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Magpie By Sophie Draper

Magpie‘Magpie’ is the latest book by Sophie Draper.

Claire lives with her family in a beautiful house overlooking the water. But she feels as if she’s married to a stranger – one who is leading a double life. As soon as she can get their son Joe away from him, she’s determined to leave Duncan. But finding out the truth about Duncan’s secret life leads to consequences Claire never planned for. Now Joe is missing, and she’s struggling to piece together the events of the night that tore them all apart. Alone in an isolated cottage, hiding from Duncan, Claire tries to unravel the lies they’ve told each other, and themselves. Something happened to her family … But can she face the truth?

A dark and bleak story, ‘Magpie’ follows the story of Claire and Duncan before and after the break down of their marriage as well as the disappearance of their teenage son. Seen from the narrative of both people as they deal with the sudden changes to their lives and repercussions that they embark on. To the outside world, they are a happy couple. Duncan’s vetinary business is thriving and Claire plays the role of the stay at home doting wife, even though she longs more from life. She is miserable in her marriage and makes plans to leave Duncan, but it seems that when she escaped the unhappy marriage, she was still no happier in life, particularly when her son disappears.

There’s an interesting mix of characters from the bullyish Duncan who is abrupt and short with humans, but with animals, he’s kind and gentle. He’s nasty towards Claire and makes her feel worthless and insignificant which is difficult to read at times. Claire, was once a confident and happy woman but now questions everything around her and puts her son’s safety and happiness before hers at all times. Joe is also an complex character, althought not diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, he shows symptoms of the illness particularly his obsession with going out with his metal detector.

At the forefront of the story is the breakdown of a marriage, a son’s disappearance as well as a discovery of secrets and lies that made for interesting reading. The story is written cleverly in past and present tense and this was interesting twist that really pulled the reader in. Atmospheric, suspenseful and filled with drama, ‘Magpie’ was a vividly written story that captivates the reader from the first page.

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

Woman In The Water By Katerina Diamond

Woman In The Water‘Woman In The Water’ is the latest book by Katerina Diamond.

When a woman’s body is found submerged in icy water, police are shocked to find she is alive. But she won’t disclose her name, or what happened to her – even when a second body is discovered. And then she disappears from her hospital bed. Detectives Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey follow their only lead to the home of the Corrigans, looking for answers. But the more they dig into the couple’s lives, the less they understand about them. What’s their connection to the body in the river? Why have other people they know been hurt, or vanished?

Woman In The Water’ sees the return of crime fighting duo DS Adrian Miles and DS Imogen Grey.

The story starts with Adrian discovering a young woman in the water, presumed dead until he saves her. When she regains her consciousness, she remembers nothing but suddenly one day, she disappears. Adrian finds himself obsessing with the woman and case, as a child he witnessed domestic abuse and finds himself consumed with finding her and keeping her safe. But as Adrian and Imogen investigate the case, Adrian delves into dark places that impact him in the worst possible way.

Katerina’s books have always been very dark and gory, bringing the reader to the dark side of human nature but in this book, it’s not just gruesome, but also unsettling as one of the main characters has to go through a terrible ordeal. She handles the story with care and sensitivity but also includes the harrowing police procedure and the aftermath that the victim has to endure.

Again Katerina has delivered a story with twists and turns that really pull the reader in. With unreliable characters, suspicious people and the complex relationship between the investigating duo as thru embark on new territory.

Although ‘Woman In The Water’ is the latest book in Katerina’s series, I found it to have an extremely different slant to her previous books. Even though it included the crime duo that we love, the usual gore and suspense that kept us on our toes this book included a topic that is seen rarely reported due to the shame and the absolute terror of it but Katerina brought it forward in her writing which was commendable.

Written with care and precision, this book tackles issues of abuse on many levels and makes for heartbreaking and gripping reading. Extremely unsettling in parts, ‘Woman In The Water’ is a fantastic new book from Katerina Diamond, filled with twists and turns that shocked you to the gore, this book stays with you long after you reach the final page and if anything may give people the courage to speak up if they were in similar circumstances.

You can pre-order ‘Woman In The Water’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 9th January 2020.

The Perfect Widow By AM Castle

The Perfect Widow‘The Perfect Widow’ is the latest book by AM Castle.

