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The Murder Of Graham Catton By Katie Lowe

The Murder Of Graham Catton‘The Murder Of Graham Catton’ is the latest book by Katie Lowe.

Ten years ago, Hannah Catton’s husband was brutally murdered in their home. The murderer was convicted. The case was closed. But now a podcast called Conviction is investigating this horrific crime – and they have Hannah in their sights. Someone knows more than they’re letting on, and listeners are about to become judge, jury and executioner as they undercover the truth about the murder of Graham Catton.

2021 has seen the release of some epic psychological thrillers and I’m now adding ‘The Murder Of Graham Cattan’ to that list!

This dark and twisted book took my breath with its unreliable and unlikable protagonist and horrendous scenes of abuse, gore and twisted behaviour.

The story is seen through the narrative of Hannah, who fell deeply in love with her husband called Graham, their love was deep and strong. When he’s murdered one night, everyone suspects Hannah of the murder even though someone has been charged with his death. Now years later, a podcast called ‘Conviction’ want to revisit the murder and answer some unanswered questions, whilst putting Hannah back into the spotlight and becoming the centre of unwanted and cruel attention again.

I love, love, loved this book! It’s so cleverly crafted, weaved with drama, suspense and with characters that you can never fully get a good reading on. Hannah is fascinating, she’s a psychologist working with teenage girls with eating disorder and is mindful of mental health and feels her own is breaking down. When the podcast series starts, it makes her question everything about that night, as well as the unwanted circumstances that are presently happening because of the podcast. The moments that she feels out of her depth or scared are all captured for social media making people judge and victimise her even more. Hannah’s family has a history of mental health and is terrified that she too will have issues and finds herself researching into her grandmother who was also accused of murder.

The story is written in the past and present tense all through Hannah’s narrative. The past tense focuses on the her and Graham relationship and it’s downfall. This makes for heavy reading, as she was victim to various forms of abuse by a man who had charmed everyone including their 5 year old daughter Evie. He made Hannah doubt everything in her life and constantly apologise when she had done nothing more.

The story reads like a fast paced thriller, was easily to get absorbed and was current with the true life crime series that people are obsessing over. And now with social media, everyone has an opinion or fact that they would like to share.

A fascinating book from the first page that really hooked my attention. Tautly written with a cast of characters, that made you suspicious from their first word, ‘The Murder Of Graham Catton’ shines a light on abusive behaviour, gaslighting and the horrors that go on behind closed doors. With an ending that left my bursting for more, I cannot wait to read the next book by Katie Lowe.

You can buy ‘The Murder Of Graham Catton’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

After The Silence By Louise O’Neill

After The Silence‘After The Silence’ is the latest book by Irish author, Louise O’Neill.

On the day of Henry and Keelin Kinsella’s wild party at their big house a violent storm engulfed the island of Inisrun, cutting it off from the mainland. When morning broke Nessa Crowley’s lifeless body lay in the garden, her last breath silenced by the music and the thunder. The killer couldn’t have escaped Inisrun, but on-one was charged with the murder. The mystery that surrounded the death of Nessa remained hidden. But the islanders knew who to blame for the crime that changed them forever. Ten years later a documentary crew arrives, there to lift the lid off the Kinsella’s carefully constructed lives, determined to find evidence that will prove Henry’s guilt and Keelin’s complicity in the murder of beautiful Nessa.

Louise O’Neill is back with another fantastic book with a deep exploration of female characters and toxic relationships, with a shocking end that kept me awake far later than my bedtime intended.

For me, Louise has become that author, who’s book I have to read on its publication day and after completion, I then sit back with my thoughts at the genuinely gripping and atmospheric writing.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Keelin Kinsella written in the past and present tense. The past sequences are about her life, her family and meeting her second husband Henry Kinsella, who’s family was a blow in to the remote island and brought much needed economy to Inisrún. Keelin falls for Henry’s charm and security and they marry. But on her 37th birthday party, a young girl was found murdered at the house and this later became known as ‘The Crowley Girl’ and although no one was ever charged with her murder, all fingers pointed towards Henry. Now 10 years later, an Australian film making duo want to make an anniversary documentary about the murder and talk to everyone involved, including Keelin and Henry.

‘After The Silence’ is a new angle for Louise, as it’s the first murder mystery from the Irish author, but having said that, it’s one of the best mysteries that I’ve read in a while.

