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The Couple At The Table By Sophie Hannah

The Couple At The Table‘The Couple At The Table’ is the latest book by Sophie Hannah.

You’re on your honeymoon at an exclusive couples-only resort. You receive a note warning you to ‘Beware of the couple at the table nearest to yours’. At dinner that night, five other couples are present, and none of their tables is any nearer or further away than any of the others. It’s as if someone has set the scene in order to make the warning note meaningless – but why would anyone do that? You have no idea. You also don’t know that you’re about to be murdered, or that once you’re dead, all the evidence will suggest that no one there that night could possibly have committed the crime.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book by Sophie Hannah, so when I got the opportunity to read her latest, I jumped at the chance.

If you’re a fan of Cluedo then settle in, as this book has all the key components of a gripping whodunnit, packed with suspicious characters who all had motives and one huge thing in common – they all despised the victim. Newly wed Jane to William, the ex husband of Lucy who had an affair whilst Lucy was pregnant with their daughter Evin. Lucy is now engaged to the kindhearted Pete and they decided to go away on a weekend, unknown that Jane and William, Lucy will also be staying at Tevendon, couples resort with three other couples. Whilst on this break, Jane manages to annoy everyone and when she receives a note saying “Beware”this gets her back up. So, when she’s found with stabbed in the back, couple Charlie and Simon who were off the beat with their job find themselves consumed with case and trying to find the killer.

This story is written in the past and present tense, the moment leading up to the murder and the couples in the months after as they all try to piece those last moments together knowing that there is a killer amongst them. Lucy who was once friends with Jane when she was her doula, is obsessed with the case and resorts to writing letters to all the visitors of the resorts as if they are the killer, just to get some movement on the case. Her obsession is the main plotline in the story and does make for dark reading as we learn more about the nasty character that Jane was.

Simon the police officer is also consumed with case, much to the pain of his colleagues and spends his day drawing maps and constantly accounting for each moment whilst staying at Tevendon. What’s interesting about the story, is the wide range of characters, who are all flawed in some way and all harbour secrets that they never want expose and this makes the pace of the story increase and the suspects mount up as you’re constantly wondering what if.

An extraordinarily gripping and cleverly crafted book riddled with deceit and uncertainty from the first page, ‘The Couple At The Table’ is a taunt and observational story about complex relationships that had an ending that will blow your mind.

You can buy ‘The Couple At The Table’ on Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Remember My Name By Sam Blake

Remember My Name‘Remember My Name’ is the latest book by Sam Blake.

When Cressida Howard catches her entrepreneur husband playing away from home, she hires security expert Brioni O’Brien to get the evidence she needs for a speedy and financially rewarding divorce. But what Brioni uncovers goes beyond simple infidelity. Because Laurence Howard is also in bed with some very dangerous people. Bribery and blackmail are the least of his worries as someone comes after the women in his life – someone who is out to destroy Laurence and his empire, whatever the cost. And Cressida and her teenage daughter could soon be collateral damage, if she and Brioni don’t act fast.

The latest book by Sam Blake is another rollercoaster of dramatic thriller packed with mysterious women and stunning bouquets that literally take your breath away.

The story is primarily seen through the perspective of Cressida after hearing her husband talking to another woman just as she was putting the phone down. This leads her on a crusade to find out if the powerful businessman, Lawrence Howard is cheating on her. To do this, she employs the help of Brioni, a cyber security specialist and between the two of them find themselves biting off much more than they can chew, with disappearing women, murders and poisoned floral bouquets.

Set in the bustling tech capital of Dublin and the rural countryside of Wexford, this cleverly crafted thriller made for gripping reading as the main characters and the reader were led a merry dance until the final gripping conclusion. The story is led by strong female characters, all determined and vocal to put things right no matter the cost. I loved Cressida, having led a life of luxury due to Lawrence’s success, her life comes to a standstill when she discovers that he might be having an affair. But, instead of crying about it, she hires Brioni, a quick thinking and dynamic young woman who is able to monitor Lawrence, not only online but also in real life as well. Cressida’s teenage daughter, Emily-Jane is a fantastic addition to the story, strong willed and outspoken, she is also there to speak her mind and doesn’t care who it riles.

This is only the second book that I’ve ready by Sam and I thoroughly enjoyed it. An atmospheric story that moved at a fast pace with fascinating characters and a cleverly crafted plot that got even more addictive with each page, ‘Remember My Name’ is a fantastic Irish thriller that was rich in suspense from the first page!

You can buy ‘Remember My Name’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

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.

Who Took Eden Mulligan? By Sharon Dempsey

Who Took Eden Mulligan‘Who Took Eden Mulligan?’ is the latest book by Northern Ireland author, Sharon Dempsey.

