The Other People ✭✭✭✭✭

About the Book

She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room…

Three years ago, Gabe saw his daughter taken. In the back of a rusty old car, covered in bumper stickers. He was driving behind the car. He watched her disappear. But no one believes him. Most people believe that his daughter, and wife, are dead. For a while, people believed that Gabe was responsible.

Three years later and Gabe cannot give up hope. Even though he has given up everything else. His home, his job, his old life. He spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, sleeping in his camper van in service stations, searching for the car that took her. Searching for his daughter.

Katie spends a lot of her life in service stations, working as a waitress. She often sees Gabriel, or ‘the thin man’ as she has nicknamed him. She knows his story. She feels for him, because Katie understands what it’s like to lose a loved one. Nine years ago, her father was murdered. It broke her family apart. She hasn’t seen her oldest sister since the day of the funeral; the day she did something terrible.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people that want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows that if they ever find them, they’re dead.

My Thoughts

Wow. This was an intense read. I started reading the first chapter before bed and had to put it down and wait, as I knew I’d be up to the early hours finishing it otherwise.

This is a dark and creepy thriller that will have you hooked from the very beginning.

The Other People focusses on the lives of three people that slowly converge. Gabe has spent years searching for his daughter when he finds out that her disappearance has something to do with ‘the other people’, and organisation that gives justice to its members. But what has Gabe done to deserve such an awful punishment?

Tudor takes the reader on a dark and twisted journey. This wonderfully combines a thriller with the emotional impact of loss, while exploring the lengths people are willing to go to in order to get ‘justice’ for their loved ones.

I thought that The Chalk Man was overrated but The Other People truly shows the depth of Tudor’s writing. She made me feel empathy for all of the characters. I understand the motivations for all of the characters actions, and the reasons behind their decisions. It’s hard to see any of them as the villain, or to judge them for their actions.

This is a 5 star read and I’d advise you to clear your schedule before starting it.

 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy of this book.

Eeny Meeny ✭✭✭✭

About the Book

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The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it.

Days later, another desperate escapee is found – and a pattern is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned then faced with a terrible choice: kill or be killed.

Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind?

Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors – living calling cards – who hold the key to the case.

And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die . . .

My Thoughts

This was an intense read. The opening chapter throws you straight into the action and it doesn’t stop.

The first in the Helen Grace series, Grace is hunting a particularly gruesome serial killer. Except this killer isn’t the one pulling the trigger. Two victims are kidnapped, and given an impossible choice, kill or be killed. The victims are resistant at first, but days without food or water soon take their tool. Those who survive have to live with the guilt of what they’ve done.

This book sucked me in straight away, and I read the entire thing in one go. It had a good balance of backstory and character development (Grace’s vice is very different to most detectives) and action. The chapters from the victims point of view give you a good insight into their thought process, and how they cope afterwards.

Chapters focussing on the police investigation, and the lives of the officers, give you a break from the action to catch your breath, but I was still racing through the book waiting for the next twist.

Arlidge does an excellent job of making you feel horror at what the victims are going through, while keeping you so intrigued that you can’t stop reading. Even though there were many different points of view, and short chapters, I still felt like I connected with the characters.

I’m definitely going to continue with the series, and I can’t wait to start reading the next one.

Elevator Pitch

About the Book

It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.

Right to the bottom of the shaft.

It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world—and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment—is plunged into chaos.

Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men in women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.

Who is behind this? Why are they doing it? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers before the city’s newest, and tallest, residential tower has its Friday night ribbon-cutting. 

My Review

I think I merged the description of this book with another (possibly Escape Room) because this wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy it.

This book gripped me early on and didn’t let go. The tension starts early in this book and continues until the last page.

Elevator Pitch is a creepy and disturbingly plausible thriller that keeps the reader hooked until the very end. There are several interwoven storylines throughout the book and twists to keep you guessing as you try to figure out what’s really going on.

I’ve read several page turners by Linwood Barclay and this doesn’t disappoint.

Thanks to Netgalley for my copy of this book.

Blog Tour: What Goes Around

About the Book

Alice has been playing the perfect Southern wife for over twenty-five years. So when Bob dumps her for some blonde bimbo twenty years her junior, Alice figures she’s entitled to every dollar she can bleed from him. And, once she’s got the money, she’s entitled to use it on a much-needed vacation to Nanm Paradi, a Caribbean resort that sells itself as her “soul’s paradise”.

