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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.

Watch For Me By Martin Bodenham

Watch For Me‘Watch For Me’ is the latest book by Martin Bodenham.

Tom Harper, a Vancouver Island realtor, has the client from hell, Ali Page, a beautiful and intelligent young lawyer returning from the mainland to take up a job with an island law firm. Trouble is there’s always something wrong with the properties Tom shows her, always a reason not to commit. Finally, after they find a condo she likes, he receives a text thanking him for his help. Ali signs off: I’m sad we won’t get to spend more time together. Ali’s words seem strangely out of character. The texts keep coming, increasingly incoherent and disturbing. Tom cannot understand why a woman not much older than his teenage daughter is suddenly obsessed with him. When he rejects Ali’s unsolicited advances, Tom soon discovers the sinister depths to which a delusional mind will sink to obtain what it wants.

This book gripped me and frustrated from the first page, so much so that I couldn’t put it down until I reached the final page. So, I had to say goodbye to my planned early night!

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Tom Harper, a successful realtor who’s been given the unhappy task of trying to find a house for the daughter of their family friend. Ali is a peculiar character, non-communicative whilst house hunting, but once Tom finds her an apartment, her obsession begins, calling, texting, stalking, threatening and completely disrupting his marriage, family and career.

There’s no other word to describe this book other than mad! Ali is the most disillusioned and determined character that I have ever read in a book or seen in a film. She’s clueless to Tom’s refusals and decides that if she can’t have him then no one can and is always changing her story to keep everyone on side and in doubt.

Right from the start, I was completely sympathetic to Tom and how each day, a new threat or disaster happened. I loved how through the suspense was regularly building and I found myself also like Tom, on edge and anxious throughout the day.

Martin has cleverly crafted a thriller that really pulled me into the late night. The characters are a complex mix with their obsessive and deceitful traits that really made for thrilling reading. The story is also seen through Ali’s narrative in parts, as she sets her plans in place oblivious to the hurt she’s causing. It’s fascinating to see the stalker angle from a male perspective and how Tom is treated, as an older man people including the police and society people are convinced he’s lying.

A gripping and thrilling psychological book that hooks the reader from the dramatic first line, ‘Watch For Me’ is a fantastic spin on the traditional stalker plot with an unhinged leading lady and a sympathetic man.

You can buy ‘Watch For Me’ from Amazon.

Dead To Me By Pamela Murray

Dead To Me‘Dead To Me’ is the first book in a new series by Pamela Murray called ‘Burton and Fielding’

When other people close to the astrologer they visited that night are murdered, detectives Burton and Fielding begin to suspect her. But is it misdirection on the part of the killer and, if so, why is she being implicated?

If you’re a fan of police duo crime series book then I wholeheartedly recommend you check out ‘Dead To Me’.

I was delighted with this book, I thought it was a one murder case but it was all about a serial killer killing people using extracts from Foxgloves and detectives Fielding and Burton are trying to piece what little clues they have together to prevent more from happening.

The story is primarily seen through Fieldings narrative as she leads on her first case with Burton as her support. They are both in line for promotions and want to catch the killer. They work together as team both in professional and intimidate sense, as they throw ideas back and forth as well as plan for their future together. I loved the interactions together as well as with the team as they all worked together in a race to prevent more deaths.

Throughout the story, there are many suspicious and unlikeable characters that are all suspected killers with motives and I felt the author really kept the reader on their toes second guessing throughout. There’s also a clever addition of some dialogue between the killers and I found myself eagerly reading those parts and looking for clues.

Perfect for fans of police procedural books and crime dramas, ‘Dead To Me’ is a great introduction to the duo and really sets the bar for a great new series.

You can buy ‘Dead To Me’ from Amazon.