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My Other Husband By Dorothy Koomson

Songs In Ursa Major‘My Other Husband’ is the latest book by Dorothy Koomson.

Cleo Forsum is a bestselling novelist turned scriptwriter whose TV series, ‘The Baking Detective’ is a huge success. Writing is all she’s ever wanted to do, and baking and murder stories have proved a winning combination. But now she has decided to walk away from it all – including divorcing her husband, Wallace – before her past secrets catch up with her. As Cleo drafts the final ever episodes of the series, people she knows start getting hurt. And it’s soon clear that someone is trying to frame her for murder. She thinks she knows why, but Cleo can’t tell the police or prove her innocence. Because then she’d have to confess about her other husband.

When I delved into Dorothy’s latest book, I knew I was in for a rollercoaster of a story. I read it in two sittings, this book was impossible to put down.

The story is seen through the narrative of Cleo and is seen from the past and present. Cleo is the writer behind a successful crime series and has just called time on her marriage and has cancel her television series. All around her people are upset and confused by her behaviour but she’s doing it all to keep those close to her safe. The past narrative is about Cleo, whilst at university she meets Heath, an intense man who falls for Cleo. Their relationship are passionate, fiery and in the end Cleo decides to end it. Now years later, Cleo finds herself being questioned for crimes that are happening to people close to her.

I loved this story, it’s fast-paced, gripping and with short chapters, it’s easy to get absorbed into the story. Cleo is an intriguing character, she’s a well established woman but she’s letting her world fall down around her to keep others safe. She’s kind, brave and has an interesting relationship with her niece Lola, another brave and outspoken character who’s quick to speak her mind.

This story has all the makings of a great psychological thriller, complex characters, suspicious scenarios and twists throughout. Cleverly crafted and focusing on love bombing, toxicity and unhealthy relationships, ‘My Other Husband’ is another compelling and dramatic story from Dorothy that is grippingly good!

You can buy ‘My Other Husband’ 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.

False Witness By Karin Slaughter

False Witness‘False Witness’ is the latest book by Karin Slaughter.

Leigh and her sister Callie are not bad people – but one night, more than two decades ago, they did something terrible. And the result was a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, devastated by violence. Years later, Leigh has pushed that night from her mind and become a successful lawyer – but when she is forced to take on a new client against her will, her world begins to spiral out of control. Because the client knows the truth about what happened twenty-three years ago. He knows what Leigh and Callie did. And unless they stop him, he’s going to tear their lives apart.

Today I spent my day with my head in Karin’s latest book, a gruesome and gripping story about revenge, absolution and survival.

The story is seen through the narrative of sisters Leigh and Callie who’s lives change for the worst one evening and one day many years later, it comes back to haunt them when Leigh now a successful lawyer has to represent a man accused of rape. A man called Andrew Tenant specifically asked for Leigh’s representation bringing up old ghosts that Leigh and Callie had hidden.

I love crime thrillers and I’ve actually not read many by Karin, so when I was given the opportunity for this tour, I jumped at this.

The story is set during the pandemic and is not for the faint hearted. Leigh has to defend Andrew and she fears that he’s not quite the wholesome man that he leads people to believe. From a wealthy background, people find it hard to believe that he’s committed gruesome sexual assaults and the scenes are quite upsetting and hard to read.

Her younger sister Callie has never properly recovered from that particular night and has since developed a drug addiction that helps numb the pain of the past. I loved Callie, for all her issues and problems, she was a breath of fresh air to read with her wit and warmth. Her mother Phil was also entertaining, a hard woman who’s heart only softened for animals. Whilst Leigh, the eldest of the two is extremely protective of her sister and her family.

Karin’s books are not for the timid and focus on hard hitting issues such as child abuse, drug addiction and sexual assault and there were times in the story, when I had to physically put the book down as it got a bit too much at times. The story is current and is set during the pandemic which adds a time stamp to the story.

Cleverly written with compelling characters that made for gripping reading and with twists and shocks that keeps the reader on their toes, ‘False Witness’ is an intense story of sibling love, protection and made a for a rollercoaster of a thriller.

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

The Good Samaritan By CJ Parsons

The Good Samaritan‘The Good Samaritan’ is the latest book by CJ Parsons.

When her five-year-old daughter disappears from the park, Carrie’s world shatters. She is tortured with worry and she blames herself. What if her inability to read facial expressions has put her child in danger? But just days later, a stranger finds Sofia and brings her home. Carrie should be relieved, but the abductor is still out there, still unknown. Still after her child. And are those who have offered their help really the good Samaritans they seem… or has Carrie missed the warning signs?

