Skip to content

In The Absence Of Miracles By Michael J Malone

In The Absence Of Miracles‘In The Absence Of Miracles’ is the latest book by Michael J Malone.

John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again. With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood. For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover.

For the last couple of days, I’ve been embroiled in this story, genuinely gripping but also heartbreakingly shocking.

The story is seen through the narrative of John, who makes a shocking discovery when hunting through his mother’s house, he uncovers a brother he never knew he had and whilst on a journey uncovers a lot of memories that he had thought he had buried deep.

When I started this book, I had a vague idea of where the story was going but nothing could prepare me for the twist in the book. A story about human trafficking and child abuse, this book is a hard read that is sensitively written about such traumatising topics.

Raw from the first page, we join one man’s journey, as he delves into his family’s past and uncovers secrets and this makes for sad and unsettling reading as he discovers that his memories from the past aren’t what he seemed they were. John is a troubled character, that I felt such empathy for, he’s damaged from his childhood and as he delves deeper, we see him unravel and this makes for emotional reading.

A challenging story about family secrets and lies, ‘In The Absence Of Miracles’ is a harrowing story with a complex storyline that grips the reader’s heart from the first page.

You can buy ‘In The Absence Of Miracles’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Day We Meet Again By Miranda Dickinson

The Day We Meet Again‘The Day We Meet Again’ is the latest book by Miranda Dickinson.

Phoebe and Sam meet by chance at St Pancras station. Heading in opposite directions, both seeking their own adventures, meeting the love of their lives wasn’t in the schedule. So they make a promise: to meet by the statue of Sir John Betjeman in twelve months’ time if they still want to be together. But is life ever as simple as that?

Known for writing heartwarming and poignant stories, Miranda’s latest offering is a stunning story of life discovery and grabs the readers heart strings from the very first page.

In this story, we meet Phoebe and Sam. Two strangers that literally run into one another at a train station, they spend some time together whilst they wait on their trains and both realise that they have a strong connection. But both of them already have lives mapped out for the next year and can’t make any adjustments, and decide that if they are meant to be, they’ll meet at the exact same spot in one year.

The story then follows them for the next year as they both try to find their places on life. Phoebe on her travelling around Europe and Sam as he tries to locate his father who disappeared from his life when he was a child.

This is such a lovely book to settle down with. With heart warming characters, stunning locations and a relatable situations, this book is a journey from start to finish as both Sam and Phoebe were searching for their places in life.

The story is seen through their narrative and this is a lovely concept to the story. Phoebe is undecided about her life and takes this year out to think about what’s wanting to achieve all whilst discovering France and Italy, doing odd jobs and meeting new friends along the way. Meanwhile Sam is returning home to Scotland to try to make amends with his estranged father and finally put to rest his troubled childhood. As the pair of them are both on a journey of self discovery, they are never far from each other’s thought, with calls, messages and postcards throughout the year.

A love story from the first page, this book is about right people but wrong time but instead of forgetting about it, we see them make the best of both worlds, putting themselves first with the hope that in a year later they will still feel the same. Both characters are slightly flawed and that makes them so relatable, Sam has a habit of running from his troubles echoing his father’s actions whilst Phoebe also has issues with settling down.

Sweetly written with vivid and bright locations, ‘The Day We Meet Again’ is an engrossing love story, that’s joins a couple on their journey as they fall in love with each other and themselves.
You can buy ‘The Day We Meet Again’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Stranger Inside By Lisa Unger

The Stranger Inside‘The Stranger Inside’ is the latest book by Lisa Unger.

Rain Winter left journalism behind to focus on her baby daughter. But when a man acquitted for murder is killed, in the same way as his suspected victims, Rain sees a pattern emerging between a series of cold cases. Meticulous and untraceable, this killer strikes in the dead of night, making sure that the guilty are suitably punished for their crimes. As Rain’s investigation deepens, she must face up to dark secrets in her own past and the realisation that the killer may be closer than she thinks…

I spent my Sunday with my head buried in this book. A story of conflicted morals and lucky escapes, this psychological thriller was gripping from the start.

The story is seen through multiple narratives, namely Rain, who as a child avoided kidnapping but in doing so loses her best friend and leaves her other friend severely broken. Taking a break from her job as an investigative journalist, she decides to investigate into a series of murders where the victims have been convicted of a crime and are killed in the same way as their victims. As Rain starts to investigate into this story, it brings back unexpected feelings that she thought she had hidden. The other narrative is from the killer, giving an interesting slant to the story, as they justify their actions.

