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A Mother Never Lies By Sarah Clarke

A Mother Never Lies‘A Mother Never Lies’ is the latest book by Sarah Clarke.

I had the perfect life – a nice house, a loving husband, a beautiful little boy. But in one devastating night, they were all ripped from me. It’s been fourteen years, and I’m finally ready to face the past. I’m taking my son back. He just can’t know who I am…or why we were torn apart.

I started this book one evening and once I started, it was difficult to put it down.

The story is seen through the narrative of mother and son Phoebe and Charlie. Phoebe had to give up Charlie for adoption but she’s never given up on him and now 18 years later, she’s hoping to reunite with him. Charlie who’s now called Ben is unaware of the strange woman who rescued him from almost being beaten up.

The flawed characters in this story make for fascinating reading. The story is written in past and present tense and it’s obvious that Phoebe once was happily married but her world fell apart and she’s now paying the price. Leaving with her parents, her alcoholic disillusioned mother who’s quite a sweet character. Ben has anger issues but sees something in Phoebe who is known as Fiona.

As the story flows between the various years, it gives a real insight into the type of person Phoebe was, carefree, happy and in love. The aftermath of that tragic night, has left her scared, unsettled and longing for a better life and to get her family back.

From the first page it’s obvious that something terrible has happened and Sarah has cleverly created a story that is filled with tension and intrigue as we delve into Phoebe’s life. Phoebe is a sympathetic character that we can relate to, she’s the underdog of the story that we all champion for a better life.

A tense and atmospheric domestic noir with short and snappy chapters that made for gripping reading, ‘A Mother Never Lies’ is a complex drama about the strength of a mothers love.

You can buy ‘A Mother Never Lies’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Wedding Party By Tammy Cohen

The Wedding Party By Tammy Cohen‘The Wedding Party’ is the latest book by Tammy Cohen.

Lucy has dreamt of her wedding day for as long as she can remember. And now the day is almost here. Her nearest and dearest are gathered on an idyllic Greek island and she just knows it’s going to be perfect. It has to be. But even the best-laid plans can go horribly wrong. Why are her parents behaving so strangely? Why won’t the rather odd lady from the airport stop hanging around? Who is the silent stranger her sister brought as a plus-1? And then they find the body.

t’s been a while since I’ve read a Tammy Cohen book and set against the Greek skyline, this thriller made for addictive reading.

Lucy has been planning her wedding since she was a child and now the big day has come and she wants it to be perfect. But with drama, arguments, money problems plus a murder, it’s turned into the wedding from hell!

The story is seen through multiple narratives, primarily females in the story Lucy, her sister Jess and mother Hazel as well as Lucy’s bridesmaid Shelley. Lucy is a stereotypical bride, stressed, overspent and easily riled especially when it comes to her younger sister Jess and longing to finally be accepted by her new mother in law. Jess is a free spirit who doesn’t conform to society, bringing a virtual stranger to her sister’s wedding as her plus one and befriending Vivian, a nosey elderly woman who is also staying at the same hotel and has a strange interest in the comings and goings of the wedding party. Hazel, the bride’ mother is dealing with her unhappy marriage whilst Shelley who is Lucy’s best friend is desperate to keep Lucy happy and the wedding ticking over. Whilst Nina, the wedding planner is desperately trying to get money together to paid of the man she borrowed from.

If you enjoy a good domestic noir, then look no further. Tammy has all the boxes ticked with this story, fast paced, flawed and unreliable characters and suspense that builds more with each page.

I loved the multiple narratives in the story, all giving an insight into the people. There was also the inclusion of police statements filtered through the story and this helped build up to the moment that the incident happened and also helped piece together crucial information.

Terrifically written and riddled with claustrophobia and tension from the start, ‘The Wedding Party’ is a gripping thriller set in a picturesque setting with a fascinating line up where everyone is a suspect.

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

The Hen Party By Maria Frankland

The Hen Party‘The Hen Party’ is the latest book by Maria Frankland.

Caitlyn and her nine hens arrive in Dublin for a never-to-be-forgotten weekend. As the drink flows and the laughter echoes, her attendees put aside their buried resentments and secret dark agendas. But one of these disturbing agendas will be executed – no matter what.Ten is about to become nine. Who will be the one?

This is the third book that I’ve read by Maria and she really knows how to write a good engaging thriller.

The story is primarily seen the narrative of Jen who’s maid of honour for her best friend Caitlyn. She’s organised a hen party in Dublin with plenty of activities to keep everyone happy. But there’s trouble and resentment brewing in the group of 10 women. When one of the women is found dead, all the women are suspects. As each woman is interviewed they all have hidden secrets and have all possible motives for killing their friend.

I consumed this book in one sitting on Sunday morning and couldn’t move until I reached the final gripping page.

Cleverly weaved with drama and deceit, Maria has crafted an observational story about female dynamics between family and friends. The hidden jealousy and resentment bubbles between the group as old feelings ignite and friendships move further apart.

The insight from Jen was an interesting addition to the story as she’s the closet to the victim and is a bit of a buffer between all the drama.

A fast paced psychological thriller set in the heart of Dublin, ‘The Hen Party’ is a suspenseful whodunnit with plenty of suspects, one unfortunate victim and one hell of a twist!