‘The Good Samaritan’ is an intriguing and gripping story that I consumed in one sitting.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Carrie, who one day when taking her daughter Sofia to the park, Sofia is abducted. Distraught for her daughter’s safety, Carrie calls the police and DCI Juliet is in charge of the case. But days later, a man turning up at the house with his Sofia in his arms claiming her found her. With the kidnapper still at large, Carrie has to fear for her daughter’s safety and Juliet and her team have to find the perpetrator.

If you’re a fan of twisty thrillers, then I would thoroughly recommend this book. A sharp and fast paced story with an unreliable newcomers that all make for suspicious characters with dodgy characters. Carrie, as the protagonist is a fascinating character, now a single mother after her relationship broke down, she’s a successful architect who suffers from a condition called Prosopagnosia, where she is unable to read people’s expressions and this effects her ability to make friends. Even though Sofia is only 6 years old, she’s very aware of Carrie’s condition and is able to help her when she’s unsure of how to react. As Carrie deals with the aftermath of Sofia’s abduction, she’s trying to move on but is finding it hard when the kidnapper is still at large and Sofia has nightmares of his return.

But after Sofia’s kidnapping, it brings 2 new people into Carrie’s life, a woman called Tara who becomes her friend and helps bring Carrie out of her self and Josh, the man who brought Sofia back to Carrie. They share mutual interests and have an attraction to each other so it makes sense that they get together.

But as DCI Juliet, a young detective who’s leading the case delves into both people’s backgrounds, she wonders if they are genuine as they seem.

Not only is there a great leading character in the story but the supporting characters are compelling as well. Sofia is wise beyond her years. With her mother’s condition, she notices things that Carrie fails to notice and is a sweet and kind little girl. She doesn’t come from a stereotypical family with a mother’s condition and an absent father battling mental health issues.

An original thriller that pulled me in right from the dramatic first page, this cleverly crafted and keenly written book has all the signs for a great thriller. Speedy, with clever dialogue and characters that keeps the reader on their toes, ‘The Good Samaritan’ is a first rate thriller that is a guessing game throughout.

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

It Started With A Secret By Jill Mansell

It Started With A Secret‘It Started With A Secret’ is the latest book by Jill Mansell.

The trouble with secrets is that you can’t guess what the consequences will be. Lainey has lost everything. Luckily one little fib (OK, quite a big fib) helps nail her dream job. Soon she’s living in a stunning house by the sea, fending off obsessed fans for a retired – if far-from-retiring – actor and organising his charming but chaotic family. It’s definitely worth the challenge of keeping her secret. At least Lainey isn’t looking for love. It’s time for a break from all that. And yet . . . Seth, the actor’s grandson, really is rather attractive. There’s growing chemistry and a definite connection between them. But how would he react if he knew she hadn’t been honest with him? Lainey’s not the only one with a secret, though. Seth has one of his own. And everything’s about to start unravelling.

I spent my Saturday morning, curled up with Jill Mansell’s latest book and it really was an enjoyable story.

The story is seen through the narratives of Lainey and Seth. Lainey is working in France with her best friend Kit, as housekeepers in a gorgeous chateau. Sadly the owners are no longer able to keep the pair on due to financial problems and they find themselves unemployed and back in the UK. One day Lainey discovers a position for housekeeping in a seaside town working for Majella and her son Seth. Lainey and Kit pretend to be a couple to secure the job and find themselves living a lie, which is difficult as Lainey finds herself attracted to Seth whilst keeping up a pretence.

The characters are great in this story, Lainey is instantly likeable and relatable, she’s kind and bubbly personality that makes people drawn to her as well as confide in. Seth is charming and caring with a huge heart that is well hidden behind his mysterious personality. The insights from the duo make for lovely reading as they both battle with emotions as Lainey keeps up her pretend relationship and Seth deals with a new over eager relationship.

The accompanying characters from the charismatic and hilarious Richard, an elderly and retired actor that still has carloads of fans appearing at as door hoping for a glimpse or a reply to their fanmail. There’s also Majella, who’s tentatively putting herself back into the dating scene with hilarious results.

A smaller sub story which makes for tender reading is off Wyatt Hilstanton, who’s girlfriend turns his proposal offer down and we join on his journey of soul searching.

‘It Started With A Secret’ is a beautifully written that really pulls the reader in. With charismatic and relatable characters and real life issues that impact on everyone, such as sickness, love, getting back into the dating scene as well as finding your place in life.

A witty and tender story that really gets under the readers skin, ‘It Started With A Secret’ is an emotional rollercoaster of a story that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

You can buy ‘It Started With A Secret’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.