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Strangers By CL Taylor

Strangers‘Strangers’ is the latest book by CL Taylor.

Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before. Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life. Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards. And Alice is being stalked. None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die. Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

I spent two evenings curled up with ‘Strangers’ , a gripping story of three people who have never met before but end up having their lives interweaved in a way that they never imagined.

Alice is a single mother and manager of a clothes shop who reluctantly decides to look for love, when a date goes disastrously wrong, she ends up being rescued by the charismatic Simon, a man that could certainly change her life for the better. But just as Alice imagines a relationship with Simon, threatening things start to happen and Simon disappears from her life. After the death of her partner, Ursula’s life fell apart and after being caught stealing, she ends up living in a house with a strange man with locked doors and strange smells and finally, Gareth’s father disappear 20 years ago but now someone is sending postcards to his mother, pretending to be him and then his Dementia ridden mother disappears.

Cally has done it again with this impressive thriller, combining suspense, drama page after page that hooks the reader right in. It’s obvious that the story was meticulously planned and structured with an ending that made me gasp in shock. All the characters are interesting with their issues and complexities, but I found myself particularly warming to Ursula, a damaged soul that never recovered from a bereavement. She’s a large woman in stature and personality and she seems to leap off the pages with the scenes that she’s in, I felt an empathy for Gareth, who’s a security guard who never really got a proper chance at life after his father disappeared and he became his mother’s carer. Cally has a great knack for creating characters that the reader has a connection and empathy for.

The story is seen from the perspective of the characters and each time new person was introduced into their lives, I found myself convinced that they were the villain, but in Cally’s style it was never obvious! As the story progresses, we see that they are strangers they may have passed each other in the streets but we see them being brought together in the most extreme and unexpected way in a cleverly written way.

A gripping story of lies and drama, ‘Strangers’ is another superb book from C.L Taylor, with a great premise, suspicious and relatable characters that grip the reader’s attention from the first page, this shocking and witty story is definitely one of my favourite books of 2020.

You can buy ‘Strangers’ from Amazon

The Silent House By Nell Pattison

The Silent House‘The Silent House’ is the latest book by Nell Pattison.

If someone was in your house, you’d know … Wouldn’t you? But the Hunter family are deaf, and don’t hear a thing when a shocking crime takes place in the middle of the night. Instead, they wake up to their worst nightmare: the murder of their daughter. The police call Paige Northwood to the scene to interpret for the witnesses. They’re in shock, but Paige senses the Hunters are hiding something. One by one, people from Paige’s community start to fall under suspicion. But who would kill a little girl? Was it an intruder? Or was the murderer closer to home?

The Silent House is an intriguing story of suspense as a deaf interpreter is caught up in the middle of an investigation when a little deaf girl is tragically murdered.

Paige accidentally becomes an interpreter when she’s the only hearing person in her family, even though her heart belongs to creativity. When a little girl of a close friend is brutally murdered, she finds herself embroiled in a case not only as an interpreter but as a target.

This is the first book written by Nell and it’s an extremely interesting and strong debut. Atmospheric from the first page, it tells the story of a close community united in grief. As the story is primarily seen through the narrative of the deaf characters and their signing and it really does make for interesting reading, reading about life in the deaf community.

As Paige begins to investigate the case along with her little sister, they find themselves the target of unwanted attention. I found it fascinating reading about life in the deaf community and really found it to be an addictive story.

Cleverly plotted with an intriguing hook, ‘The Silent House’ is a fascinating story they really gripped my attention. Riddled with drama, suspense and unreliable and dislikable characters, this book is a unique and unsettling story that made for eerie and addictive reading.

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

C.L Taylor Reveals New Book – Strangers

StrangersIf you loved ‘Sleep’ by C.L Taylor, then great news as she has revealed her new book for 2020 called ‘Strangers’.

What the back cover says –

Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.
Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.
And Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.

Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

I don’t know about you, but this is definitely one of the books of 2020 that I’m really looking forward to reading.

You can pre-order ‘Strangers’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 2nd April 2020.

I Dare You By Sam Carrington

I Dare You‘I Dare You’ is the latest book by Sam Carrington.

Mapledon, 1989. Two little girls were out playing a game of dares. Only one returned home. The ten-year-old told police what she saw: village loner Bill ‘Creepy’ Cawley dragged her friend into his truck and disappeared. No body was found, but her testimony sent Cawley to prison for murder. An open and shut case, the right man behind bars. The village could sleep safe once again.
Now. Anna thought she had left Mapledon and her nightmares behind but a distraught phone call brings her back to face her past. 30 years ago, someone lied. 30 years ago, the man convicted wasn’t the only guilty party. Now he’s out.

With the right amount of suspense and drama, Sam’s latest book is a thrilling story that keeps everyone on edge. The story is written in the past and present tense with multiple narratives, giving an insight into the people affected by the tragedy.

The story is essentially about a child who disappears 30 years ago never to be found and the village recluse, who didn’t fit with the mindset of the villagers being the prime suspect and later sent to jail. Now ‘Creepy Crawley’ has been released from prison and Anna returns home to the village, that her best friend died in and Lizzie has gone to the village with the mindset of getting the big scoop.

But neither of the women are prepared for what they discover on their return, as Anna and her mother become victims of harassment and Lizzie is determined to get some questions finally answered.

The story flows at a fast pace, with short chapters that leave the reader bursting for more. The characters are interesting and complex and even from the very outset you can see that not everything is as it seems. The community is tight knit and protective of its community and newcomers or those who don’t fit in with the village are not welcome.

With the story flowing between tenses, it gives a good background into the drama and I particularly found these scenes interesting as they really set the tone for the suspense and drama that was weaved throughout the book. I found the characters to be quite fascinating, as nearly everyone had something to hide and found Anna’s mother, Muriel quite interesting. She came across as the matriarch of the village with everyone siding with her, no matter the consequences.

A pacy and observational thriller about family secrets and betrayal, ’I Dare You’ is an engrossing tale filled with twists, drama and riddled with suspense that made for tense reading.

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

The Final Reckoning By Margaret James

The Final Reckoning‘The Final Reckoning’ is the latest book by Margaret James.

When Lindsay Ellis was a teenager she witnessed the aftermath of a violent murder involving her lover’s father. The killer was never found. Traumatised by what she saw, Lindsay had no choice but to leave her home village of Hartley Cross and its close-knit community behind. Now, years later, she must face up to the terrible memories that still haunt her. But will confronting the past finally allow Lindsay to heal, or will her return to Hartley Cross unearth dangerous secrets and put the people she has come to care about most at risk?

The story is seen through the narrative of Lindsay, a young woman who has to return home after her mother’s death to sort out her mother’s belongings whilst organising the funeral. She hasn’t been home for years, after the gruesome discovery of her boyfriend’s who was murdered. No one was ever charged with the murder and Lindsay hopes with returning to the village that she will get answers to some unanswered questions as well as seeing Simon, the boy who’s father has cruelly murdered.

The story is set in a bleak and cliquey village where everyone knows everyone’s business and Lindsey finds herself the subject of village gossip with her reappearance, also with the addition of her annoying flat mate Nick, who becomes quite a hero throughout the book. I really enjoyed the mystery and magic of this story, with enchanting women who turned men’s heads and the relationship between Lindsey and Nick which added some humour to dark and unsettling story.

Gripping from the first page, ‘The Final Reckoning’ is twisted and haunting tale about obsession, love and loss that isn’t for the faint hearted.

You can buy ‘The Final Reckoning’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.