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The Prisoner By BA Paris

The Prisoner‘The Prisoner’ is the latest book by BA Paris.

THEN: Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a career for herself in the magazine industry, she meets, and agrees to marry, Ned Hawthorne. NOW: Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?

Fans of BA Paris, you are in for a treat with her new book called ‘The Prisoner’.

Like BA’s previous books, it starts right at the key moment that something major has happened and in this book, it’s when Amelie and her husband Ned are kidnapped. The story then flows in the past and present tense leading up to the moment. With Amelie in a darkened room listening to her husband scream for his life and the time leading up to it, meeting Ned and falling for his charms but realising he’s not the man that he had lead people and the media believe. And when people question his behaviour, they disappear.

BA’s debut novel called ‘Behind Closed Doors’ is one of my favourite books. It’s pacy with easy to absorb with short chapters and ‘The Prisoner’ was no different. I read the book in one sitting, it was that addictive. The moments leading up to the kidnapping are intense reading as Amelie sees a side to her new husband and life that she terrifies her whilst the claustrophobic setting of the darkened room where food is delivered and nothing is said is equally intense.

Dark, chilling and wonderfully gripping. ‘The Prisoner’ is an addictive thriller with intriguing characters and a cunning twist that will delight you!

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

Love and Other Human Errors By Bethany Clift

Love and Other Human Errors‘Love and Other Human Errors’ is the latest book by Bethany Clift.

The convention of a book synopsis is fundamentally ridiculous. How can I adequately convey in only 150 words the complexity and bewilderment of the past 10 months and the effect the events that occurred have had on my perfectly regulated existence? One would need much longer to record in detail how I was blackmailed into demonstrating the efficacy of my soulmate programme and forced to participate in a series of ridiculous dates. How my life has been forever altered as a consequence. Prior to this, I was driven and focused, consumed with work, destined to change the world with my brilliance. I had no family, no friends and no need for frivolous human connection. I was systemic and solitary, a woman with one goal. I am that person no longer.My name is Indiana Dylan, and this is the story of how I fell in love. There: 150 words precisely.

Bethany’s debut was one of my favourite books of 2021. Called ‘Last One at the Party’, this book was a bold move set during a pandemic during an actual pandemic made for dark but witty reading.

With a beautifully vibrant cover, I started reading this book last night and I instantly knew that this book would be addictive.

The story is seen through the narrative of three fantastic characters, Indianna, Lina and Jack. Indianna is a scientist who has created an app that takes the hassle out of finding love and helps you find your soulmate. She’s a logical and literal person, who can come across as quite cold. With her app now in the hands of JaneDoe tech, she’s been asked to help work with the app to make it better but this means working alongside actual humans and Indianna is having to step outside her comfort zone and interact and adjust to a new routine. Lina is now in a new role managing the team beside TRU, Indianna’s app but is finding it difficult juggling a newborn baby, an aggravated wife as well as a dominant boss. To the outside world Jack, is always smiling but behind closed doors, he’s still trying to get over the death of his beloved wife, Eve.

All these characters plus the wonderfully quirky plot made this book an absolute delight to read. I love Indianna, she’s not used to human interaction and has made herself her own AI called Peggy, who expresses more humanity than Indianna, she helps Indianna engage with others. The story is such an interesting one, taken away the magic of finding love and using science instead only for people to find love the traditional way.

The three main characters are only fantastic but Peggy was also brilliant, witty and warm whilst Frank and Alan, the homeless man and his dog who live in the doorway of Indianna’s home, also add some warmth to the story as they become unlikely friends with Indianna.

With such short and snappy chapters, this book was impossible to put down, a wonderful story of unlikely friendships and new love, ‘Love and Other Human Errors’ is a scientifically tender and witty story, that was the perfect second book from Bethany Clift.

You can buy ‘Love and Other Human Errors’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

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.