Review: Dead Inside ★★★★

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When three domestic abuse offenders are found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered. And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?


I bought this after seeing dozens of reviews praising this book and it did not disappoint. This is a suspenseful book that kept me hooked throughout.

Dead Inside focuses on the story of Lucy, a probation worker abused by her husband, and DC Maggie Jamieson, who has just started work at a new team. You get to know these characters, and understand their thoughts and motivations, with chapters from other characters woven in beautifully.

This book gives a wonderful insight into abusive relationships. We get a real understanding of Lucy’s thought processes. She knows that she should leave her husband, but she can’t bring herself to do it. This doesn’t trivialise the abuse and instead demonstrates the struggle that domestic abuse victims go through. It also has some chapters from her husband’s point of view which gives more of an understanding of his character, rather than completely demonising him. It doesn’t excuse his behaviour, or make us like him anymore, but it does show the man behind the abuse, something not often seen.

Suspense and tension is built up throughout the book but a lot of this involves making us care about the characters. Even my cold, cynical heart started to care about Lucy and Mark.

My only complaint is I thought the blurb for this book gave too much away. Lucy’s husband isn’t murdered until 3/4 of the way through the book. I think I would have liked it more if this was a surprise, rather than waiting for it to happen.

I really enjoyed this book, and I’ve already ordered the next one.

Review: Lost Daughter ★★★★

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If you think photos aren’t important… wait until they’re all you have left of your child.

Your life isn’t perfect, but you’re still happy. Your husband has stuck by you and he’s a good dad. Your daughter Becca makes your heart explode with love.

And then, in the time it takes to say ‘bad mother’, there’s no longer a place for you in your own family. Your right to see your child has disappeared.

Life goes on in your house – family dinners, missing socks and evening baths – but you aren’t there anymore. Becca may be tucked up in bed in Rose Cottage, but she is as lost to you as if she had been snatched from under your nose.

Everyone knows you deserve this, for you what you did. Except you’re starting to realise that things maybe aren’t how you thought they were, and your husband isn’t who you thought he was either. That the truths you’ve been so diligently punishing yourself for are built on sand, and the daughter you have lost has been unfairly taken from you. Wouldn’t that be more than any mother could bear?

This isn’t the type of book I would usually read but I really enjoyed it. When I ordered this I was expecting a thriller, but it turned out to be a much more emotional read.

Lost Daughter tells the story of three mothers, who, for various reasons, no longer live with their children. Leona gave up her daughter for adoption, Viv’s son has been in an institution for forty years, and Rachel moved out of the family home after an ‘incident’ with her husband.

The story focuses on Rachel, with some chapters telling the story of other characters. Rachel’s story has chapters set in the present, and before the incident, explaining the events that led up to her losing everything.

The author describes the emotions of the different characters beautifully. We get an understanding of the pain and guilt they feel from not being able to look after their childen, and the journey they go through dealing with this.

This book moved me to tears more than once. It was an incredibly captivating story.

Review: The Rumour

The Rumour by Lesley Kara

Joanna just wants her son to fit in when they move to a new town. So if passing on a rumour to the other mums gets him invited to parties, and the babysitting club, it isn’t really hurting anyone. It’s just a rumour.

Residents of Flinstead-on-sea don’t take kindly to the suggestion that someone among them could be a child killer. Joanna can’t stop the events that follow as tensions rise, and fingers are pointed. Joanna doesn’t know who she can trust anymore, as she tries to protect her son.

This was a really interesting book. The story is told from Joanna’s point of view and this gives a fascinating insight into the mind of a mother.

One of the most striking things about this book is how well Lesley Kara describes how the residents of the town react to the rumour. The reaction is very realistic, and it’s easy to imagine how quickly this situation would reach boiling point in real life. Kara also manages to create sympathy for many of the characters, even when we suspect them of being the murderer.

I did see the twist coming but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story. I’ll be keeping an eye out for future releases by Lesley Kara.

Review: The Lights ★★★★

Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

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The Lights are all over the Earth. Is it the rapture, or an alien invasion? Steven and his father have a plan for when the Lights come, but when someone needs Steven’s help will he stick to the plan, or abandon it to save her?








I really liked this book, there were a couple of points in the first few chapters when I thought the writing was a bit jarring, but after that I was enjoying the book so much that I didn’t notice any more.

This book was really interesting in the way it considered both science and religion as an explanation for the lights. Usually in these books one option is right, and people who believe the other are seen as crazy, but in this both options are seen as valid and we don’t know which is correct. We see good and bad from both sides, and the reader interprets which option they choose to believe.

