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Shame By Elizabeth Forbes

Shame‘Shame’ is the latest book by Elizabeth Forbes.

George and Martha have things they’d rather keep hidden from each other: private thoughts, desires and secrets which, if discovered, could cause untold shame. But to an outsider they appear to have a happy, contented and conventional family life. At their twins’ Fred and Delilah’s twenty-first birthday party events conspire to uncover disturbing emotional connections, and threaten to reveal a past that has long been concealed.Soon after, a holiday designed to repair the damage exposes further rifts that could spread beyond the family and possibly change their futures forever. As a GP, Martha is used to helping her patients mend physically and mentally, but can she do the same for her husband and children, or will the ensuing damage leave wounds that will never heal?

This is the second book that I’ve read by Elizabeth and just like ‘Nearest Thing To Crazy’, ‘Shame was just as addictive.

The story is seen through the narratives of Martha and George and their children although they appear like a happy family, they’ve all got secrets that could ruin them and as the story unfolds, secrets are revealed and everyone is left wondering if they really knew each other.

The story is a chilling suspense story and really pulls the reader in. With flawed characters, extra marital affairs, lies and family secrets, this has the makings of a great thriller that hooks the readers attention.

Elizabeth is a great writer and her stories are cleverly crafted with raw emotion to keep the reader on their toes. Filled with drama and tension that gradually heightens as the story progresses.

A story about the demise of a marriage and the secrets that go on behind closed doors, ‘Shame’ is a taunt and dramatic book that makes for fascinating reading.

You can buy ‘Shame’ from Amazon.

The Night She Disappeared By Lisa Jewell

The Night She Disappeared‘The Night She Disappeared’ is the latest book by ‘Sunday Times’ bestselling author Lisa Jewell.

Midsummer 2017: teenage mum Tallulah heads out on a date, leaving her baby son at home with her mother, Kim. At 11 p.m. she sends her mum a text message. At 4.30 a.m. Kim awakens to discover that Tallulah has not come home. Friends tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a pool party at a house in the woods nearby called Dark Place. Tallulah never returns. 2018: walking in the woods behind the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started as a head teacher, Sophie sees a sign nailed to a fence. A sign that says: DIG HERE.

Every year Lisa Jewell delivers a book that is hailed as her best book to date and I always agree. But this year, Lisa has completely knocked it out of the park with ‘The Night She Disappeared’, a story of love, obsession and amateur sleuthing.

I read this book in one sitting, it was compelling, dark and extremely addictive.

The story is seen through the narrative of 3 women. Kim, mother of Tallulah who disappears one night whilst out with her boyfriend called Zach. Tallulah, a teenage mother who’s in an unhappy relationship with Zach and finds herself drawn to Scarlett, an outspoken and well to do girl who attends the same school as Tallulah. And finally Sophie, who has just moved to the area, her boyfriend is the principal of the school that both Scarlett and Tallulah attended. Sophie is the author of a crime series and when she finds a sign in her back garden with the instruction to ‘Dig here’ she finds herself piecing together the last few moments of Tallulah being seen, along with Kim.

Right from the start, this book pulled me in. The multiples narratives made for intriguing reading. Like Lisa’s previous books, the story is delivered in past and present tense. The story begins with Kim’s narrative at the moment that Tallulah doesn’t return from her night out and then a year later, still appealing for help and never giving up hope. She’s now become the full time carer to Tallulah’s little boy Noah and is heartbroken that Tallulah is missing out on pivotal moments in Noah’s life. Tallulah’s narrative are delivered in the past and to be honest, this makes for sad reading. A teenage girl struck in an unhappy relationship with a seemingly lovely boy, but who’s manipulative and when she’s with Scarlett, she radiates warmth and happiness that lifts off the pages. And newcomer to the town Sophie, is using her crime writing skills to uncover the clues, as well as being new to the town, sees the residents in a new light and is able to notice the suspicious characters and motives.

I’ve always thought that Lisa transitioned beautifully from female fiction to domestic noir and felt that she really triumphed in this story. The characters are addictive and dark, with flawed personalities that really pulled my attention. From Tallulah’s naivety, Kim’s faith and Sophie’s determination. Her writing is skilfully crafted and her observational insights into relationships and society made for even more gripping reading

A modern thriller delivered with drama and twists at every turn, ‘The Night She Disappeared’ is a tense and dramatic story that keeps the reader guessing throughout and made this book impossible to put down.

You can pre-order ‘The Night She Disappeared’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 22nd July 2021.

The Idea Of You By Robinne Lee

The Idea Of You‘The Idea Of You’ is the latest book by Robinne Lee.

To the media, Hayes Campbell is the enigmatic front-man of a record-breaking boyband. To his fans, he’s the man of their dreams. To Solène Marchand, he’s just the pretty face that’s plastered over her teenage daughter’s bedroom wall. Until a chance meeting throws them together. The attraction is instant. The chemistry is electric. The affair is Solène’s secret. But how long can it stay that way?

