scorching day when an injured man stumbles into Chandler’s station. He’s covered in dried blood. His name is Gabriel. He tells Chandler what he remembers.

He was drugged and driven to a cabin in the mountains and tied up in iron chains. The man who took him was called Heath. Heath told Gabriel he was going to be number 55. His 55th victim.

Heath is a serial killer.

As a manhunt is launched, a man who says he is Heath walks into the same station. He tells Chandler he was taken by a man named Gabriel. Gabriel told Heath he was going to be victim 55.

Gabriel is the serial killer.

Two suspects. Two identical stories. Which one is the truth?

My Review

When I first read the blurb for this book I was immediately intrigued. Sadly, I thought it didn’t quite live up to it’s full potential.

There is a lot going on in this book to keep you interested, but the characters aren’t likable, and this took away from my enjoyment. Chandler can’t stand up to his old rival, Mitchell who comes to town to help solve the case (and take over). Mitchell is a one-dimensional character with no redeeming qualities whose entire purpose is to be Chandler’s rival. 

From the blurb I expected the majority of the book to revolve around the mystery of who was telling the truth, but I thought this was solved too quickly. I wanted more of the book to focus on this, as it’s a really interesting idea that could have been expanded. This didn’t feel like the main plot of the book, more something they had to get past to solve the next part.

The book was enjoyable and there were some really good plot twists ,but it didn’t stand out for me. I think this got lost in the middle of some really good thrillers so that could have affected my opinion. I’d consider reading the next release from this author, but he hasn’t moved to my must buy list.

July TBR

I don’t usually set a monthly TBR as I like reading whatever I’m in the mood for. However when I was looking at what I wanted to read next I made a huge list of books I wanted to read so I’m trying out setting a TBR for the month.

NetGalley

So even though I’ve only had a few requests approved on NetGalley, I’m still behind on reading and reviewing

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The End of the Line

We Were Sisters

The Wives – I probably wouldn’t have requested this if I’d realised it was part of The Devil Wears Prada series as it’s not something I’d usually read. However this sounded interesting, and I’ve been branching out more into other genres recently and finding more books that I enjoy so I’m looking forward to trying this.

Library Books

I’ve also been terrible at actually reading my library books recently. I’ve been in different places for work with events and training courses, so I’ve been mostly reading on my kindle for the last few weeks.

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The Wrong Girl

The Woman in the Dark

Identity Crisis

Kindle

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Little Darlings

Close to Home

Don’t Tell a Soul

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Final Girls

In Defence of Innocence

I Know You’re There

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Chloe Lost Girl

The Demons Beneath

Sleep

I’m expecting that I’ll add more to the list, and read books that aren’t on here, but I’m aiming for the majority of books this month to be from this list.

Do you plan your TBR in advance, or read whatever your in the mood for? Or do you manage to only buy books when you’re going to read them (if so, teach me your secrets)

Stacking the Shelves: 7 July 2019

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosten by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality, all about sharing the books you have aquired in the last week.

Kindle

The start of the month means new kindle sales, which means that I’ve already bought far too many books. I haven’t even looked at the summer sale yet so I’ll definitely be buying more in the near future.

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Her Pretty Bones

Exquisite

What You Did

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Little Girl Missing

The Daughter

A Nearly Normal Family

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Your Truth or Mine

I Looked Away

Sleep

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The Ghost Brigades

The Silent Ones

Someone Else’s Baby

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The Divorce

Then She Vanishes

The Starter Wife

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The Perfect Family

Tell Me You’re Mine

The Stranger Diaries

What have you added to your shelves this week?

Have you read any of these books? What should I read first?

Review: Degrees of Guilt ★★★★★

Trigger Warning: This book has mentions of self harm, and I will talk about this in my review.

About the Book

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Maria is on trial for attempted murder.

She has confessed to the crime and wanted her husband dead.

Lottie is on the jury, trying to decide her fate.

She embarks on an illicit affair with a stranger, and her husband can never find out.

You will think you know who is guilty and who is innocent.

You will be wrong.

