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Book News – Jane Fallon Releases New Book Called Just Got Real

Just Got RealQueen of the revenge story, Jane Fallon is back with another deliciously wicked story called ‘Just Got Real’.

What the back cover says –

When happily divorced Joni is reluctantly talked into joining a dating app, she is surprised to quickly hit it off with Ant. Phone calls and texts soon evolve into a plan to meet up. Which is a problem, as Joni’s profile picture is of someone else.

Joni daren’t confess her lie. Yet unable to stop thinking about what might have been, she hatches a plan to ‘meet’ Ant in real life without revealing who she really is.

Once she and Ant are an item, however, it’s soon clear that the only thing Ant was honest about was his profile picture. He’s still online dating. And intimately texting other women.

So Joni contacts them: they need to know. And once they’re comparing notes on Ant, upset turns to thoughts of revenge.

But how do you get your own back on a truly heartless man?

You can pre-order ‘Just Got Real’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 23rd June 2022.

Don’t Let Him In By Howard Linskey

Don't Let Him In‘Don’t Let Him In’ is the latest book by Howard Linskey.

Eriston is a small town. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows your name – and your secrets. Rebecca hasn’t been back in years, but she grew up in the shadow of the dark local legend. There have always been deaths in Eriston – more than can easily be explained. People dying in their houses, behind locked doors. Her father Sean had always warned her of the dangers. Don’t let him in. When Rebecca returns, she discovers that her father wasn’t willing to let the legend lie. He was on the verge of uncovering the town’s darkest truth. He thought he was on the trail of a killer. Sean knew too much. Now he’s dead.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Howard and it was a fantastic introduction to a new author.

Written from the perspective of Rebecca Cole, she returns home after the sudden death of her father. What was suspected to be natural causes, Rebecca thinks otherwise when it’s revealed that her father was writing a story about ‘The Chameleon’, a man that has terrorised the small seaside town for years, killing women and their disappearances. A journalist like her father, Rebecca decides to carry on his story and help solve the mystery unaware that she’s being watched and that her life is now on a countdown.

This is a classic psychological thriller, that I immediately sank into. Rebecca is a great character, she’s a strong woman who refuses to become a statistic and won’t stop until she discovers the truth. It’s interesting to see her return to her home town and reignite old friendships and relationships.

The story is quite vividly written and Howard portrays the seaside town with the desolate lighthouse wonderfully and it’s so atmospheric and eerie. The story is packed with characters, some incredibly unlikable like the DC Hall, who’s less honourable in his job and Connor Owen who’s keen to buy Rebecca’s family home for developments. One character who’s particularly fascinating is DI Green, who’s been obsessing with the cases for years and wants to work with Rebecca on the information that he’s found. He’s interesting in the respect that his colleagues don’t like him and find his behaviour strange.

I really enjoyed this book and the pace that it flowed at, the chapters are short and engaging and there’s continuous twists and reveals that really hooked my attention. Howard has also included short narratives from ‘The Chameleon’ and I found myself really studying these parts looking for clues and comparing them against the characters in the book. It also shone a light in police procedures and how corrupt it can be when someone vulnerable can easily become the scapegoat for a crime purely based on convenience and not actual evidence.

A suspenseful and eerie story that will have you double-checking the locks before going to bed, ‘Don’t Let Him In’ is the perfect psychological thriller to get lost in.

You can buy ‘Don’t Let Him In’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Lost Property By Helen Paris

Lost Property‘Lost Property’ is the latest book by Helen Paris.

Twelve years ago her life veered off course, and the guilt over what happened still haunts her. Before then she was living in Paris, forging an exciting career; now her time is spent visiting her mother’s care home, fielding interfering calls from her sister and working at the London Transport Lost Property office, diligently cataloguing items as misplaced as herself. But when elderly Mr Appleby arrives in search of his late wife’s purse, his grief stirs something in Dot. Determined to help, she sets off on a mission – one that could start to heal Dot’s own loss and let her find where she belongs once more…

If you’re looking for a book that will tug at your heartstrings, then I wholeheartedly recommend this book. A story of discovery and friendship that made for emotional and reactive reading.

The story is seen through the narrative of Dot, who works in the Lost and Found and her sole goal is to reunite people with their lost goods. But when an elderly man loses his hold-all containing the purse of his beloved wife, Dot is determined to get it back to him, Dot is just as lost in real life, with her mother in a nursing home battling dementia, her father tragically died and he was the person that Dot really connected with. Her elder sister Philippa was a typical girl and was her mother’s favourite, whilst Dot loved her father and their adventures together.

Dot is a wonderful character, she’s kind with a big heart who doesn’t like change and when her sister wants to sell the ofamily home, she’s against the idea and finds herself trying to run away from reality.

The story is beautifully written and really encapsulates the concept of lost and found. Dot is lost in her life since the sudden death of her father, a man that she idolised and having that major role model in her life has left her in limbo. Her job helps reunite people with things that are genuinely important to them and this makes for tender reading in parts. Her mother is also lost, battling dementia and forgets her daughters and instead lives in the past with her husband and happier times.