The setting of the small rural and remote island where only access is available via a boat, gives an eerie and claustrophobic vibe to the story. It’s a small close knit community that was torn apart from the murder and never recovered, with speculation and conspiracies shared at every opportunity.

The characters are extremely interesting in this book, particularly Keelin. She left an abusive relationship for the sake of her eldest son and thinks that she has found love and security with Henry but it comes at a price. He’s controlling and manipulating and has people come to house to do her hair and make-up instead of letting her leave the house. He says that it’s for the best for her, as people have turned against them since the murder. She’s convinced that he’s only looking out for her but as time goes by, Keelin begins to wonder if she has left one abusive marriage for another. Through the past and present sequences, we see Keelin change in character, she becomes meeker and more subdued as her wings become more clipped. Henry is a charming and charismatic man, who boasts wealth and statue but after the death of the young girl, the village have turned on him even though he denies any involvement and hopes the documentary will prove his innocence.

Like Louise’s previous books, ‘After The Silence’ focuses on toxic relationships, gas lighting and inter partner terrorism (a new one for me). She explodes coercive control and writes in great detail, how much a person can change with slowly being chipped away. This story evoked some extreme reactions in me from profound sadness to raging anger to think that there were men and women in the world that are exposed to this type of treatment on a daily basis, unaware of how they were going to be treated to walking on eggshells and not create a negative reaction. It’s also evident that Louise went to huge lengths of research for this book, exploring relationships and police procedures.

As well as the past and present sequences, there are also extracts from the film makers interviewing residents of the island and this makes for really intriguing reading, as they all have their own thoughts and opinions on the night as well as Henry and Keelin Kinsellsa.

As the story is set on a remote island, there are elements of the Irish language throughout it and this gave an almost folklore vibe to the story as well as the tight knit community who all seek to find justice for the young girl.

A compelling dark and twisted story of murder and devastation, ‘After the Silence’ is an atmospheric and psychological story about the justice for a young girl that raises unanswered questions and takes a look at what really goes on behind closed doors when everything is quiet.

You can buy ‘After the Silence’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Murder On The Moorland By Helen Cox

Murder On The Moorland‘Murder On The Moorland’ is the third book in the Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mystery series by Helen Cox.

Kitt Hartley wakes to the news that a murder has been committed in Irendale, a village high on the wild Yorkshire moors where her boyfriend, DI Malcolm Halloran, lived with his ex-wife until she too, was murdered. The MO of the two crimes is identical, right down to the runic symbols carved into the victims’ hands. Unable to leave it to the local police to solve, Kitt and Halloran travel to Irendale, where a literary mystery awaits. A line of Anglo-Saxon poetry found on the victim leads to a hiding place, and another cryptic clue. What is the connection to the murder of Halloran’s wife all those years ago?

The latest book in the Kitt Hartley series is another explosive and addictive story of murder and mystery.

This time Kitt and her partner Malcolm Halloran have returned to Malcolm’s previous home where a murder has occurred and the victim was killed in a similar style of Malcolm’s wife. Although he’s not officially investigated the case, Mal feels a pull towards the case wanting to find out the truth, face up to the past to go forward with his future with Kitt.

This story is not only a murder case but also a treasure hunt as the duo use clues hidden behind from the murder to figure out who the killer is. But the killer is one step ahead of them and is out to stop them.

I’ve come to really enjoy the Kitt Hartley series, as the books have progressed we seem the relationship between Kitt and Mal blossom not only romantically but professionally as the duo work together to solve the crime as well as getting closer and developing more trust in each other. I really enjoy the dynamic between the couple and how Kitt always has a literary quote or fact to hand, to add a bit of eccentricity to her character.

The story is only a murder mystery but it’s also a poignant tale as Mal has to face up to old ghosts and finally put the tragic murder of his wife behind him to move on with Kitt and this makes for bitter sweet reading in parts.

Like the previous books in the Kitt Hartley series, ‘Murder on the Moorland’ is an addictive and fun whodunnit murder mystery. Filled with drama and suspense, this cosy thriller set in a sleepy village is cleverly plotted and charming story.

You can buy ‘Murder On The Moorland’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

The Silent House By Nell Pattison

The Silent House‘The Silent House’ is the latest book by Nell Pattison.