You can buy ‘The Hen Party’ from Amazon.

Sisterhood By V.B. Grey

Sisterhood‘Sisterhood’ is the latest book by V.B. Grey

It is 1944 in war-battered London. Freya and Shona are identical twins, close despite their different characters. Freya is a newly qualified doctor treating the injured in an East End hospital, while Shona has been recruited by the SOE. The sisters are so physically alike that they can fool people into thinking that one is the other. It’s a game they’ve played since childhood. But when Shona persuades her twin to swap roles to meet her Polish lover, he is angered at being tricked. Then Shona proposes a far more dangerous swapping of roles. At first Freya refuses but finally she agrees, with consequences that threaten not only the happiness but the lives of both sisters. Forty-five years later in November 1989 Freya, now aged 69, is watching television with her daughter Kirsty. Freya is gripped as she witnesses crowds of Berliners attempting to knock down their hated Wall. This sight stirs memories of her own and her sister’s war, especially the tragedy of the Warsaw Uprising – memories that she has never shared with anyone. Even if she wanted to reveal them now, she can’t. She’s suffering from a brain tumour and is unable to speak although her reason is unimpaired. And this is what she’s thinking: if they succeed in knocking down the Wall, what secrets will come tumbling through? If her own were revealed, it would be devastating for all those close to her, especially her daughter, Kirsty.

Today I spent my head with the latest historical offering from Isabelle Grey. An inspiring and gripping story about twin sisters who were wanting to make a change during the Second World War.

The story is written in the past and present tense and seen through the perspective of mother and daughter Freya and Kirsty. Freya’s narrative is from 1944 during the Second World War and Kirsty is set in 1989. Freya has a terminal brain tumour and is unable to speak, whilst Kirsty is dealing with her mother’s impending death, her husband wants to return to his native home in Australia and move the family over. Then a man turns up wanting to meet Shona, who was Freya’s twin sister and wants to know more about his mother.

The man in question, Tomaz sparks a new interest in Freya’s mother and Kirsty discovers that her mother wasn’t quite the woman that she was lead to believe and was actually a pioneering trailblazer who sacrificed her life during the war.

This story is a powerful one, it’s beautifully written and descriptive and really engages the readers attention. Freya is a fascinating character and her relationship with her twin Shona, is beautiful to read. Both women are determined and help those less fortunate during the war, Freya is a newly qualified doctor and Shona is an SOE operative and the pair of them can use their jobs to help those in need in Poland.

The story is set against the Poland’s battle of resistance and it makes for fascinating reading as the two put their plans into actions along with Shona’s Polish boyfriend called Leo.

It’s obvious that the story is well researched and is actually based on events led by Isabelle aunt. The dual narratives are intriguing and as Freya can’t speak in the present tense, it’s wonderful to hear her story and version of events. As Kirsty delves deeper into her mother’s life, it gives her a new understanding of her mother’s behaviour and brings the pair of them closer.

A thought provoking story about family, lies and mystery, ‘Sisterhood’ is a stunningly written book about the female dynamics during the war and the women who quietly worked away, making changes for their country.

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

The Beloved Girls By Harriet Evans

The Beloved Girls‘The Beloved Girls’ is the latest book by Harriet Evans.

Catherine, a successful barrister, vanishes from a train station on the eve of her anniversary. Is it because she saw a figure – someone she believed long dead? Or was it a shadow cast by her troubled, fractured mind? The answer lies buried in the past. It lies in the events of the hot, seismic summer of 1989, at Vanes – a mysterious West Country manor house – where a young girl, Jane Lestrange, arrives to stay with the gilded, grand Hunter family, and where a devastating tragedy will unfold. Over the summer, as an ancient family ritual looms closer, Janey falls for each member of the family in turn. She and Kitty, the eldest daughter of the house, will forge a bond that decades later, is still shaping the present.

When it comes to twisted stories about family secrets and betrayals, Harriet is up there with delivering some of the best.

Her latest book, is a rollercoaster of drama set over many decades after a terrible tragedy occurs leaving a small town in shock. And many years later Catherine, one of the people left behind suddenly disappears when old memories start to resurface.

When Harriet writes a book, she really writes a book! At 448 pages, it’s long but it’s engaging with regular twists and shocks that keeps the reader pulled in.

The characters are a fascinating mix, as we meet Catherine, a successful barrister, who’s lost a big case she feels an immense pressure on herself but is distracted by the upcoming anniversary of the tragedy.

The story is written in the past and present tense through the perspectives of Catherine, Janey and Simon. Catherine is the present whilst Janey and Simon are from the past. The past moments make for fascinating reading as Janey is introduced to a strange family with an obsession with rituals and bees which all makes for sinister but completely compelling reading. Simon’s narrative is from, during the 1950’s as he tries to overcome the horrors that he witnessed at the end of the WW2.

This story instantly pulled me in, from the ritualistic wordings that had such creepy undertones to them to the Hunter family, all flawed, fascinating and Janey was drawn to all of them.

Harriet has written an intoxicating story that is cleverly crafted with deceit, love and drama weaved through each page. A book that grabbed my attention throughout ‘The Beloved Girls’ is a dark and observational story about female relationships and is such an addictive story, that once you’re in, you’ll never get out!

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