My Review

This book was absolutely amazing. I’m a huge fan of Law & Order: SVU and this could definitely be the plot of an episode. I was completly hooked by the end of the first chapter. I read this on the train up to Aberdeen and it made the entire journey fly by (and coincidentally was the perfect length for the journey).

The story alternates between Maria, who’s only regret is that her husband didn’t die, and Lottie, a frustrated housewife who’s enjoying her role in something bigger.

To the outside world, Maria’s husband was the perfect gentleman, but Maria tells a darker tale of an abuse and manipulation.

Lottie is becoming frustrated with her role as wife and mother, and this jury duty seems like the perfect opportunity to add some excitement to her life. She slowly becomes enamoured with another jury member, but will she risk her marriage for him?

Throughout the book we get Maria’s story of her life with her husband, and how cruel he really was, and then the jury’s opinions on what they had heard. This tells the story of how hard it is for victims to convince the outside world when the abuser has spent years building up their reputation. Even without her husband in court, the jury want to believe his lies, because they’re a much nicer story than the truth.

Amongst all of this the reader gets a sense that there is something else going on we are not aware of. Is Maria telling the truth? Is this part of something bigger?

Part of this book deals with Maria’s self harm, and I thought this was handled incredibly well. As someone who has struggled with self-harm for years I thought the author managed to capture the thoughts and emotions around this world wonderfully. This is an extremely difficult topic to deal with and the author did so in a very respectful way.

Overall this book was an amazing read that I’ll recommend to anyone who’ll listen to me. I can’t wait for the next book.

Have you read Degrees of Guilt yet? What did you think?

Monthly Round-Up: June 2019

June is over, and we are officially half way throughout the year. I can’t believe we’re already in July, in my head it still feels like March.

I read 11 books in June, but I’ve only published five reviews. I’m planning to post reviews this week for a few of them, and then hopefully stay on top of July’s books.

What I Read

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A Face in the Crowd – This was my first approval on NetGalley. This was a really interesting story that made me think about the situation Lucy was in, and how I’d react in a similar situation.

The Honeymoon – This was a book that I wanted to like, but couldn’t get past my issues with the characters to connect with the story properly. I have seen reviews from other bloggers who enjoyed it, and I think I would have without my general dislike for romance.

Dead Inside – I bought this after seeing all of the reviews. I really liked the story, and have already pre-ordered the next book in the series.

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Degrees of Guilt – I absolutely loved this book. I was hooked and read the entire book in one sitting. Watch this space for my full revew.

55 – I enjoyed this, but I felt as though it didn’t live up to it’s full potential. It was a really interesting idea that I thought could have been explored more.

Ten Little Astronauts – I really liked the idea of this book, a classic Agatha Christie-esque murder story, but set in space. Sadly this didn’t live up to my expectations. It was shorter than expected (the end was about 60% through the book) and didn’t really explore the story or build up tension.

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The Sunday Girl – This was my first blog tour, and a really intense read. I’m already waiting for the next book by Pip Drysdale.

The Perfect Betrayal – I adored this book. The ending blew me away, and I’m recommending this to anyone who will listen to me.

Find Me – I didn’t connect with this story. I’m not a fan of stories, in any form, that flick between two time periods, and this didn’t engage me enough to make up for that.

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The Closer I Get – I bought this after seeing a lot of reviews on the blog tour. I’m not quite sure what I think about this, and it will definitely be something I’ll re-read to look for anything that I missed.

Nightflyers – This was a short story that I thought could have easily been a full length novel to develop the characters more, and build up more suspense, but was still an enjoyable read.

Plans for July

I’m feeling pretty ambitious for July, I already have a list of ten books that I want to read in the next fortnight.

Work is promising to get more busy this month, rather than less, but that’s made me more determined to set aside time for reading. I’ve signed up 24 in 48 later this month so I’m hoping that will give a nice boost to my reading goals (mostly it’s an excuse to spend the entire weekend reading).

How are your reading goals going so far? Do you have any exciting plans for July?

Stacking the Shelves: 30 June 2019

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosten by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality, all about sharing the books you have aquired in the last week.

Kindle

I have been extremely restrained for the last week and only bought three kindle books!! These are all books that I’ve seen great reviews for and blog tours recently and I had to get them.

