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The Girl Before By JP Delaney

The Girl Before‘The Girl Before’ is the first book by JP Delaney.

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

‘The Girl Before’ is a global bestseller and after two late nights sitting up reading, this is absolutely no surprise.

A dark and intense thriller from the start, this story had an immediate sense of doom about it.

The story is written in both the past and present tense and is seen through the narratives of Jane and Emma. Both women who have become tenants in the mysterious One Folgate Street, where they spend their time living by rules and guides which have been imposed the owner of the house. A controlling architect who has had relationships with both women.

The interesting thing is Emma is now dead, having died in the house and this is her story about her life and how she came to die. Whilst Jane is now the new tenant and it seems that history is now repeating itself.

Emma is really unlikable and she’s also a very unreliable narrator which gives the story a really clever twist. She’s a compulsive liar with an addiction for illicit love affairs and really falls for Edward Monkford, a strange, controlling man who has to have everything a certain way or there will be consequences. The present tense is seen through Jane’s eyes, a gentle woman who also falls for Edward’s charms but begins to have suspicions about him when she looks into Emma’s mysterious death.

I adored this book so much. The alternating chapters following both women are fascinating. They are so different in personalities but their circumstances and situations are so similar and this makes for such compelling reading.

This book is one of the best psychological thrillers that I’ve read in the while. It had such a sense of creepiness throughout that it kept me on edge preparing for the next drama. A cleverly written, intriguing and sexy story about lust and obsession, ‘The Girl Before’ is a suspenseful story that gets more thrilling with each page.

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

The Guilty Wife By Elle Croft

The Guilty Wife ‘The Guilty Wife’ is Elle Croft’s debut novel.

Bethany Reston is happily married. But she’s also having an affair with a famous client. And no one can ever know. But I’m innocent of murder. When Bethany’s lover is brutally murdered, she has to hide her grief from everyone. But someone knows her secret. And then one day the threats begin. With an ever-growing pile of evidence pointing to her as the murderer, the only way she can protect her secrets is to prove her innocence. And that means tracking down a killer.

I started to read this book one day during an unexpected snow day and found myself gripped by the pacy thriller that kept me reading into the late hours.

The story is seen solely through the eyes of Bethany Reston, to the outside world she’s a happily married woman with a successful job photographing one of Britain’s leading entrepreneurs, Calum Bradley. But secretly she’s having an affair with him and is the last person to see him before he was brutally murdered.

As the police investigate the tragic death as well as look into Calum’s last movements, Bethany tries to keep her affair a secret but it seems that someone knows about her illicit romance and Bethany finds herself subject to threats of revealing her secret. As the evidence pile up against her, Bethany finds herself the lead suspect in the case. But as she tries to find out who her tormentor is, she’s finds herself always one step behind them.

With short and snappy chapters, this book was an addictive read. Bethany is an interesting character, I didn’t find her particularly likeable but I did find myself sympathising with her and rooting for her. The story travelled at a fast pace, it was cleverly written with twists and turns throughout that really did keep me on my toes. The plot is quite intense and serious and the inclusion of Bethany’s best friend, Alex gave the story a burst of humour throughout the suspenseful story.

A dark and thrilling story about lust and deceit, ‘The Guilty Wife is filled with shocks throughout really makes for a remarkable thriller.

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

The Image Of You By Adele Parks

The Image Of You’The Image Of You’ is the latest book by Adele Parks.

When all you can see is what they want you to see… Can you ever trust someone you meet online? Anna and Zoe are twins. Identical in appearance, utterly different in personality, they share a bond so close that nothing – or no one – can rip them apart. Until Anna meets charismatic Nick.

Anna is trusting, romantic and hopeful; she thinks Nick is perfect. Zoe is daring, dangerous and extreme; she thinks Nick is a liar. Zoe has seen Anna betrayed by men before. She’ll stop at nothing to discover if Nick is as good as he seems. The problem is, lies may hurt. But honesty can kill.

When it comes to favourite authors, Adele Parks is up there with being one of my favourites. Her ability to write gripping tales with twists and intriguing characters always leaves me wanting me when I reach the final page and ‘The Image Of You’ is no different.

In her latest book, we meet twin sisters, Anna and Zoe, women who are complete polar opposites of each other. Anna is quiet and organised, she works for a charity and also sees the best in people, whilst her sister Zoe is a reckless wild child who has aspirations of becoming a successful model and actress and refuses to let anyone stand in her way including her sister. But then meet Anna meets Nick through online dating and they embark on a whirlwind affair affair.

Once a man who enjoyed one night stands and wild passion, Anna manages to tame him to appreciate the finer things in life and Nick begins to think that Anna might just be the one for him.

After a short time together, he proposes and Anna is delighted that her life plan is back on track. Settle down, get married and have children. Reluctantly, she tells Zoe her good news, who finds it hilarious that she is rushing into the relationship and decides to leave New York for London, to visit her sister and new fiancé.

This is when chaos ensues, Zoe comes to London with her drama, lust and passion and completely catches Nick off guard. Wondering if he has fallen for the wrong sister, they begin an illicit affair and through the story, Nick finds himself falling for both sisters.

The story is seen through the narrative of Anna, Zoe and Nick and each of the voices gave the story an edge flowing from calm to manic as the story progresses. Anna is calm and organised as she plans her wedding whilst Zoe feels no remorse or guilt for her actions. Her arrogance is outstanding and adds almost an element of dark humour to the story, whilst Nick tackles confusion and guilt, Zoe revels in it.

With a clever storyline, witty and complex characters, the book is an engrossing read that was impossible to put down. Riddled with twists and drama, ‘The Image Of You’ tackles the complexity of sibling rivalry, deceit and lust with a shocking ending that will leave the reader breathless.

You can pre-order The Image of You from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

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.