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Our House By Louise Candlish

Our House‘Our House’ is the latest book by Louise Candlish.

On a bright January morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought in Trinity Avenue. Nothing strange about that. Except it is your house. And you didn’t sell it.

I was curious about ‘Our House’. When I received a copy, there was quite a bit of hype on social media about Louise Candlish’s latest book and as I was a huge fan of her previous novel called ‘The Swimming Pool’, I was eager to dive into this book and see for myself.

The story is written as a dual narrative, written from the perspective of husband and wife Bram and Fiona and begins just at the point that Fiona discovers strangers moving into her house and telling her that they bought it. Confused as to what is going on, she tries to get in touch with Bram but he seems to have disappeared off the grid.

The story then flows in a past and present, with the circumstances leading up to the events and the aftermath leading to the couple’s separation.

What is particularly clever about the story, is the way the couple tell their sides of the story. Fiona’s is delivered through a podcast called ‘The Victim’ which is created in a similar style to the hit podcast ‘Serial’. Listeners are able to hear her side, conveying her emotions and disbelief to the public and they are able to engage with her through social media. Whilst, Bram’s is done in a more traditional method, written as diary entries, as he writes of his guilt and remorse at his actions.

When I initially began the book, I did find it a bit slow to start but the as story progressed and the drama unfolded, I found it hard to put down. The characters were fascinating and their background stories added a thrilling twist to the story. Fiona is quite a hard woman, after being repeatedly let down by Bram, she decides to call it a day on their marriage but wants it to be as amicable as possible for the sake of their two boys.

Bram is a complex man who’s life has been riddled with problems since his childhood. After being caught in an accident, his life suddenly changes for the worst and he fears that everything that he held dear, will be snatched away. As much as he tries to put his life in order, he is faced with drama and problems along the way. He tries desperately to be the perfect father and I found myself regularly sympathising with the poor man throughout the book.

A thrilling tale riddled with deception and drama, ‘Our House’ is a scarily realistic story that will send shivers through you. Unsettling from the start, the story is cunningly written and filled with double crossing and twists, that will have you checking your locks once more before bed.

You can pre-order Our House from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 5th April 2018.

Stand By Me By S.D. Robertson

Stand By Me‘Stand By Me’ is the latest book by S.D Robertson.

Lisa and Elliot have been best friends ever since the day they met as children. Popular, bright and sporty, Lisa was Elliot’s biggest supporter when the school bullies made his life a misery, and for that, he will always be grateful. Twenty years later, life has pulled the pair apart and Lisa is struggling. Her marriage is floundering, her teenage kids are being secretive, and she’s so tired she can’t think straight. So when Elliot knocks on the door, looking much better than she remembers, she can’t help but be delighted to see her old friend again. With Elliot back in their lives, Lisa’s family problems begin to improve – he’s like the fairy godmother she never had. As their bond deepens, she realises how much she’s missed him, and prays that this is one friendship that will last a lifetime. But sometimes, life has other ideas.

Lisa’s life is falling apart just as her best friend Elliot suddenly reappears in her life. Her husband has lost his job and is relying on drink, her children are drifting apart and money is tight as she becomes the sole bread provider. When things suddenly the worst that they can get, Elliott turns up on her doorstep after moving to Australia almost twenty years ago. Now a successful businessman, he wants to spend some time with the woman, who was his best friend during school and was always there to protect him when the bullies were about.

Lisa is a strong woman who cares a lot for the people she is close to and that’s obvious from the start when we see the past parts throughout the story as we see how Lisa and Elliott’s friendship came about and how they were both there for each other during the difficult times.

The story flashes between past and present and is not only seen through Lisa and Elliott’s narrative but also the rest of Lisa’s family who are all faced with their own problems.

If you’ve read any of S.D.’s books before then you will be aware that his books are quite heart wrenching and that nothing is as it seems. Tear jerking from the first page, ‘Stand By Me’ is a captivating story about friendship and hope, that will reader in floods of tears!

You can pre-order Stand By Me from Amazon and will be available from good bookshops from 11th January 2018.

Faking Friends By Jane Fallon

Faking Friends‘Faking Friends’ is Jane Fallon’s latest book.

Amy thought she knew who Melissa was – then again, Amy also thought she was on the verge of the wedding of her dreams to her long-distance fiancé.When her career suddenly begins to unravel, Amy pays a surprise trip home to London. Her boyfriend Jack is out, but it looks like another woman has been making herself at home. And that Other Woman is Melissa. Amy has lost her job, her fiancé, her best friend and her home in one disastrous weekend – but instead of falling apart she’s determined to get her own back.Piecing her life back together won’t be half as fun as dismantling theirs, after all.

In this book, we meet Amy, a successful actress in New York, whose career suddenly comes to an end and she finds herself returning to London with her tail between her legs. She’s looking forward to seeing her fiancé Jack as they have spent so much time apart with her busy career but she gets the shock of her life when she discovers that whilst she’s been away, her best friend Mel has moved in on her life with her fiancé.