She’s never experienced anything as luxurious as Nanm Paradi. The staff know her every desire and cater to her every need before she even knows she needs it. She figures this is how the really rich live and she’s ready to take advantage of all of it–the fabulous drinks, the beautiful views, and the handsome men. And when she discovers that voodoo magic is also on offer… well, Bob hurt her bad. She can take some time away from paradise to exact a little pain. Alice would have been happy to leave things at that. 

But when she gets hit where it hurts–her bank account–Alice’s game changes. It’s no longer about post-divorce romance. Now it’s about revenge.

What Goes Around is a little bit thriller, a little bit witchy, a little bit romance, and a whole lot of sass.

My Review

This was a short book and a quick read. Alice is hurting after her husband leaves her for a younger woman. She flies to paradise for a holiday and is sent to someone who can help her get the revenge she craves on her husband. At first she doesn’t believe the woman, but as things become more serious, she discovers how far she is willing to go.

This was a fun read. Alice is an immediately sympathetic character, and the reader can engage with her. The story quickly draws you in and keeps you invested as Alice goes deeper into her quest for revenge. As Alice’s actions become darker you lose sympathy for her while becoming more enthralled in the story.

It took me a bit to get in this book as I initially found the language jarring, but I soon stopped noticing this as the story drew me in. The descriptions of the resort were wonderful and made me very jealous.

I loved the darkness of the book and the characters. Everything was slightly twisted, and this kept me interested as I had to know what would happen next. I’d have liked the book so be slighly longer to explore the characters a bit more, but it was a great short read. This would be perfect for reading at the beach, or next to a pool

About the Author

With degrees in Finance and Economics, Rachel found wonderful success in the business world, which took her I.T. and financial process consulting international. However, with her mind focused on business, and with the lack of training and mentoring in her personal life, marriage success eluded her.

After foraging on a path of self-awareness and exploration with a determination to avoid repeating patterns again, she found the key to relationship bliss. Now, combining her passion for writing and storytelling with her skills, knowledge, and drive that led to her business acclaim, Rachel shares her off beat take on the world, and her findings where life, love, divorce, and children are concerned.

Rachel is determined to be a publicist’s nightmare by writing in multiple genres including children’s fiction, flash fiction, romance, and suspense/thriller.

After multiple divorces, she is now happily married and lives in the Kansas City Metropolitan area enjoying the household noise of her soon-to-be empty nest.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/disfunctionaldi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelellyn2/

Website: https://www.rachelellyn.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelellyn/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DisfunctionalDiva

Review: A Killing Fire

Here is my late review for the blog tour of A Killing Fire. Huge apologies to the author, publisher, and Anne Cater for this being so late.

About the Book

The first time Raven Burns saw her father kill, the victim was her mother. Afterwards, Floyd “FIRE” Burns set the house on fire, making Raven watch as the flames slithered across the yard like some unknowable language. Then he took her on a multi-state killing spree. She could’ve told or killed him in his sleep. But there were his constant whispers, his wet lips close to her ear saying that little girls who told were sent to hell, and their mothers were called down from heaven to take care of them.

By the time he is executed, Raven has become a cop with the sole purpose of putting men like him away. But she can’t escape Floyd’s terrorizing voice in her head, somehow guiding her steps while reminding her of the horrors he had forced her to witness. And she can’t escape the questions that continue to haunt her: Did witnessing make her complicit? Had the same evil that lived in her father taken residence in her soul?

The town of Byrd’s Landing, Louisiana appears to have made up its mind. The community accepts that Raven had nothing to do with Floyd’s crimes. But when Raven shoots a teenager who points what turns out to be an unloaded weapon at her, stories about Floyd resurface. The whispers begin. No voice is louder than wealthy socialite Hazel Westcott. When Westcott turns up dead in the backyard of her Big Bayou Lake estate, the doubting voices reach a deafening crescendo, and the ghosts of her past rise up to greet her. To catch Westcott’s killer, Raven must come to terms once and for all with who she is. And who she is not.