The story is written at a clever and fast pace, immediately drawing the reader in with the unreliable narratives, which gives the an excellent twist to the story. Rain is a complex character, as much as she tries not to think about her ordeal and the impact it had on her life, it really has shaped her into the woman that she has become. A woman who believes in justice and is determined to find out the real identity of the ‘Night Hawk’ killer.

Atmospheric from the first page, ‘The Stranger Inside’ is superbly crafted and well plotted story, with drama and suspense lifting from the page, this is the first book I’ve read by Lisa Unger and will most certainly not be the last!

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

The Flower Arranger By JJ Ellis

The Flower Arranger‘The Flower Arranger’ is the latest book by JJ Ellis.

Holly Blain wants to cover real news. The entertainment beat — pop stars and teen trends — was not why she moved to Tokyo. When she meets Inspector Tetsu Tanaka, head of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police’s Gaikoku-jin unit, it might just be her big break. Tanaka isn’t so sure. Always one to do things by the book, he’s hesitant about bringing this headstrong reporter into his carefully controlled investigation. But young women keep disappearing and Tanaka is given no choice. He and Blain must trust each other if they are to stop a tormented killer from bringing his twisted plan to its shocking conclusion.

Today I spent my head buried in this Japanese fast paced thriller packed with suspense and drama from the start.

The story is seen from the perspective of budding crime journalist Holly Blain and Inspector Tetsu Tanaka as they race against time to find a young missing French woman after another young woman turns to dead with mysterious wounds.

Set in the bustling city of Tokyo, young English journalist Holly Blain has always wanted to report crime instead of showbiz so she offers to work with one of the police stations, she seizes the opportunity to work alongside Inspector Tetsu Tanaka and report, what has become known as ‘The Flower Arranger’, a murderer who leaves his victims with intricate floral arrangements.

This is a fantastic book, gritty and intense the story flows at a fast pace that really pulls the reader in. Set in Japan, the story is so vividly written that you can almost smell the cherry blossom and find yourself bowing with each new meeting. As well as being a gritty thriller, the story is incredibly well researched and it’s obvious that the author has a genuine passion for Japan and it’s heritage and this was an interesting addition to the story, as new legends and traditions are revealed.

Holly and Tanaka are an interesting duo that work well together. They both have the same goal to catch the killer but Holly has an even bigger goal to become a crime journalist as well as being respected amongst her peers. With Tanaka, there’s an underlying sadness to the character, that makes the reader feel an empathy towards him.

A clever slant to the story is the inclusion of the perspective from the killer, as they race against the police and try not to be caught. An interesting angle about the killer narrative is that the author has written them in a way that you feel a sympathetic connection with them.

With a fast paced narrative and twists at every turn, ‘The Flower Arranger’ is a thrilling new voice in crime fiction. The book introduces an exciting new duo that gives both sides of the story when it comes to investigating and reporting crime and the complexities and horror they impact along the way.

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

Lies Lies Lies By Adele Parks

Lies, Lies, Lies’Lies Lies Lies’ is the number one book by Adele Parks.

Daisy and Simon’s marriage is great, isn’t it? After years together, the arrival of longed-for daughter Millie sealed everything in place. A happy little family of three. And so what if Simon drinks a bit too much sometimes – Daisy’s used to it, she knows he’s letting off steam. Until one night at a party things spiral horribly out of control. And that happy little family of three will never be the same again.

I’m a huge fan of Adele Parks and have been for many years. So, when each year a new book by her is released, I always make it my priority to read it as soon as possible.

In her latest thriller, we meet married couple Daisy and Simon, who after years of trying to get pregnant are delighted when they finally have a little girl called Millie. But Simon wants to add to their family and puts pressure on them and doing so unveils a secret that destroys the family and after one tragic night lands Simon in jail.

The story then flows over the period of time as Simon serves his sentence and is seen through the narrative of the couple as they deal with the consequences of that fateful night. Simon has to address the alcohol addiction and Daisy deals with the sudden changes in her life.

Thrilling from the first page, the story is cleverly written with many layers to unfold as it progresses. Both characters are relatable with their strong family ethic and priority for their little girl, their weaknesses are Simon’s dependency for alcohol which is pulling them apart as well as the secrets that Daisy has had to keep and together they make a destructible couple that you will for them to find their happy ever happy.

Riddled with deceit, drama and plenty of twists, this book is a genuinely thrilling story. With unlikable characters and unreliable narratives, ‘Lies Lies Lies’ is a sharply crafted tale of a mother’s love, a broken marriage and is most certainly worthy of its current number 1 status.

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