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The Secret Keepers Daughter By Samantha King

The Secret Keepers Daughter’‘The Secret Keepers Daughter’ is the latest book by Samantha King.

Holly Mayhew has the perfect family set-up. But when her seven-year-old daughter, Marley, begins to act strangely, refusing to speak and rushing off to hide in her room, she knows something isn’t right. Desperate to understand why Marley has become so withdrawn, Holly creates a worry box, where Marley posts her thoughts each day. At first, the messages seem innocent. But when Holly finds a note saying secrets make me sad, she begins to question everyone entrusted with her care. Including her family.

I’m a bit late to the tour but for the last couple of days, I had my head stuck in this book.

The story is written in the past and present through the narrative of Holly, who’s little girl was withdrawn into herself and is leaving little notes giving Holly an insight into her fears. Holly is trying to deal with a new baby, a husband who’s never around whilst she’s dealing with a turbulent relationship with Amy. A woman who was brought into Holly’s life as a young girl and Holly was forced to adjust from being an only child to having someone disrupt your life at every turn.

I particularly loved the narrative from the past tense as it really gave an insight into Holly’s past and how Amy is introduced into her life. She’s brought to live with Holly’s family as her parents are friends with Holly’s and when her parents move to Paris for work. Her relationship with Holly is upsetting, she hurts her, lies and gets Holly into trouble, whilst Holly’s father fails to believe that Amy would do bad things. But as they grow older, they have a love hate relationship but are there for each other when things are tough they are there for each other.

Holly has a heart condition and because of this, she’s constantly wrapped up in cotton wool with her family tip toeing around her much to her frustration. As the story unfolds, we read new secrets and lies that we’re hidden from her and how her relationship is with her family was far from perfect.

The story is cleverly crafted with characters are both relatable and unlikable. Amy is a bit of toxic character, who’s jealousy toward sweet Holly is prevalent and even as older women, there’s an obvious rift between the pair.

A compelling and observational story about the dynamics of family relationships and the innocence of a child’s mind. ‘The Secret Keeper’s Daughter’ is a great read.

You can buy ‘The Secret Keepers Daughter’ from Amazon

Both Of You By Adele Parks

Both Of You‘Both Of You’ is the latest book by ‘Sunday Times’ bestselling author, Adele Parks.

Fletcher: happily married stepmum to two gorgeous boys goes missing on Monday. Her husband Mark says he knows nothing of her whereabouts. She simply went to work and just never came home. Their family is shattered. Kai Janssen: married to wealthy Dutch businessman, Daan, vanishes the same week. Kai left their luxurious penthouse and glamourous world without a backward glance. She seemingly evaporated into thin air. Daan is distraught. DC Clements knows that people disappear all the time – far too frequently. Most run away from things, some run towards, others are taken but find their way back. A sad few never return. These two women are from very different worlds, their disappearances are unlikely to be connected. And yet, at a gut level, the DC believes they might be.How could these women walk away from their families, husbands and homes willingly? Clements is determined to unearth the truth, no matter how shocking and devastating it may be.

Adele is back with another dark thriller about secret lives and deceit.

The story is written through the narrative of Leigh Fletcher and Kai Janssen leading up to the moment and after their disappearances. They are two married women with seemingly normal lives but both women have disappeared without a trace and DC Clements is convinced both disappearances are connected. Leigh is stepmother to two boys and is happy in her life whilst Kai enjoys the more sophisticated life with her marriage to her younger Danish husband. DC Clements suspects both husbands may be involved in the disappearances but as she delves into the women’s lives, she discovers more than she expected.

The thing I love about Adele’s writing is her observation and insight into relationships, whether that’s friendship or marriage. She writes these complications with wit and suspense that really grab the readers attention.

The characters are the polar opposites of each other Leigh is a settled down step mum to 2 boys whilst Kai enjoys the finer things in life with luxury and style.

The difficult thing about reviewing Adele’s books, it’s easy to give something away. She sets the story particularly and as soon as you get used to a situation, she throws a curveball and suddenly everything is up in the air leaving the reader engrossed, unsettled and determined to get to that final page as soon as possible.

With the news of Adele’s previous book called ‘Just My Luck’ being adapted for screen, I would love for the same to be applied with ‘Both Of You’. With strong characters and a plot line twist that will literally blow your mind, Adele is back with another suspenseful rollercoaster of a story that hook will you from the first page.

You can buy ‘Both Of You’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 27th May.

And Then She Ran By Karen Clarke

And Then She Ran‘And Then She Ran’ is the latest book by Karen Clarke.

Grace bundled her eight-week-old daughter into her carry cot, opened the door and ran. Her life in New York faded into the background – she needed to keep her baby safe. She needed to get as far away from Patrick as possible. Now, staying in a remote cottage in Wales, Grace is trying to start again. But she can’t shake the uneasy feeling that she’s been followed.
And then she finds a note. Left on her bed. A tiny scrap of paper with scrawl in bright red pen. Keep her close. Anything could happen. She’s been found. Patrick wants his baby back. But Grace will do everything to stop him.

