Skip to content

The Summer Trip By Isabelle Broom

The Summer Trip‘The Summer Trip’ is the latest book by Isabelle Broom.

It’s been 18 years since Ava spent the summer on the Greek island of Corfu, but she has never forgotten what happened during those months – or who she left behind. Now single, estranged from her family, and preparing to wave her daughter off to university, Ava’s life seems a million miles away from the one she dreamed about as a teenager – a life now being lived by her sister instead. When Ava decides to return to Corfu for the summer, she knows she must finally face the place and the people that broke her heart. But with old resentments festering, long-buried secrets lurking, and familiar feelings resurfacing, it looks set to be a holiday that will change all their lives forever.

The latest offering by Isabelle is a glorious escape to the sun kissed shores of Corfu. Say goodbye to clammy weather, interest rates and drama and hello to an exquisite escape, packed with delicious Greek food, Greek gods and a nostalgic journey into what could have been.

The story is seen through the narrative of Ava who’s never quite gotten over her first love. 18 years after leaving Corfu, she returns with her 17 year old daughter to catch up with her younger sisters as well as the man who first stole her heart.

I love Isabelle’s books, they’re vibrant, romantic and are the perfect distraction from the mundane life.

Ava is an interesting character, she’s fun and protective of daughter and when she meets Niko, the boy she fell in love with, it makes for tender reading as they both have to face up to the past and what could have been. Her relationship with her sisters is strained so it’s interesting to see the different personalities come together and reflect on old times. Niko is also a lovely character with his charming and spirited attitude.

Like Isabelle’s, previous books, this story is vividly written packed with wonderful descriptions of the island, the delicious cuisine and the culture. So if you were thinking of a Greek adventure, ‘The Summer Trip’ is the perfect guide book with the added bonus of some romance.

The story is written in the past and present when Niko and Ava first met as teenagers and it’s so lovely to join as their young love flourishes and this really made for tender and sweet reading.

Beautifully written and wonderfully captivating, ‘The Summer Trip’ is a gentle, heartwarming and witty story about self-discovery and forgiveness that made for poignant and fun reading.

You can pre-order ‘The Summer Trip’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 23rd June 2022.

WAKE By Shelley Burr

WAKE‘WAKE’ is the debut novel by Shelley Burr.

Mina McCreery’s sister Evelyn disappeared nineteen years ago. Her life has been defined by the intense public interest in the case. Now an anxious and reclusive adult, she lives alone on her family’s destocked sheep farm. When Lane, a private investigator, approaches her with an offer to reinvestigate the case, she rejects him. The attention has had nothing but negative consequences for her and her family, and never brought them closer to an answer. Lane wins her trust when his unconventional methods show promise, but he has his own motivations for wanting to solve the case, and his obsession with the answer will ultimately risk both their lives.

This debut is an absolute cracker of a story. Set in the rural outback of Australia. Lane Holland is a private investigator and is looking into the disappearance of Evie McCreery who disappeared over 20 years without a trace.

The story is seen through the narrative of Mina, the twin sister of Evie who’s had to live with people assuming she was behind her disappearance whilst Lane, is determined to get the reward for solving the disappearance and provide a better life for his little sister.

I loved this story, it’s dark, atmospheric and riddled with tension. A case of whodunnit set in the outback, everyone has a theory, whether that’s the people of the small town or online.

I loved the characters particularly Lane and found myself racing through the book to find out more about his background and the motivation into Evie’s disappearance. Mina was a sympathetic character who’s life never moved on since Evie disappeared and has lived in her shadow ever since.

This book was CWA Debut Winner in 2019 and it’s thoroughly well deserved with the taunt writing, a well crafted storyline along with a wealth of suspicious characters that filled me with unease and doubt.

Gripping from the first page and filled with shocks throughout. Written with skill and compassion, ‘Wake’ delves into the terrible tragedy of a child’s disappearance and when privates lives become public property.

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

The Shadow House By Anna Downes

The Shadow House‘The Shadow House’ is the latest book by Anna Downes.

When single mother Alex arrives at her new home with her two children, she can finally breathe easy. Pine Ridge, a rural community near the Australian coast, is beautiful, peaceful and most importantly, far away from the trauma she left behind. Then unexplained boxes start arriving at the house, and Alex’s teenage son begins to retreat into himself more than ever. As rumours and legends swirl through the community, Alex realises that Pine Ridge is guarding long-held secrets of its own. Something is lurking in the shadows, and Alex and her family are in grave danger. She must protect her children from the darkness at all costs – before it engulfs them whole.

If you like your stories riddled with eeriness and underlying tension, then you’re in for a treat with ‘The Shadow House’.

Set in Australia and through the perspective of newcomer to Pine Ridge, Alex with her teenage son Oliver and baby girl Kara and Renee who’s lived in the close knit rural community. Strange things are happening with unwanted boxes and threats being left at their front doors and both their teenage sons weirdly.

I really enjoyed this story and the creepy undertones of witchcraft and legends add to the suspense of tale. Pine Ridge is a tight community, who are not particularly fond of newcomers and Alex really feels this from some of the locals, whilst others react warmly to her. It’s obvious that Alex is running from something and this adds to the suspense of the book as we wonder what’s the background to her life. Whilst Renee is really worried about her son Gabe, who spends all his time in his bedroom and has become quite reclusive.

The writing in this story is gripping and atmospheric and the gradual build up of tension throughout the book really pulled in along with the cult like society. ‘The Shadow House’ is packed with mystery, intrigue and eerie moments and made for wonderfully creepy reading.

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

The Undiscovered Deaths Of Grace McGill By C.S. Robertson

The Undiscovered Deaths Of Grace McGill‘The Undiscovered Deaths Of Grace McGill’ is the latest book by C.S. Robertson.

Death is not the end. For Grace McGill it is only the beginning. When people die alone and undiscovered, it’s her job to clean up what’s left behind – whether it’s clutter, bodily remains or dark secrets. When an old man lies undetected in his flat for months, it seems an unremarkable life and an unnoticed death. But Grace knows that everyone has a story and that all deaths mean something more.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Craig and I read it in two sittings, it really was a gripping story.

It’s seen through the narrative of Grace McGill who has an unique job of cleaning up after a dead body has been removed. Bodies that have laid a while undiscovered alone. One day after cleaning the home of an elderly man, she finds herself trying to solve a mystery of a missing teenager from over 50 years ago.

I genuinely loved this story, I found it poignant, fascinating and incredibly atmospheric. Set against the poverty ridden streets of Glasgow to the angry seaside town of Brute, where Grace travels to try to piece together the last moments of a missing girl. Grace is an intriguing woman, doing a job that’s quite unusual. She lives a lonely life with her cat George and has a turbulent relationship with her abusive father, her hobbies are quite strange but are also fascinating and she has an air of melancholy throughout the story. She’s more at ease with the dead than the living and her care and precision with her cleaning is fascinating to read. This profession was insightful to read, as we learnt about the breakdown of the body and the chemicals needed to clean up the remains.

Grace has an addictive personality and when she starts looking into Valerie’s disappearance, she’s determined to solve it even though her life is being threatened and the police think she is wasting their time.

A fascinating story about death, loneliness and lies, this book was an unique story that flowed at a fast pace that held my attention throughout. With a protagonist that was hard not to dislike and feel sympathy for, ‘The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill’ is a shockingly brilliant thriller with an almighty twist that will blow your mind!

You can buy ‘The Undiscovered Deaths Of Grace McGill’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

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.