If someone was in your house, you’d know … Wouldn’t you? But the Hunter family are deaf, and don’t hear a thing when a shocking crime takes place in the middle of the night. Instead, they wake up to their worst nightmare: the murder of their daughter. The police call Paige Northwood to the scene to interpret for the witnesses. They’re in shock, but Paige senses the Hunters are hiding something. One by one, people from Paige’s community start to fall under suspicion. But who would kill a little girl? Was it an intruder? Or was the murderer closer to home?

The Silent House is an intriguing story of suspense as a deaf interpreter is caught up in the middle of an investigation when a little deaf girl is tragically murdered.

Paige accidentally becomes an interpreter when she’s the only hearing person in her family, even though her heart belongs to creativity. When a little girl of a close friend is brutally murdered, she finds herself embroiled in a case not only as an interpreter but as a target.

This is the first book written by Nell and it’s an extremely interesting and strong debut. Atmospheric from the first page, it tells the story of a close community united in grief. As the story is primarily seen through the narrative of the deaf characters and their signing and it really does make for interesting reading, reading about life in the deaf community.

As Paige begins to investigate the case along with her little sister, they find themselves the target of unwanted attention. I found it fascinating reading about life in the deaf community and really found it to be an addictive story.

Cleverly plotted with an intriguing hook, ‘The Silent House’ is a fascinating story they really gripped my attention. Riddled with drama, suspense and unreliable and dislikable characters, this book is a unique and unsettling story that made for eerie and addictive reading.

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

The Killer Next Door By Alex Marwood

The Killer Next DoorI read Alex’s first book ‘The Wicked Girls’ last year and I loved it, so much so that I bought a copy of it for the good friend who also thought it was a great thriller, so when I heard of her book ‘The Killer Next Book’ I jumped at the chance to review it.

In a gloomy bedsit-riddled South London wreck, lorded over by a lecherous landlord, a horrifying collection quietly waits to be discovered. Yet all six residents have something to hide. Collette is on the run from her ex-boss, Cher is an underage children’s home escapee; lonely Thomas tries to make friends with his neighbours; while a gorgeous Iranian asylum seeker and a ‘quiet man’ nobody sees to try keep themselves hidden. And there for them for all is Vesta, a woman, who knows everything that goes in on the house or she thought she did. Then in the dead of night, a terrible accident pushes them into an uneasy alliance, but one of them is a killer expertly hiding their pastime, all the while closing in on their next victim.

The story is set in a grotty and miserable bedsit where six strangers live together all unhappy with their lives and all of them harbouring secrets and running from the pasts. Collette is running for her life after seeing her boss commit a terrible crime, she goes on the run never staying long in the same place but after hearing that her mother is unwell reluctantly returns to spend some time with her. Vesta lives in the basement flat, a kindhearted elderly woman who dwells on the life that she could have had. Cher is a bolshy outspoken young woman, who has lived a hard life, Hossein has escaped from Iran after his wife tragically disappeared and Thomas is eager to make friends with his new neighbours. It is on one night that the housemates get embroiled in an unfortunate accident and find themselves forming an unlikely friendship.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I thought the story was an addictive and gripping thriller that had me guessing. I particularly loved the character called ‘The Lover’ who played the killer in the book, as he was a deeply troubled character and anonymous, I was constantly looking out for the clues to reveal the identity of the killer and found myself suspecting at least three people at the one time. The only thing that I didn’t like, was the identity of ‘The Lover’ was suddenly exposed to the reader at an earlier stage as I enjoy the “who done it” concept of a good thriller, I was disappointed that it was a revealed and the story was no longer a guessing game. But the story continued to grab my attention throughout, as more twists and turns continued along the way.

‘The Killer Next Door’ is a cleverly written and complex story, that is seen through the perspectives of the troubled and complex characters plus their killer, which makes for interesting reading as they deal with their issues and find themselves forging an unlikely friendship from a young 15 year old to the elderly Vesta unaware that amongst them is a murderer. The content of the story is extremely dark, incredibly graphic and gruesome in places that does makes for unsettling reading and that did even put me of my food for the time that I was reading, and did make me think that maybe the book should come with a warning as it is very disturbing in parts.

A haunting and thrilling read that will have you gripped throughout, ‘The Killer Next Door’ is a thought-provoking book, that will play on your mind and stay with you for days and will have you looking at your neighbours in a different light!

You can buy the ebook of The Killer Next Door from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 19th June 2014.