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The Girl Next Door By Phoebe Morgan

'The Girl Next Door‘The Girl Next Door’ is the latest book by Phoebe Morgan.

Perfect mother. Perfect wife. Jane Goodwin has spent years building her picture-perfect life in the quiet town of Ashdon. So when the girl next door, sixteen-year-old Clare Edwards, is found murdered, Jane knows she must first protect her family. Every marriage has a few white lies and hers is no exception. Jane’s worked hard to cover up her dark secret from all those years ago – and she’ll do anything to keep it hidden…

‘The Girl Next Door’ is Phoebe Morgan’s second book but this is the first book that I’ve read by her.

It’s a thrilling story with multiple narratives that give an interesting slant to the story. The story is seen through the narrative of teenager Clare leading up to her death and then from the perspective of her next door neighbour Jane and the detective investigating her death.

To the outside world, Jane has the perfect life married to the local GP, a man most of her female friends lust with a glamorous lifestyle but behind closed doors Jane leads a very different life. She’s anxious and always on edge and wearing long sleeved tops. Meanwhile, DS Madeline Shaw is trying to piece together Clare’s last minutes alive but there are a lot of unanswered questions and suspects that makes Madeline think that Clare’s killer is closer to home, despite what the local community are saying.

I really enjoyed this story and thought the multiple perspectives were a clever addition especially Clare’s insight, which gave a completely different version of her life to what others thought. It was fast paced, riddled with suspense and suspicious characters that made everyone a suspect in the chilling tale.

A sharp and well plotted story that really pulls the reader in, ‘The Girl Next Door’ is a dark story weaved with secrets and lies made for compelling reading.

You can buy ‘The Girl Next Door’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Nine Perfect Strangers By Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ is the latest book by Liane Moriarty.

The retreat at health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises total transformation. Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage, and absorb the meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages. Miles from anywhere, without cars or phones, they have no way to reach the outside world. Just time to think about themselves, and get to know each other. Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission. But quite a different one from any the guests might have imagined. For behind the retreat’s glamorous facade lies a dark agenda.These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them.

I read this book a while ago and it’s taken until now to finally write down my thoughts.

Liane Moriarty has become one of my favourite authors, after reading ‘The Husband’s Secret’, I had to read every book by her and her latest book was just as addictive, so much so that Nicole Kidman has brought the rights to the book to bring it to screens.

As per Liane’s style of writing, the book starts just at the moment that something major has happened and the story then flashes back to the key moments leading up to the event.

The narrative is seen through the narrative of nine guests who have come to Tranquillum House, hoping to have a relaxing time and an escape from the problems that have been affecting them. Masha, the owner of the resort, using alternative medicine, treatments and her unique personality will help the people face their demons, but in true Liane’s style twisted way of writing, nothing is ever straightforward for the unfortunate characters.

There’s a great mix of personalities in this story, from the eccentric Masha, Francis the struggling author who has fallen in love with the wrong man, whilst Napoleon and his wife and daughter are grieving the sudden death of their son. All the people who have signed up to this retreat, are hoping the programme will change their lives for the better.

A claustrophobic tale riddled with uncertainty and suspense, ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ is a tense page turning thriller that gets even more dramatic with every line!

You can buy ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Envy By Amanda Robson

Envy‘Envy’ is the latest book by Amanda Robson.

Erica has always wanted to be exactly like her neighbour, Faye: beautiful, thin, and a mother. But Faye’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems – she has a terrible secret, and slowly but surely, it is threatening to destroy her and everything she holds dear. When Faye’s daughter Tamsin goes missing after school, the police turn to Erica. But is Erica the only one who has been enviously watching Faye? Or is there another threat hiding in the shadows…?

Like previous novels by Amanda, ‘Envy’ is a dark and twisted story that really pulls the reader in.

Faye is the main character, a woman who is obsessed with her appearance, strives for perfection and is constantly looking for the big break with her modelling job, but at 34, she’s not that much in demand much to her despair. But unbeknownst to Faye, she has other admirers that she’s unaware off and they will do anything to get close to her, whether that means taking her daughter or tearing her family apart.

