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The Choice By Alex Lake

The Choice‘The Choice’ is the latest book by Alex Lake.

Matt Westbrook only turned his back for a moment. But when he looks around, his car – with his three young children inside – has vanished. Panicked, Matt assumes a car thief has got more than he bargained for, but then he starts to receive text messages: This is a kidnap. If you want to see your children again, you will exchange them for your wife. Matt and his wife Annabelle are horrified. They can’t involve the police, or their children will be killed. Which means they have to choose: Annabelle, or their children. Either option is unthinkable. But one is inevitable. And they have only hours to make their decision.

This is first book that I’ve read by Alex and it was a fantastic introduction to the author with this fast paced thriller about every parents nightmare. The story is seen through the narrative of married couple Matt and Annabelle, who are parents to 3 children. One day whilst grabbing a few bits in the shop, Matt returns to his car to discover that it’s gone with the children in it. He receives a message that he cannot contact the police or he’ll never see them again. As him and Annabelle prepare for the first, the kidnapper reveals their ransom demands. A trade – Annabelle for the children. The story then follows the couple as they decide this crippling decision without the aid of the police.

The story is written in past and present tense and introduces Matt and Annabelle when they meet at university, becoming friends and then partners. Each chapter from the past is a milestone in their lives, such a marriage, babies and Annabelle achieving her dream of becoming a published author.

As well as perspectives from Matt and Annabelle, there is a narrative from the kidnapper and I found these insights fascinating as it give some detail and background into the kidnapper and reasoning behind it all.

The story flows at a fast pace, as time is really off the essence in the book and the desperation and fear is evident with each moment. As the story progresses through the couple’s relationship, we meet a variation of characters along the way and with each new personality, we find another possible suspect.

Opening with a nightmare scenario and cleverly crafted with just the right amount of drama and suspense to keep the reader hooked in the story and there were plenty of twists for there never to be a dull moment.

A gripping psychological thriller with devoted parents fearing the worst, ‘The Choice’ is a tense and atmospheric story that makes for a roller coaster of a story.

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

The Stolen Sisters By Louise Jensen

The Stolen Sisters‘The Stolen Sisters’ is the latest book by Louise Jensen and is currently only 99p on the Kindle Store, which is a must buy for fans of the author and fans of tense thrillers.

Leah’s perfect marriage isn’t what it seems but the biggest lie of all is that she’s learned to live with what happened all those years ago.Marie drinks a bit too much to help her forget. And Carly has never forgiven herself for not keeping them safe. Twenty years ago The Sinclair Sisters were taken. But what came after their return was far worse. Can a family ever recover, especially when not everyone is telling the truth?

The story is about the 3 sisters Carly, Leah and Marie Sinclair who one day are kidnapped from their house and spend the next couple of days keep captive in an old military base and were fed crisps and sweets to keep their energy going, before they finally escaped to freedom. Now, it’s the 20th anniversary of their kidnapping and the women are on edge especially when they begin to receive letters counting down to the actual day. The kidnapping received a lot of interest from the media and the girls became a national treasure.

The story is written in the past and present sequences with the past scenes seen through Carly’s perspective and the present scenes are seen through Leah’s narrative. Carly is a typical teenager, desperate to hear from Dean, the boy that she likes and when she doesn’t hear from him, she takes her disappointment on her 8 year old twin sisters Marie and Leah. Snapping and being nasty to them, she makes them out go outside the house to retrieve their lost ball and this is when the kidnapping occurs. But during the kidnapping, she feels terrible for her behaviour and makes it her duty to get them to safety.

20 years after the kidnapping, it’s terribly sad to see how the events have effected the women’s lives. Carly leaves alone with the guilt that she could have prevented it all from happening, if she hadn’t horrible to the girls and looked after them properly. She punishes herself by not letting herself or anyone else get close to her. Leah is married with a little boy but her extreme OCD is ruining her relationship and she’s convinced that every person she sees is the kidnappers even though they are dead and Marie is battling a drink addiction. All 3 women were fun and happy girls and it’s so sad to read the kidnapping ruin their lives.

The story flows between past and present tense in the alternating chapters and this keeps the reader on their toes with this snappy and fast paced thriller. As the days count down to the anniversary and Leah receives more letters, I was gripped by what was going to be revealed on the day and who was behind them. There are so many fractured relationships and characters in the story, that I found myself regularly wondering was it person or was it this person as the story progresses.

One fascinating thing that I learned from reading this book was that Leah suffered from a rare condition called The Fregoli delusion or Fregoli syndrome. A rare disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that different people are in fact a single person who changes appearance or is in disguise and this was why she was convinced that the kidnappers were following her.

A cleverly crafted and twisted tale with drama and deceit riddled throughout, ‘The Stolen Sisters’ is a sad and traumatic tale that made for gripping reading with hook and reveal that left me chilled.

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