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The Close By Jane Casey

The Closer‘The Close’ is the tenth book in the DS Maeve Kerrigan series by Jane Casey.

At first glance, Jellicoe Close seems to be a perfect suburban street – well-kept houses with pristine lawns, neighbours chatting over garden fences, children playing together. But there are dark secrets behind the neat front doors, hidden dangers that include a ruthless criminal who will stop at nothing. It’s up to DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent to uncover the truth. Posing as a couple, they move into the Close, blurring the lines between professional and personal as never before. And while Maeve and Josh try to gather the evidence they need, they have no idea of the danger they face – because someone in Jellicoe Close has murder on their mind.

Even though this is the tenth book in the series, this is only the second or third book that I’ve read. And all the time, I intend to read more in the Maeve Kerrigan series.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Maeve, who’s investigating two cases, a murder of a doctor and then has been chosen to work undercover in a small estate when a man is found dead in suspicious circumstances. She has to work to her colleague with Josh and pretend that they’re in a relationship, which Maeve is struggling with after in an abusive relationship. Josh and Maeve have a complex relationship, their friends and colleagues, but there’s an obvious sexual chemistry between them that sizzles off the pages.

There’s also an inclusion of the perspective of the murderer and this made the story interesting, as I found myself trying to find out the murderer.

I really enjoyed seeing Maeve in a more relaxed role pretending to be a fluffier version of herself. Her interactions with people are softer in comparison to the harder version of herself with her guard up.

It’s quite witty in parts and this distracts from the darker moments in the story. As the story is a series, there are references to previous books and situations but has this just made me more keen to read the rest of the series.

‘The Close’ is a thrilling police procedural book that’s packed with drama, twists, suspicious characters that was gripping from the first sentence.

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

A Psychic Subterfuge By JP Alters

A Psychic Subterfuge‘A Psychic Subterfuge’ is the first book in a new series by JP Walters.

Mary Obosa Jameson, a diagnosed schizophrenic, attempts to take her own life and is admitted to a state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital.
Mary, hears voices and has friends that nobody else can see… but what she does not know, is that she is actually a powerful medium and that everything, has a plan. Whilst admitted to the hospital, Mary makes friends who uncover a fiendish conspiracy. Mary’s life, and the lives of her friends are in great danger and only she can save them, but does she believe?They are her friends. However, when you are diagnosed with schizophrenia, how do you know what is real, and what is not?

When I first started this book, I wasn’t sure what to make of it, was it a thriller, psychological or paranormal, it seemed to have a bit of everything. But as the story progressed, I felt myself being pulled into the dark world of the Rainbow Unit, a place that allegedly helped people with mental health problems.

The story is seen through the narrative of Mary, a woman who has battled with schizophrenia for most of her life. After years of abuse, she doesn’t trust anyone. The only people she feels she can really rely on are the voices and characters. But at the Rainbow Unit, the doctor Adelia has unique treatments that will make Mary and the patients feel better. But it seems that not everything is what it seems at the unit and people who are supposedly cured are different and it’s left to Mary and her voices to figure out what’s really going on.

This story has a fascinating mix of personalities, particularly Mary, straight talking and forward, she trusts no one but as the story progresses, she begins to let her guard down and becomes friends with others. Her relationship with Marcie is sweet, she originally didn’t like the hyper woman but grows to warm to her and become friends. Her life has been difficult and it’s flashbacks to her previous life that make for hard reading and sometimes with the voices, you do wonder what is real and what’s not. The voices add a clever twist to the story that I was thoroughly impressed with.

This book is the first in a new series and it was an interesting story from start to finish. ‘A Psychic Subterfuge’ is gripping, dark and creepily good.

You can buy ‘A Psychic Subterfuge’ from Amazon.

All The Little Bird Hearts By Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow

All The Little Bird Hearts‘All The Little Bird Hearts’ is the latest book by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow.

Sunday Forrester lives with her sixteen-year-old daughter, Dolly, in the house she grew up in. She does things more carefully than most people. On quiet days, she must eat only white foods. Her etiquette handbook guides her through confusing social situations, and to escape, she turns to her treasury of Sicilian folklore. The one thing very much out of her control is Dolly – her clever, headstrong daughter, now on the cusp of leaving home. Into this carefully ordered world step Vita and Rollo, a couple who move in next door, disarm Sunday with their charm, and proceed to deliciously break just about every rule in Sunday’s book. Soon they are in and out of each others’ homes, and Sunday feels loved and accepted like never before. But beneath Vita and Rollo’s polish lies something else, something darker. For Sunday has precisely what Vita has always wanted for herself: a daughter of her own.

Beautifully descriptive, this book is a story of female relationships and dynamics. Sunday lives in her own little quiet world where she has order and routine. She’s lives alone with her teenage daughter Dolly. They live their lives quietly until social butterfly- Vita moves in to the house next door and brings with her glamour, outspoken personality and her wild tales of London life. Sunday and her become friends and Sunday and her daughter are in awe of the flamboyant character, but after a while Vita takes Dolly under her wing and Sunday feels even more excluded in life. With having a hearing deficiency, she’s often felt on the outside and looking in and even though she always sees the good in people, wonders if Vita and her husband are quite the good people that she’s been lead to believe.