My Review

The Killing Fire revolves around the story of Raven. When she is called to the scene of a murder she sees something that reminds her of her father. Is it a coincidence, or is Raven’s past coming back to haunt her.

The book focuses on the murder investigation, with flashes of Raven’s past with her father. Through this we see how Raven was shaped by her father’s influence, something she still hasn’t managed to escape.

There’s only been one victim so far, but Raven is convinced this is the work of a serial killer, and that this is only the beginning.  Is she right, or is her desperation to solve the murder clouding her judgement?

The past and present are cleverly woven throughout this book. Alternating timelines are something I often struggle with, I generally prefer a book told in chronological order, but it worked well in this. It gave the reader clues about Raven’s past, letting them know more about her character while building up suspense.

Throughout the book it is unclear whether Raven is correct in her beliefs that the killings are related to her father. Raven is an unreliable narrator, so the reader doesn’t know whether to believe her theory, or if her past is colouring her abilities. This adds to the tension as the reader tries to work out what is really going on.

Raven was a very interesting character, but I don’t think I’d trust her to lead an investigation. I enjoyed the book and I’d like to see more of Raven in the future.

Personal Update and Apologies

Hi All. I want to apologise for the unexpected hiatus. I had a family emergency which took me away from everything for a few days, and then I went straight back into an absolute clusterfuck at work. Between family and work I haven’t had a chance to think about anything else.

My family situation is back to it’s usual level, and work is still an absolute nightmare. However I feel like I need to start making time for reading, and this blog, for my own mental health more than anything else. I’ve only read three books so far this month, and having the blog will give me the push I need to make this more of a priority. I know that reading is one of the first things I stop doing when my mental health takes a dip, which turns it into even more of a downward spiral. Also, if I ever snap and murder someone it will be over this project at work, and I know exactly who it will be, and what they will have said to trigger my rage, so blogging is the better option for everyone.

I want to apologise to the blog tours I missed over the last couple of weeks. I had a lot going on, but it’s still very unprofessional of me. My first priority is to get those reviews up today and tomorrow at the latest.

After that I’ll be working on getting things ready for the next few blog tours, and I did still manage to get to all of the shows I wanted at the Edinburgh Book Festival so I’ll be writing up things from there. Hopefully I’ll be back to a normal, consistent schedule in the next couple of weeks.

Thank you all for sticking with me. I’ll be getting things out pretty soon.

In happier news a few of my family members foster, and there is a new foster baby, so next weekend I’ll get lots of baby cuddles. It also gives me a great excuse to do lots of knitting, which is a great way of dealing with stress.

Finally here are some pictures of my baby boy helping me see what books I have at my parent’s house. And one of him being particularly snuggly one day when we had a nap.

One Year Later Blog Tour

About the Book

Some secrets won’t stay buried…

Since Amy’s daughter, Ruby-May, died in a terrible accident, her family have been beset by grief. One year later, the family decide to go on holiday to mend their wounds. An idyllic island in Italy seems the perfect place for them to heal and repair their relationships with one another.

But no sooner have they arrived than they discover nothing on this remote island is quite as it seems. And with the anniversary of the little girl’s death looming, it becomes clear that at least one person in the family is hiding a shocking secret. As things start to go rapidly wrong, Amy begins to question whether everyone will make it home…

My Review

This was a beautiful and haunting story. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child, but this book does a wonderful job of explaining what the family is going through, and how they are coping with the tragedy.

One Year Later alternates between how the family are dealing with the death of a child, and unravelling the mystery of what really happened. Amy just wants her father to admit his part, but he doesn’t remember anything about that day. Sanjida Kay tells the struggle of reconciling the love for a family member with the belief that they are responsible for the death of your child.

This book captivated me the entire way through. I couldn’t put it down and I had to know what was going on. More details and inconsistencies about that day are revealed slowly throughout the book, and the truth about what happened becomes more unclear.

I thought Sanjida Kay did a wonderful job of portraying the raw emotion of the family throughout this book, and making the reader feel part of this. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Thanks to Anne from Random Things Tours and Corvus Books for my copy of this book, and the invitation for the blog tour. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

SANJIDA KAY is a writer and broadcaster. She lives in Somerset with her daughter and husband. She has written three previous psychological thrillers, Bone by Bone, The Stolen Child and My Mother’s Secret to critical acclaim.