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The Closer I Get – I’ve seen so many great reviews for this recently, and once I saw that it had and LGBT character I was sold. It seems like a pretty intenste psychological thriller, and I hope I’ll enjoy it as much as everyone else has.

The Dream House – I already have every book by Jess Ryder in my TBR, but I’ve yet to read any of them. It does mean that if I like this I can dive straight into the back catalogue.

Don’t Ever Tell– This is another psychological thriller (seemingly my favourite genre recently). The plot for this immediately intrigued me, and the reviews meant that I had to get it.  

NetGalley

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The End of the Line – This sounds like a really interesting horror/fantasy novel. This is the author’s first novel so I have no clue what to expect, but it’s been a while since I read anything from this genre so I’m quite excited.

We Were Sisters – I’m extremely grateful to Bookouture for approving my requests even though I’m still a tiny blog. We Were Sisters sounds like an amzing thriller which I’m really looking forward to reading.

Hardback

I didn’t plan on buying these, but I was shopping and they were on offer. I have no self-control when it comes to books.

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The Whisper Man – This is another book that I’ve seen great reviews for recently. This sounds like an eerie mystery that promises to keep my on the edge of my seat.

Keep You Close – The blurb for this is excellent. I enjoy books that explore the relationship between the parent and child when the child is accused/guilty of something.

Everything I’ve bought this week is because I’ve seen other bloggers reviewing, so I’m blaming all of you.

Tickets for Edinburgh Book Festival went on sale this week, and I have tickets for eight events. I own a couple of the books, but most I borrowed from the library, or have on my kindle so I need to start buying / saving up for physical copies of books so I can get them signed.

What have you added to your shelves this week? Have you read any of these books? Which should I read first?

Blog Tour: The Perfect Betrayal ★★★★★

A huge thanks to Emma for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. The Perfect Betrayal is out in paperback today, so you should definitely go out to buy a copy if you haven’t already.

About the Book

After the sudden death of her husband, Tess is drowning in grief. All she has left is her son, Jamie, and she’ll do anything to protect him – but she’s struggling to cope.

When grief counsellor Shelley knocks on their door, everything changes. Shelley is understanding and kind, and promises she can help Tess through the hardest time of her life.

But when a string of unsettling events happens and questions arise over her husband’s death, Tess starts to suspect that Shelley may have an ulterior motive. Tess knows she must do everything she can to keep Jamie safe – but she’s at her most vulnerable, and that’s a dangerous place to be.

My Review

This book was astounding. The Perfect Betrayal starts with Tess in hospital, and her son, Jamie, missing. The story then jumps back to 55 days earlier. Tess is struggling to cope after the death of her husband, Mark, in a plane crash. Jamie’s mood reflects her own and she doesn’t know how to help him. On top of everything else, her brother in law is demanding money that Mark borrowed before his death. When Tess isn’t sure what to do next Shelley arrives on her doorstep to help. While Tess isn’t sure at first she quickly comes to rely on Shelly, who is also a huge help with Jamie.

There are chapters of Tess in the hospital being interviewed throughout the book, and she starts to question Shelley’s motives as she begs the police to find her son.

As you read this book you get a true sense of the grief that Tess is experiencing. The author does a wonderful job of giving us a real insight into her emotions and grieving.

The suspense and unease is built up throughout the book, in a very clever way. We read the events as Tess first experienced them, and then these events are given a different light when Tess talks about them in her interviews with the police. The reader is left not knowing who to trust, as even the kindest are seen as untrustworthy and manipulative as Tess tries to piece together what happened.

The ending of this book blew me away. The moment I realised what was going on I was completely gobsmacked and raced through the rest of the book. Looking back I could see the clues woven throughout the book, but they’re subtle enough that it doesn’t take away from the suspense by giving away the reveal too early.

I feel like I can’t say too much about this book as I don’t want to give anything away and spoil the book, but it is a stunning read. This is definitely something I’ll be recommending to anyone who’ll listen to me. I’m also eagerly anticipating the next release from Lauren North.

About the Author

© Lindsay Wakelin Photography

Lauren North writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.

Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lauren_C_North

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