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Little Boy Lost By J.P Carter

Little Boy Lost‘Little Boy Lost’ is the latest book in the DCI Anna Tate series.

One early October afternoon, ten-year-old Jacob Rossi begins the short walk home from school. But he never makes it. Days later, DCI Anna Tate is called to the scene of a burning building, where an awful discovery has been made. A body has been found, and the label in his school blazer reads: J. Rossi. As Anna starts digging, she soon learns that a lot of people had grudges against the boy’s father. But would any of them go so far as to take his son? And is the boy’s abductor closer than she thinks?

If you’re a fan of the film series ‘The Purge’, then the latest book by JP Carter is a must for you.

When a police accidentally kills an innocent pregnant woman, all hell breaks loose when raids happen all over London and beyond in revenge for the woman’s killing. It’s while this is happening that DCI Anna Tate has been out during the riots to investigate the tragic death of a little boy chained to a wall in a cellar. Whilst she’s investigating this, her daughter Chloe, who has been missing for the last number of years, running for her life as she accidentally gets caught up in the mass riots.

The story is seen from two perspectives, Anna and Chloe. Whilst Anna is investigating and gruesome and tragic case, she’s unaware of her young daughter running for her life, escaping death, kidnapping as well as rape. She’s a feisty girl, who has been through quite a lot in her short life and is only just beginning to adapt her new life with a woman she never thought of as mum. The two different narratives give stark differences in the dangerous and chaotic riots whilst Anna is working away in her own bubble thinking that Chloe is safe and sound.

This book is the third book in the series by JP Carter and for me, I was able to seamlessly settle into it and flow along with the previous back story which is Anna and Chloe reconciling and the horrific circumstances that brought them together.

The story is truly gripping reading but it genuinely unsettling in parts with the tragic death of a little boy, as well as the chaotic rioting Cleverly written with a suspenseful and terrifyingly believable plot line and unreliable characters riddled throughout. ‘Little Boy Lost’ is a fast paced thriller that right from the beginning really pulls the reader in with the right mixture drama and chaos.

You can buy ‘Little Boy Lost’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Dilemma By B.A. Paris

The DilemmaB.A. Paris is back with a new book called ‘The Dilemma’.

It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie. But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her? Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision. One day that will change a family forever.

Queen of suspense, BA Paris is back with a new domestic drama that I consumed in one day! Filled with twists and turns, the only time I could put the book down was when I stopped for tea.

As per BA’s previous novels, the story starts at the moment that something huge has happened and then travels back to the point leading up to it.

I really enjoyed this story, the duel narratives and insights gave a clever twist to the story that really did grab my attention. Seen from the narrative of husband and wife Livia and Adam, Livia finds out something terrible about her daughter and doesn’t want to ruin or cancel her party whilst Adam also finds out something terrible and also doesn’t want to ruin the day that his wife has wished for. It makes for interesting reading as the couple try to enjoy a significant day in their lives, but both are harbouring secrets that make it unbearable for each other.

I thought Livia was an interesting character who put much thought and effort into her 40th birthday party to make up for the small wedding that she had when she was younger and how Adam supported her on this flamboyant affair. But on a day that is meant to be memorable for happy reasons, is a day that both partners find themselves battling with morals and when to do the right thing.

An unique and fast paced thriller that really got inside my head about secrets, morals and relationships, BA has produced a book that stays with the reader long after they read the last page. ‘The Dilemma’ is a clever and emotional story that was riddled with drama tension throughout and had me racing through the pages

You can buy ‘The Dilemma’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Mix Tape By Jane Sanderson

Mix Tape‘Mix Tape’ is the latest book by Jane Sanderson.

Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix tape. But that was years ago and Ali hasn’t thought about him in a very long time. Even if she had, she might not have called him ‘the one that got away’; after all, she’d been the one to run. Then Dan’s name pops up on her phone, with a link to a song from their shared past. For two blissful minutes, Alison is no longer an adult in Adelaide with temperamental daughters; she is sixteen in Sheffield, dancing in her skin-tight jeans. She cannot help but respond in kind. And so begins a new mix tape. Ali and Dan exchange songs – some new, some old – across oceans and time zones, across a lifetime of different experiences, until one of them breaks the rules and sends a message that will change everything. Because what if ‘what could have been’ is yet to come?

If you like your books to be filled with love, drama and music nostalgia, then ‘Mix Tape’ is just the story for you. A reflective piece about two people who never quite got over their first love and often wondered about the one who got away.

Living on different sides of the world, Dan is a respected music reviewer who thought he was content in his relationship, until a blast from his teenage reappeared reminding him off what could have been. Living in Australia, Ali is now a successful author, who everyone wants a piece off. But, just as her success is soaring, her teenage daughter becomes pregnant and Ali finds herself also reflecting on her life back in Sheffield and what might have been with Dan. Stirred on by reflection and new emotions Dan and Ali embark on a tentative new connection based purely on the soundtrack of their relationships.

The story is written through a period and flashes back and forth in the characters lives and is seen through her narratives. I really liked Dan, he was kind, hipster that people were drawn too. His needs are simple and I found myself sympathising with him as he struggled with emotions and tried to block them out to remain loyal to his partner. Ali was also an interesting character, she feels she has failed as a mother due to her daughter’s teenage pregnancy and constantly pits herself against her own mother, who was never there for her.