If you like your books saucy, honest and fun then ‘The Idea Of You’ is your next summer read.

I loved this book and immediately sank into it. I received a proof of the book and the cover is a bright yellow with a warning on the front cover saying ‘This Will Keep You Up All Night’ and never was a truer word written down.

The story is seen through the narrative of Solene who falls for Hayes Campbell, star of boyband August Moon and almost half her age. The pair have a passionate and turbulent relationship much to Hayes fans disgust including Selene’s daughter, Isabelle and focuses on the struggle of a high profile relationship and the age difference. I really enjoyed Selene, she’s vibrant and outspoken character, who unfortunately has to make some harsh decisions in her life due to her love interest.

This is Robinne’s debut novel and to be honest, it’s great. Right from the first page, we are treated to a story that is vividly written with witty and engaging dialogue and a love story that’s far from perfect.

A page turner from the first page, this book encapsulates the ultimate fantasy of falling for a rock star and is delivered with humour and warmth. ‘The Idea Of You’ takes you on an emotional journey and tears you apart at the final page.

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

The Therapist By Helene Flood

The Therapist‘The Therapist’ is the latest book by Helene Flood.

A voicemail from her husband tells Sara he’s arrived at the holiday cabin. Then a call from his friend confirms he never did. She tries to carry on as normal, teasing out her clients’ deepest fears, but as the hours stretch out, her own begin to surface. And when the police finally take an interest, they want to know why Sara deleted that voicemail. To get to the root of Sigurd’s disappearance, Sara must question everything she knows about her relationship.

If you’re a fan of Scandi noir, then ‘The Therapist’ is for you.

The story is seen through the narrative of teenage psychologist Sara who’s husband is found dead in a forest. Sara is confused about his death as he was meeting friends and he had phoned her to tell him that he had met them whereas they had said he had never turned up. Now Sara finds herself embroiled in an investigation and questioning her relationship.

Right from the start this book is a haunting and thrilling story, from the vivid description of the desolate house that was potentially to be filled with happiness but remains unfinished and is now an empty shell and further from the dream that Sara imagined. But as the story progresses, we seen an interesting insight into Sara, how she helps teenagers mental health and also her own battles with mental health.

I loved the steady pace of the story and the underlying tension throughout ramped at all the right moments to keep the reader engaged throughout.

This is Helene’s debut novel and it was fantastic introduction to a new author. Sara is a fascinating character, her past and present life make for intriguing reading as she begins to unpick her life, Helene’s writing is wonderfully descriptive and atmospheric and sets the scenes vividly and keeps the readers attention with engaging dialogue.

Gripping from the first page, ‘The Therapist’ is a psychological thriller that was suspenseful, engaging and ticked all the boxes for a great thriller.

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

Songs In Ursa Major By Emma Brodie

Songs In Ursa MajorWith a beautiful and vibrant cover ‘Songs In Ursa Major’ is the debut novel by Emma Brodie.

From the moment Jane Quinn steps barefoot onto the main stage at Island Folk festival, her golden hair glinting, her voice soaring into the summer dusk, a star is born – and so is a passionate love story. Jane’s band hits the road with none other than Jesse Reid, the musician whose bright blue eyes are setting hearts alight everywhere. And as the summer streaks by in a haze of crowds, wild nights and magenta sunsets, Jane is pulled into the orbit of Jesse’s star. But Jesse’s rise could mean Jane’s fall. And when she discovers a dark secret beneath his music, she picks up her guitar and writes her heartache into the album that could make or break her: Songs in Ursa Major.

Set in the folk/rock music scene of the 1960/70’s, this story is loosely based on the great love affair between Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. Jane Quinn is the face of the Breakers, a musician who can sing as well as play instruments, she catches the eye of rockstar Jesse Reid when her band ends up playing his set. The pair share a mutual bond for music and begin an affair whilst touring together and Jane’s becomes more successful and recognised for her performing and songwriting skills.

The story is well written and feels very authentic of this era and it’s obvious that Emma is a huge music fan with the level of the knowledge that is applied to the story. The story not only focuses on the rise of Jane’s stardom, her relationship with Jesse but also the music industry and how it’s perceived to a female artist, the misogyny and the sexism. I loved the characters in the story, both Jane and Jesse are battling their own personal demons and this is probably what makes them such accomplished writers and why their connection is so strong. Jane has never fully recovered from her mother leaving her family and she also was a songwriter but Jane is a strong woman raised in a family of strong women who do not marry, nor do they rely on men. The book focuses on the mental health and substance abuse attached to the rock and roll lifestyle of this time and parts of this makes for sad reading as people battled addictions.

For music lovers, this book is a must read, hazy, romantic and full of sass, ‘Songs In Ursa Major’ is an accomplished debut that made for intoxicating reading from the first page.

You can buy ‘Songs In Ursa Major’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.