This book is the perfect book to get absorbed in, a story of a cat and mouse chase, this suspenseful story with filled with twists.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of Grace who’s ran away from New York for a small rural town in Wales where only her aunt knows her. She has ran from her power driven lover Patrick with her baby Lily and is determined to set up a new life for herself. But as she settles into the slower pace of life and adjusts to being a mother, she meets a Declan, a handsome and charismatic Irish man, who refuses to take no for an answer. Tentatively, Grace gets to know Declan, but as she gets closer, strange things and scary things start to happen, things go missing, phone lines are cut and Grace begins to fear that Patrick has sent Declan after her and Lily.

Grace is an interesting character, who’s had a complex life. Her parents relationship was turbulent as her father was prone to physical outbursts and her mother bore the brought of them. Grace was an only child and had no one to turn to and faced a lot of it alone. After her father died, Grace’s relationship with her mother became strained and she lost contact and she finds herself turning to aunt Morag for support. I really liked Morag, who initially was a gruff character who lived a simple life without a television or internet for distraction but as Grace and Lily stay with her, she becomes a softer and more approachable character, and this truly made for heartwarming reading at times.

This story travels at a good pace that keeps the reader engaged with regular twists and reveals that kept my attention hooked. Initially the story seems quite straight forward but as it progresses, we see new unexpected developments and more me, that’s the sign of a great thriller.

Set against the atmospheric, rural countryside of Wales, ‘And Then She Ran’ is a thrilling psychological story, filled with drama, suspense and the power of a mother’s love, this book will hook you from the first sentence.

You can buy ‘And Then She Ran’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

The Witness By Terry Lynn Thomas

The Witness‘The Witness’ is the second book in the ‘Olivia Sinclair’ series.

Teenager Ebby Engstrom witnesses a murder – and then passes out. The next morning, he wakes in his bed with no memory of how he got there, and is told his mother was stabbed to death the previous night. Thirty years later, the case has gone cold, with numerous suspects but no new clues – until Ebby starts having uncontrollable flashbacks to that night. As repressed memories surface, he questions his own role in the murder, leading to a dramatic confession and Ebby’s arrest. Family friend and attorney Olivia Sinclair is convinced of Ebby’s innocence, but the only way to clear his name is to find the real killer herself. And it seems almost everyone connected to the Engstrom family had a reason to want Cynthia dead…

This is the first book that I’ve read by Terry and it was a great book, seen from multiple narratives, that really hooked the reader in.

The story is about Ebby who saw his mother being brutally murdered but a the killer was never caught. Now, over 30 years later, Ebby is beginning to relive that fateful night with panic attacks and blackouts and is convinced that he is killer. Against, his family’s wishes, he asks lawyer, Olivia Sinclair for her help and expertise as well as Olivia’s former lover and policeman Brian to help find the killer.

This book is a cleverly crafted suspenseful thriller that really pulled me in, so much so that I read it in one sitting. The narratives seen from the alleged suspect as well as police procedural really made for compelling reading. Ebby is a fascinating character, he’s never recovered from the brutal murder of his mother and even though she treated him unfairly, longs for her killer to be brought to justice and for his conscious to be cleared. Ebby’s mother was quite an unlikable character, so there are many suspects into her death and motives behind them.

The main story is about the murder of Ebby’s mother, but another story is included with Olivia and her complicated relationship with Brian, who’s now moved onto a new lover called Leanne, who Olivia has her suspicions about. This is the second book in the series, but it’s written in a way that gives the reader enough background to the series and the characters.

‘The Witness’ is a taunt and fast paced thriller, with complex characters that hooked the reader from the first page.

You can pre-order ‘The Witness’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 23rd April 2021.

The Best Is Yet To Come By Katy Collins

The Best Is Yet To Come‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ is the latest book by Katy Collins.

Izzy has always taken everything in her stride but motherhood is proving more difficult than she thought. She keeps telling herself it’s just a phase but the dark clouds are starting to appear. Neighbour and widower Arthur might be in the winter of his life but he’s not ready to be packed off to a care home. He’s determined to do things his way. When Izzy hears about Arthur’s big move, she offers to help. But Arthur isn’t telling her the whole story. It takes courage to admit you need a friend and when you feel invisible, all you need is a ray of hope. After all, what if the best is yet to come?

If you like stories of new beginnings and friendship, then this book is for you.

The story is seen from the perspective of new mum Izzy and her elderly neighbour called Arthur, who she rescues one night when he falls over. The story centres around their unlikely friendship as they both deal with milestones in their lives, Izzy is adjusting to becoming a first time mother and Arthur is clearing out his home, two years after his wife’s death to move into a retirement village.

The pair are a lovely duo and scenes with together make for really sweet reading. Arthur and Pearl were unable to have children, so Izzy and her baby Evie give him the opportunity to be a grandfather figure which he dotes on immensely. Izzy is a relatable character, she expected motherhood to come naturally but she has struggles that her husband Andrew seems oblivious to which was very frustrating reading. She finds a kinship in Arthur and their shared project which gives them something to concentrate on and bond over.

The story alternates between the perspectives of the pair and it’s uplifting to see them grow in friendship as well as confidence as Izzy gets more comfortable with the mother role.

This story is a beautifully written one that flows at a lovely pace, captivating the reader with moments of poignancy and nostalgia. Emotional and heartfelt, ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ is a life affirming story of hope, forgiveness and will certainly strike a chord with its relatable and engaging characters.

You can buy ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.