One of the things I loved about this book was Steven and his father’s reaction to the Lights. In some ways it reminded me of The War of the Worlds in the lack of urgency and the very British way of reacting to things. Steven and his father have a plan to escape, but are waiting until the Lights actually come to their town to escape. This was very similar to The War of the Worlds in which people are unconcerned until the aliens are actively attacking them. Aliens two miles down the road is fine.

After the Lights arrive the story follows a more traditional plot, trying to stay out of the path of the Lights as they face more challenges to survive. Even though this follows a familiar plot I was still engrossed in the book and it didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Nathan Kuzack creates characters that you come to care about very quickly.

This book feels like a traditional sci-fi and I’d recommend it to both fans of YA, and those who prefer more adult books. This was a unique take on possible aliens and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m definitely going to be reading more books by this author.

Let me know if you read this book because I’d love to talk about it.

Reading The Lights at 37,000 feet

Review: We Were Liars ★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

We are the Liars.
We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury.
We are cracked and broken.
A story of love and romance.
A tale of tragedy.
Which are lies?
Which is truth?
You decide.

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This isn’t the type of book I would usually read, but I really enjoyed it. I’d been considering buying if for a while, and I finally bought it, and read the entire thing in one sitting.

We Were Liars tells the story of Cady and her cousins, ‘The Liars’. They spend every summer together. Cady has suffered migraines ever since ‘the accident’ in Summer 15, but none of her family will talk about it. What are they hiding from her?

This book was a very short read, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It kept me curious all the way through the book about what had happened. The writing style was unusual, and I wasn’t a huge fan, but overall I liked the tone and pacing of the book. This made me cry when I finished it, something that only a few books have done.

I can’t say too much about this book without being spoilery, but if you haven’t read it yet I highly recommend it.

Review: Murder Games

His victims appear to be total strangers. The only clue that links the crimes is the playing card left behind at each scene that hints at the next target.

The killer, known in the tabloids as the Dealer, is baiting cops into a deadly guessing game that has the city on edge. Elizabeth Needham, the tenacious detective in charge of the case, turns to an unlikely ally – Dylan Reinhart, a brilliant professor whose book was found along with the first playing card.

As the public frenzy over the Dealer reaches a fever pitch, Dylan and Elizabeth must connect the clues to discover what the victims have in common – before the Dealer runs through his entire deck.

I watched the first episode of the TV adaptation last year when it aired and didn’t enjoy it, but I did think that the plot was interesting and would have been better in the book. A year later I finally read the book, and I was right, it is much better.

The book gets straight into the story and I was immediately hooked. I read the entire book in one evening.

I loved the characters in this book, particularly Dylan, and I liked finding out more about him as the book went on. His relationship with Tracy was particularly adorable and made the character more likeable.

The plot in this book is really interesting. There’s a lot going on, but everything adds to the story, and keeps going to the last page of the book. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an easy to read mystery. This would be a good rainy day read, an enjoyable read but doesn’t require a lot of concentration.

My rating: 4 stars. I don’t know that I’ll try the TV show again, but I’m looking forward to book two.

Review: Lost Boy

Once I was young, and young forever and always, until I wasn’t. Once I loved a boy called Peter Pan.
Peter will tell you that this story isn’t the truth, but Peter lies. I loved him, we all loved him, but he lies, for Peter wants always to be that shining sun that we all revolve around. He’ll do anything to be that sun.
Peter will say I’m a villain, that I wronged him, that I was never his friend.
But I told you already. Peter lies.
This is what really happened.

Lost Boy, Christina Henry

I really enjoy story re-tellings from the point of view of the ‘villain’, explaining why they’re really misunderstood. Lost Boy is told from the point of view of Jamie, when he’s one of Peter’s lost boys, explaining how and why he became Peter’s enemy, Captain Hook.

From the very start of this book, it’s obvious that Peter is the real villain of the story. We see how Jamie cares about all of the boys, while Peter sees them as toys, there to entertain him and be discarded. If boys have to die so that Peter can have his fun, Peter can always get more from the other place.

These boys will never grow up because they’ll never have the chance to.

Jamie has been on the island for years with Peter, he was the first lost boy, but throughout the story we see Jamie become slowly disillusioned with Peter and Neverland, ageing as he does. Through Peter’s impulsive actions and indifference to the lives of the boys he ‘rescues’ we see Jamie’s love for Peter slowly turn to hatred and gain an understanding of Captain Hook.

Henry’s version of Peter doesn’t contradict the Peter created by J.M. Barrie, or the version we see in the Disney film. It’s very easy to see Peter’s actions in these as selfish and uncaring, rather than those of the kind hero we thought.

My rating: 4 stars