‘They’re dead. They’re all dead. It’s my fault. I killed them.’ Those are the words of Iona Gardener, who stands bloodied and staring as she confesses to the murder of four people in a run-down cottage outside of Belfast. Outside the cottage, five old dolls are hanging from a tree. Inside the cottage, the words “WHO TOOK EDEN MULLIGAN?” are graffitied on the wall, connecting the murder scene with the famous cold case of Eden Mulligan, a mother-of-five who went missing during The Troubles. But this case is different. Right from the start. Because no one in the community is willing to tell the truth, and the only thing DI Danny Stowe and forensic psychologist Rose Lainey can be certain of is that Iona Gardener’s confession is false.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Sharon Dempsey and it will definitely not be the last.

The story is primarily seen through the perspective of old university friends Rose and Danny. Rose has returned to Belfast for her mother’s funeral, her first time back in years having not gotten on with her mother or her beliefs and Danny has just been given a massive new case. A young woman has claimed responsibility for the murder of 3 friends and attempted murder of another and the murder scene is referencing an old disappeared case when a young mum called Eden Mulligan disappeared one night. Detective Danny has asked psychologist Rose to help make sense of the case and solve it.

As a child growing up during ‘The Troubles’, I was well accustomed to the shootings, bombings and most famously the disappeared. The people who disappeared without a trace leaving their family in bewilderment hoping that the smallest bit of information will finally give them peace.

For me, Sharon Dempsey has written a relatable crime novel that I easily sank into. As a native of Northern Ireland, I loved the familiarity of the locations and the dialogue between the characters. She paints a picture perfectly of how bleak the city of Belfast once was during the Troubles and now thrives with new bars, shops and a new culture and no longer filled with bitterness, bullets and police Saracens vans filling the streets.

I loved in this book, there are 3 stories, the recent murder case, the Eden Mulligan as well as the relationship between Rose and Danny and how seamlessly they flowed from each story. Both Danny and Rose, have reached pinnacle points in their lives, Rose returning to Belfast to address old ghosts and Danny at the start of a divorce process. Being back with each other helps remind them of their youth, before complicated lives and are able to work together with ideas and theories.

The story flows at a good pace and is a really well researched book giving the reader an overview of the Troubles as well as an in-depth police procedural book. It does make for heavy reading in parts though, as the Mulligan family struggle to get justice for their mother, so many years after her disappearance and to know that these type of events happened on my doorstep does strike a chord.

A well crafted and documented story about broken families, grieving children and how the past is still prevalent now. ‘Who Took Eden Mulligan?’ is a fascinating insight into Northern Ireland and how it’s past can never be forgotten.

If this sounds like your type of book, it will be available from the Kindle Store from 18th February 2021 and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 19th August 2021.

The Jigsaw Man By Nadine Matheson

The Jigsaw Man‘The Jigsaw Man’ is the debut novel by Nadine Matheson.

When bodies start washing up along the banks of the River Thames, DI Henley fears it is the work of Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer. But it can’t be him; Olivier is already behind bars, and Henley was the one who put him there. She’d hoped she’d never have to see his face again, but Henley knows Olivier might be the best chance they have at stopping the copycat killer. But when Olivier learns of the new murders, helping Henley is the last thing on his mind. Now all bets are off, and the race is on to catch the killer before the body count rises. But who will get there first – Henley, or the Jigsaw Killer?

If you’re a fan of grisly murders and plenty of gore then this book is packed with it.

The story is primarily seen through the perspective of SDI Henley, who is having to relive a nightmare when a series of murders happen across London all baring resemblance to a serial killer that nearly killed her two years ago. Limbs are being found all the over place and no one can find rhyme nor reason why someone is copycating the ‘Jigsaw Man’ who’s behind bars.

The story flows at a fast pace as Henley tries to catch the killer along with her new trainee detective called Ramouter, who’s first case is attracting a media frenzy as the limbs count up. As Henley tries to catch the serial killer, the only way to do that is by confronting her fears and visiting the famous ‘Jigsaw Man’ aka Peter Olivier, the man who nearly killed her and is costing her marriage.

I loved this story, but be warned it’s not for the faint hearted. Congratulations to Nadine, who’s managed to create a fantastic serial killer who’s not only charismatic but chilling who really gets underneath the readers skins with his creepiness. Whilst Henley is trying to maintain her sanity and professionalism with the case but it’s difficult with so many similarities triggering unsettling memories for the detective. She’s a great character, a strong willed woman who refuses to be judged on her gender or race and takes no crap from anyone.

Although this book is a debut, it reads like a series and I’d love a prequel to the book, when we initially meet the famous ‘Jigsaw Man’.

Creepy, intense and filled with action that will literally fill you with fear, ‘The Jigsaw Man’ is a thrilling debut that is gruesomely great.

You can pre-order ‘The Jigsaw Man’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 18th February 2021.