A storyline that will stay with you, long after the you reached the final page, ‘Lost Property’ is a poignant and witty debut about reconnection and rediscovering your way in life.

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

Helen Cullen Lockdown Life Interview

Helen CullenHelen Cullen’s debut novel, ‘The Lost Letters of William Woolf’ was published in 2018. Before writing, Helen started her career with Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE (Ireland’s national broadcaster) where she worked in radio broadcasting before moving to London in 2010. She subsequently worked for companies such as the BBC and The Times before her most recent role in Google where she worked before signing her publishing contract. Helen was also shortlisted as Best Newcomer at this year’s Irish Books Awards. Her latest book called ‘The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually’ is out now.

  1. Hi Helen, can you tell us about your latest book called ‘The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually’
    his novel was inspired in part by the Japanese art of kintsugi – the practise of repairing broken pottery with powdered gold, silver, or platinum so that the breakage and repair remain visible to show the history of an object, rather than something to disguise; the pots become even more beautiful than before they were broken.

    The theme of personal truth is a very important one in the novel – and in particular, how personal truths may not always align with what can be considered universally accepted truths. Sometimes it is only with acceptance of that that we can find peace. And sometimes that truth or awareness needs to creep up on us slowly as it would be too blinding if confronted too quickly or head on. My working title as I was writing the book had been Kintsugi as mentioned above but I wanted the title to reference the truth that is at the heart of the novel. The Emily Dickinson line just came back to me one day as I was sitting on the London tube and it just clicked.

  2. How will you be celebrating your publication day?
    Originally we had planned to have a book launch at Daunt Books in London and Dubray Books in Dublin before Covid-19 came along so now instead we will be launching the book with some virtual events instead. I hope it does mean lots of folks can join us who might not have been able to otherwise so that is one silver lining.
  3. With the world being on lockdown, did it effect your reading or writing or were you able to work away?
    Like many people it has been a bit of a rollercoaster and I found myself oscillating between periods of compulsive reading and great productivity and times where I felt I couldn’t concentrate on anything at all. Hopefully I will return to some sort of balance soon.
  4. Did you discover any new authors?
    My journalism work brought some wonderful books my way during this period. I absolutely loved Polly Samson’s ‘A Theatre for Dreamers’ that is set on the island of Hydra during the Leonard Cohen era and ‘Miss Austen’ by Gill Hornby that investigates the life of Jane Austen’s sister Cassandra. I am a huge Jane Austen fan and this is the first Austen adjacent novel that I’ve read that completely won my heart. Elaine Feeney is an amazing debut Irish writer who publishes her novel, ‘As You Were’, on the same date as me and it is a remarkable book – and Elaine is a remarkable woman too.
  5. The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually

  6. How’s life in lockdown did you discover any new skills?
    No new skills per se but I did become quite fond of power-washing the patio.
  7. What’s next for you, any new projects in the pipeline?
    I am working away on my third novel which feels very different to me than the first two which is thrilling and terrifying and I’m also starting a PhD in October at UEA which fills me with the exact same feeling!

    Follow Helen Cullen on Twitter and follow her website

You can buy ‘The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually’ on Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

One White Lie By Leah Konen

One White Lie‘One White Lie’ is Leah Konen’s debut novel.

Imagine you’ve finally escaped the worst relationship of your life, running away with only a suitcase and a black eye. Imagine your new next-door neighbours are the friends you so desperately needed – fun, kind, empathetic, very much in love. Imagine they’re in trouble. That someone is telling lies about them, threatening their livelihoods – and even their lives. Imagine your ex is coming for you. If your new best friends needed you to tell one small lie, and all of these problems would disappear, you’d do it . . . wouldn’t you? It’s only one small lie, until someone turns up dead.

I curled up during the week with this book and within three hours, I had the whole lot consumed.

The story is seen through the narrative of Lucy who has escaped New York to get away from her abusive and controlling boyfriend Davis. She moves to a quiet and small town with only her dog called Dusty for company. It’s there, that she befriends her new neighbours, husband and wife called John and Vera who Lucy confides in about running away and in turn they confide in her. One day, John is murdered and Lucy finds herself caught up in a web of drama and danger.

Fast paced, with unreliable characters and an almighty twist, this book had the makings of a great thriller, that didn’t disappoint at all. Lucy is an interesting character, who’s fled her abusive boyfriend and is trying to make a better life for herself. The story features flashbacks to the abuse, giving the reader an insight to what she was running away from. Vera and John are an interesting couple, even though they have taken Lucy under their wings and have become firm friends, they’re not liked in the town and this makes for gripping reader as the reader is left to wonder what is wrong with the pair to have a town turn against them.

The story flows at a pace that really keeps the reader engaged with clever twists and dialogue that really hooked me in. I found the flashbacks to be particularly interesting as they really set the tone for the story.

For debut, I thought it was a gripping page turner that was addictive from start to finish. With drama and suspense from the first moment that Lucy arrives in the sleepy town to the climatic final page, ‘One White Lie’ is a tense and atmospheric story that has all the elements to make it the perfect psychological thriller.

You can buy ‘One White Lie’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.