A reflective and relatable love story about the complexities of relationships, be that loving kind or maternal. Jane has weaved a cleverly written story of nostalgia that concentrates on one couple’s story of what might have been accompanied with a soundtrack that is perfect for each scenario.

You can buy ‘Mix Tape’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Choice By Claire Wade

The Choice‘The Choice’ is the latest book by Claire Wade.

Everything you ate was monitored by the government. Every step you took was counted. Your children were weighed every day at school. Neighbours reported on neighbours and no one was safe from judgement. Sugar was illegal, and baking was a crime.

A thrilling page turner from the first page, ‘The Choice’ is reminiscent of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ with its controlling dystopian world that makes for scary realistic reading.

The story is seen through the perspective of Olivia, mother to Matthew and Mia and wife to Danny and that’s all she’s feels is worthy off. Having to give to give up her dreams of her bakery when Mother Mason came into power, her life lacks drive and happiness and she finds herself under constant stress that she will do something wrong jeopardising her family.

They leave in a world, where every thing that we enjoy such as sugar, cakes, sweets and alcohol have been banned in a bid to rid people of illness, which in theory is good but in the controlling manner that it’s delivered does make for frustrated reading. In fact, they are not just banned but they are illegal and if they object to these laws, they end up in the Box of Shame, shaming them for the alleged crimes.

As a debut, ‘The Choice’ is a well crafted and interesting story, looking at a world in which the things that we enjoy most being taking away from us, to serve a greater goodness, but in doing has created a fearful and vulnerable society, who’s diet, shopping, social media and every single aspect is controlled and monitored.

To be honest, I found the story to be frightfully realistic and could actually see these changes coming into effect somewhere further down the line, now that menus want to contain calorie information.

I really enjoyed Olivia and really felt an empathy and connection as she struggled to find her way in the new world now that her passion was cruelly taken away from and her frustration was equally understandable. The character Mother Mason who was the Prime Minister was also interesting as the names evokes a kind and homely elderly lady but who is a controlling tyrant imposing strict regimes and laws

A gripping story that makes you take for granted the luxurious items that are part of everyday life, ‘The Choice’ is a dark and atmospheric story that really pulls the reader in, as we join a world who don’t have decisions to make when it comes to lifestyle choices.

You can buy ‘The Choice’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Last Act Of Adam Campbell By Andy Jones

The Last Act Of Adam Campbell‘The Last Act Of Adam Campbell’ is the latest book by Andy Jones.

A year can go quickly. Particularly when it’s your last. Adam had a good life: a job he enjoyed, a nice house, a loving partner and a bright six-year-old daughter. Then he cheated on his partner. Then she kicked him out of their home. And then he was given approximately twelve months to live. Despite the devastating news, Adam is determined to turn his life around before it finally runs out. Help comes in the form of an ex-junky, a cantankerous train driver, a nun experiencing a crisis of faith, and a teenager intent on losing her virginity – all living on borrowed time, all desperate to feel alive before their time is up.

My first review of 2020, is of Andy’s latest book and to be honest, this book should come with a warning, a packet of tissues plus tea and chocolates to help you recover from the end of it.

The story is primarily seen through the perspective of Adam Campbell, who is coming to terms with being terminally ill and wants to spend his last days with his ex-partner and 6 year old daughter called Mabel. To help deal with the idea of dying, Adam joins a group for cancer sufferers like himself. It’s just as he’s settled into this circle of friends when the leader is tragically killed in a traffic accident. Without a leader, the group decide to continue and in doing so, come up with an idea of creating a Shakespeare play including the major deaths from the writer’s books. The idea is inspired by Laura, the youngest member of the group, who’s tired of people treating her like a delicate little flower and wants to experience relationships and sex for the first time. She finds herself turning to Tom, a man close to her age who she connects with, thinking that he’s the one, but he’s wary with being a reformed drug addict. Other members of the group include Pat, a kind nun with a dog for company, Erin, a bubbly mother who sees the best in everyone and retired men Vernon and Raymond.

The multiple characters in the story give an interesting insight into the story, as they are all at various stages of the illness that they know will claim their lives much sooner than they had ever imagined. They all have dreams of living longer, travelling and having families, this is all tragically being taken from them. As the group connects, we see the dynamics change, as they support each other and form a strong bond but as the group gets smaller, a part of them also dies as they wonder who will be next. With each sad moment, Andy thoughtfully includes a lighter moment to reset the reader’s emotions. Through the various narratives, we seen relationships challenged, reconciliations and beliefs questioned.

Adam is a great character, he’s determined to spend his last days being a fun father to Mabel and really struggles when it affects him emotionally and physically and this does make for upsetting reading as she tries to understand his illness as whilst he tries to protect her from it all. His relationship with Heather, his ex is also a difficult one as he tries to repair the relationship that he lost with her even though they never fell out of love.

From the outset, this story is a challenge to read. The subject matter being cancer and death is a difficult one and even though, Andy injects humour and warmth into the story, with relatable characters, you still come away heartbroken. The story is extremely well researched and really does go into the detail the ordeal of cancer and not only the affects the illness has on life but also the medication that is treating it. A poignant and reflective story on new relationships, and what could have been, ‘The Last Act of Adam Campbell’ is a life affirming and tender story that highlights the fragility of life and the importance of making every second count.

You can buy ‘The Last Act Of Adam Campbell’ from Amazon and will be available from good bookshops from 28 May 2020.