I loved this story, the characters are a fascinating mix of personalities that all the complete opposite of each other. Where Sunday is an introvert, Vita is an extrovert always looking to be the centre of attention. As the story progresses we see Vita as a friendly woman but the story takes a darker turn that makes for compelling reading.

Wonderfully crafted and tenderly written, ‘All The Little Birds Hearts’ is a poignant and innocent story about new friendships and betrayal.

You can buy ‘All The Little Bird Hearts’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Together, Again By Milly Johnson

Together, Again‘Together, Again’ is the latest book by ‘Sunday Times’ bestselling author, Milly Johnson.

Sisters Jolene, Marsha and Annis have convened at their beautiful family home, Fox House, following the death of their mother, the tricky Eleanor Vamplew. Born seven years apart, the women are more strangers than sisters. Jolene, the eldest, is a successful romantic novelist who writes about beautiful relationships even though her own marriage to the handsome and charming Warren is complicated. Marsha, the neglected middle child, has put all of her energy into her work, hoping money will plug the gap in her life left by the man who broke her young heart. Annis is the renegade, who left home aged sixteen and never returned, not even for the death of their beloved father Julian. Until now. So when the sisters discover that their mother has left everything to Annis in her will, it undermines everything they thought they knew. Can saying their final goodbyes to Eleanor bring them together again?

I’ve spent this morning cuddled up with the latest book by Milly, and just like her previous books, it’s a witty, warm-hearted and poignant story about female relationships.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of three sisters, Jolene, Marsha and Annis who due to a family drama have little to no contact with each other but when their mother dies and they have to sort out the family estate, they reflect back on their lives in the Vamplew house and the journeys that they’ve all been on.

I genuinely loved this story, the characters are a fantastic blend of personalities and the three sisters were a joy to read. Jolene is the eldest sister, a successful author who looks to have the world at her feet but her marriage is crumbling and she longer knows the person that she has become, Marsha never settled down as her heart always belonged to another man and Annis disappeared from the family home when she was 16 and never stayed in touch. The sisters are all going through things and it’s so lovely to read that even after all the years of being apart, their bond was just as strong and through the grief, suffering and reopening of old wounds they are all there for each other.

Other narratives in the story are from Eleanor, their deceased mother, a cold and cruel woman who showed no love towards her daughters particularly Marsha who she always wanted to be a boy. She had no time for children and enjoyed hosting parties where she was centre of the attention. Whilst Sally next door, is a complex character who was apparently only Eleanor’s true character, she was a meek woman who was ridiculed by Eleanor and her pompous husband, Julian.

Just like other books by Milly, this book is packed with Yorkshire charm and warmth. The characters are relatable and interesting and I loved the interactions with the sisters as they reconnected and helped each other with their troubles. Uplifting, tender and beautifully written, ‘Together, Again’ is a wonderful story about the strength of the sisterhood, new beginnings and putting ghosts to rest. Another great book from Milly!

You can buy ‘Together, Again’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

No More Lies By Rachel Abbott

No More Lies‘No More Lies’ is the latest book in DCI Tom Douglas series by Rachel Abbott.

Recently life has been good for Mallory Hansen: a great job, a lovely home, and a wonderful man, Nathan, to share it with. But now she must ask herself: is it all built on lies? A shocking accusation has been made against Nathan, and Mallory doesn’t know who to believe. He denies everything, but all the signs point to his guilt. She has learned to trust Nathan, but she also remembers the boy he used to be. As teenagers, Mallory and Nathan were part of a close-knit group of six friends until a vicious argument drove them apart. Now, fifteen years later, they are back in touch – only to find themselves drawn into a web of mutual distrust, one by one. The attacks on their lives are skilfully targeted, designed to hit them where they hurt the most, and when a young woman disappears and a baby is abducted, DCI Tom Douglas must try to unravel the past and discover who is the architect of their misery.

The latest book in the DCI Tom Douglas series is another gripping police procedural thriller about revenge.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Mallory Brennan whose life is torn apart when her husband is accused of sexual harassment. When the woman who accused him disappears all fingers point to Nate but then when other things start to happen including abducted babies, DCI Tom has to look into the inner circle of Mallory and Tom’s friends from their teenage past as it’s looks like someone is setting them up one by one.

I really enjoy police procedure books as they delve into both sides of the crime. The story is well plotted and paced. Seen from perspective of Tom and his team and Mallory who was an interesting character. She seems a likeable character but as the story progresses, it seems that the old friendship circle have a different opinion of her so it makes the reader quite unsure of her. Another clever inclusion in the story is the perspective of the victims which adds a bit more suspense and tension to the story.

Packed with drama, twists and suspicious characters, ‘No More Lies’ is a taunt thriller that hooks you in from the first page.