The story is also seen through the narrative of Erica, a quiet and timid neighbour who’s in awe of Faye’s glamorous life and wishes they were friends, but is let down when Faye has a one night stand with Jonah, a man who is also obsessed with her and will do anything to have Faye in his life. As well as Philip, the clueless husband.

The different narratives to the story, make it a speedy read, as a woman who is used to being in control, Faye finds herself constantly on edge and battling to prove her sanity as people begin to question her actions and why things are happening. As the story progresses and things begin to unravel, we see a different side to Faye, uninterested in her appearance and only concerned for her family.

As the story flicks back and forward on the characters, it gives an interesting insight into the impact that actions can have on people’s lives, in Faye’s case how a one night stand can consume two strangers for different reasons.

A twisted and sordid tale of jealousy and obsession, ‘Envy’ is a gripping page turner of a book, riddled with drama, flawed characters and bad behaviour.

You can buy ‘Envy’ from Amazon and will be available from good bookshops from 4th April 2019.

The Scandal By Mari Hannah

The Scandal‘The Scandal’ is the latest book by Mari Hannah in the Stone and Oliver series.

When an young man is found stabbed to death in a side street in Newcastle city centre in the run up to Christmas, it looks like a botched robbery to DCI David Stone. But when DS Frankie Oliver arrives at the crime scene, she gets more than she bargained for. She IDs the victim as Herald court reporter, thirty-two-year old Chris Adams she’s known since they were kids. With no eyewitnesses, the MIT are stumped. They discover that when Adams went out, never to return, he was working on a scoop that would make his name. But what was the story he was investigating? And who was trying to cover it up? As detectives battle to solve the case, they uncover a link to a missing woman that turns the investigation on its head. The exposé has put more than Adams’ life in danger. And it’s not over yet.

The story is a bleak and miserable tale that makes for strangely entertaining reading as both Detectives work together to solve crimes, as well as have a banter together. As, this is my first book from the series, it wasn’t quite clear their background stories and sometimes, I did get a bit lost.

Saying that, I really enjoyed the story, the vivid descriptions as well as the witty narrative and the intricate police procedure detail. The characters were interesting, particularly Frankie Oliver, I loved her outspoken and tough cop attitude.

A fast paced thriller that really gripped my attention, ‘The Scandal’ is definitely the start of a new series that I’m going to look into.

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

A Version Of The Truth By BP Walter

A Version Of The Truth ”A Version Of The Truth’ is BP Walter’s first book.

2019: Julianne is preparing a family dinner when her son comes to her and says he’s found something on his iPad. Something so terrible, it will turn Julianne’s world into a nightmare and make her question everything about her marriage and what type of man her husband is or is pretending to be. 1990: Holly is a fresher student at Oxford University. Out of her depth and nervous about her surroundings, she falls into an uneasy friendship with a group of older students from the upper echelons of society and begins to develop feelings for one in particular. He’s confident, quiet, attractive and seems to like her too. But as the year progresses, her friends’ behaviour grows steadily more disconcerting and Holly begins to realise she might just be a disposable pawn in a very sinister game.

This story is a thrilling tale of deceit and suspense that made for thrilling reading.

The story spans over many three decades and in the present tense, follows the story of happily married Julianne who is looking forward to Christmas with her husband and son, until her son discovers something that makes Julianne wonder if the life that she has been happily leading with husband, has all been a lie.

Meanwhile, flashing back to past tense, Holly has just started university and is keen to make new friends and falls into the popular crowd, with new friends who are wiser and more experienced than her. She’s in awe of Ally and her handsome brother Ernest, but she’s particularly enthralled with James, the charming man that Holly finds herself falling in love with. With this new crowd, she get’s to enjoy new parties, friends and experiences but sadly not everything works in her favour, when she discovers a darker side to the friendship.

I really enjoyed this book, particularly the narrative from both women, who both had strong voices and interesting personalities. The synopsis of the story is quite disturbing in parts and does occasionally make for unsettling reading, as Julianne begins to delve deeper into her husband’s life.

As a debut, I thought it was cleverly written and each chapter left the reader bursting for more. With flawed characters and a compelling story, ‘A Version Of The Story’ is a story of innocence and shows that hidden secrets and ghosts can easily reappear.

You can buy Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.