Amy is now in limbo, no job and no fiancé, she’s determined to move on but isn’t going to let onto either of them that she knows about their affair, instead she decides to play games with them instead and this really makes for entertaining reading.

Amy is a great character, she’s strong and driven and refuses to go down without a fight, gradually moving her life into a small grotty flat that she now calls home. But with the help of her friend Kat, a woman she wasn’t as close to as she was to Mel, Amy begins to create a new life for herself and even meets a handsome new man.

In Jane’s witty style of writing, the story is also seen through the narrative of Mel and this for me makes for delicious reading. Mel, is self absorbed, opinionated and also self entitled. She rarely sees herself as doing anything wrong and blames others for her own failures. She’s jealous of Amy’s life, as she always wanted to be the actress and we see that from the flashbacks that are scattered throughout the story.

Deliciously funny and captivating from the start, ‘Faking Friends’ is a cleverly written tale about the complexities of female relationships and starting over. I loved it.

You can pre-order Faking Friends from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 11th January 2018.

The Chalk Man By C.J. Tudor

The Chalk Man‘The Chalk Man’ is the latest book by C.J. Tudor.

The Chalk Man is coming. None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning.Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own? Was it the terrible accident? Or when they found the first body?

‘The Chalk Man’ is C.J. Tudor’s first book and it was a book that kept me up late reading with its grippy narrative and plotline.

The story is seen solely through the eyes of Ed, a man who has spent his life in a small town surrounded by drama and lies, where everyone is a suspect having never properly recovered from the unsolved crime that the took place over 20 years ago.

The story takes place during 1986 and flows forward to present time as history begins to repeat itself.

Back in 1986, Ed was best friends with three other boys, they spent their summers together, leaving messages for each other in different coloured chalk but that all changes one day when they find a dead girl and the friends grow apart. Move forward to present to now, someone is leaving chalk messages for Ed and he begins to wonder about the death of the young girl and begins to research into the case himself as early memories resurface.

Ed is a complex and intriguing character. He fears for his sanity as his own father died from Alzheimer’s and regularly questions his mind. He’s a bit of a loner and spends most of time in thought instead of engaging with people, but his time is taken up with reflecting on his childhood and trying to piece together the moments of leading up to and after the girls death. His obsession with the case grows as he delves further and reaching out to people who left the town.

The story is filled with many interesting characters, who all have baggage and drama that make them all for fascinating reading, with all that drama makes the reader constantly on their toes as they also try to piece together Ed’s memories with him and solve the crime.

Cleverly written and twists and tales, ‘The Chalk Man’ is a gory and gruesome story that makes for haunting reading.

You can pre-order The Chalk Man from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops from 11th January 2018.

Christmas Cakes And Mistletoe Kisses By Carole Matthews

Christmas Cakes And Mistletoe Nights’Christmas Cakes And Mistletoe Kisses’ is the latest book by Carole Matthews.

Fay and Danny are madly in love and it’s all Fay’s ever dreamed of. But she left everything – including the delightful cake shop she used to run – to be with Danny on his cosy canal boat The Dreamcatcher. And as she soon finds out, making delicious cakes on the water isn’t always smooth sailing! Then Fay gets a call from her friends, a call that sends her back to her friends and the Cake Shop in the Garden. It will be hard being away from Danny but their relationship is strong enough to survive . . . isn’t it?Fay soon falls happily back in love with her passion for baking – especially now she’s on dry land again! – and starts to wonder if she ever should have left. With Christmas around the corner, Fay is determined that her friends will have a very merry time, but does that mean even more time away from Danny?

Carole Matthews is back with a cracking new book that will warm the cockles of your heart on these cold winter evenings.

In her latest book, we return to the characters Fay and Danny who we met in one of Carole’s earlier books ‘The Cakeshop In The Garden’, where Fay met the Danny who offered her a happier and more fulfilling life on his canal boat. Together the two of them and their little dog Diggery leave for a life on the water and this is where ‘Christmas Cakes And Mistletoe Kisses’ picks up.

Fay and Danny are in love and living the life, but money is tight and the pair are struggling to make ends meet. So when Fay receives word that Stan, an elderly friend is ill, she immediately returns home to care for him and once back in the loving arms of the her childhood home and back with her friends, Fay finds it impossible to leave.

Once again, Carole has written a book filled with warm hearted characters with a lovely plot that made for tender reading. Fay, is a lovely character with her huge heart and generous nature, she always put others before herself, particularly her sister Edie, who’s quite a selfish woman, but Fay can’t help but look out for her sister, who seems lost in life. There’s also the sharp tongued but entertaining Lija, who never failed to make me laugh with her expressions and honesty, whilst young Rainbow added such an injection of spirirt and vibrancy into the tale with her innocence and lust for life.

The story flows at a lovely pace as Fay settles back into life on the land and back where she belongs, baking and surrounded by her friends and helping others around her. Wonderfully written with witty narrative and enchanting characters that will make you giggle from the start, ‘Christmas Cake and Mistletoe Kisses’ is a heartwarming and fun christmas story, filled with charm, love and festive cheer, this book will brighten up any cold winter evening.

You can buy Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.