A loving husband, Patrick. Two adorable children. A comfortable home. So when PC Becca Holt arrives to break the news that Patrick has been killed in an accident, she thinks Louise’s perfect world is about to collapse around her. But Louise doesn’t react in the way Becca would expect her to on hearing of her husband’s death. And there are only three plates set out for dinner, as if Louise already knew Patrick wouldn’t be home that night… The more Becca digs, the more secrets she uncovers in the Bridges’ marriage – and the more she wonders just how far Louise would go to get what she wants…

This is first book that I’ve read by AM Castle and it’s a well plotted and cleverly written story that really keeps the reader on their toes.

The story is seen through the narrative of Louise Bridges, a woman who has received the tragic news that he husband has been killed in a car accident, as well as the police officer Becca, who delivered the news to Louise and seems to believe that there is more to Louise than meets the eye.

Written in the past and present tense, we meet Louise, a determined young woman who fell for her boss Patrick and finally managed to get the life that she always dreamed off, stability, money and a family having grown up in an abusive home. But one day, she discovers that the life that the life that she had worked hard for, is about to be taken away and will do all that she can to protect herself and her two children. Whilst Becca, is convinced that Louise knows about her husband’s death than she let’s on and finds herself going above her pay grade to find out. She’s an obsessive and also determined woman to find out all she can about Louise.

As a fan of psychological thrillers, this book is definitely up there. The characters are interesting and relatable with the charismatic husband, who women flock over and Louise, who I felt such a strong empathy for. She’s complex and quite awkward at times, wanting to be accepted and to fit in and this all stems back to her troubled childhood. I liked Becca, she’s a bit of an underdog to the story, she’s not respected by her peers, she’s determined to prove her gut instinct is right, even when more senior officials say that she is wrong.

With an excellent storyline and insight into the complexity of human nature, ‘The Perfect Widow’ is a well crafted and plotted story, with twists, suspense and unreliable characters that keeps the reader on their toes, I look forward to more books by AM Castle.

You can buy ‘The Perfect Widow’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 23rd January 2020.

Safe House By Jo Jakeman

Safe House‘Safe House’ is the latest book by Jo Jakeman.

The morning after a terrible storm, a woman turns up in a remote Cornish village. She calls herself Charlie, but it’s a name she’s only had for a few days. She keeps herself to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. Because Charlie has a secret. Charlie was in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. But Lee Fisher wasn’t a murderer to her; he was the man she loved. Convinced of his innocence, Charlie said she was with him the night a young woman was killed. This sacrifice cost her everything. And now she has a chance to start again. But someone is watching her, waiting for her, wondering if she’s really paid the price for what she did.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Jake and i really found it to be an engaging and atmospheric story from the outset.

The story is written in the past and present and is seen from the perspective of two women who have a lot in common. Charlie Miller has arrived in a small village in Cornwall looking forward to starting a new life. She’s a quiet young woman, with not much money and has moved into a house that needs a lot of work but not much money, she finds herself doing odd jobs about the town. Whilst settling into her home, she becomes friends with her neighbours but can’t help but feel that she is being watched. The past tense is seen from the perspective of Steffi Finn, a young woman in prison after providing an alibi for her boyfriend. Even though she knew nothing of actions, she trusted him and couldn’t believe that he would do what he was being accused off and finds herself behind bars and reflecting on the life that she has led and where it all went wrong.

The story flows a fast paced and the different perspectives give an interesting slant to the story as the women are both at a fork in their lives. Whilst Charlie is settling into her new life and putting her past behind her, there’s someone close by who’s watching her and not willing to let her move on. The story includes a narrative of someone watching Charlie and I particularly liked this part as I found myself trying to piece together who they were from what they said and with every new character introduced, I was guessing if they were the suspect.

I liked both characters Charlie and Steffi, they’re interesting women who are hoping to put their lives right, they’re quiet but as the story progresses they become stronger and more self assured.

A cleverly written tale, riddled with drama, suspicious characters and twists throughout, ‘Safe House’ is a compelling story about new beginnings, starting over and will have the reader gripped throughout.

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

Traces of Her By Amanda Brittany

Traces of Hern‘Traces of Her’ is the latest book by Amanda Brittany.

When Rose’s flighty stepsister Willow disappears to Cornwall, she can’t help but roll her eyes. Willow is always taking off and there is always some kind of emergency. But after Willow discovers that she was adopted and her birth mother died in tragic circumstances, her trip to the coast sparks a search into her past. Two days later, when a package arrives at Rose’s house containing a series of four polaroids of four different men, Rose knows that Willow is in trouble. Each photograph a possible murder suspect, their family life begins to unravel, leaving one crucial question unanswered. Who killed Willow’s mother?

This is the first book that I’ve read by Amanda Brittany and I have to say that I loved every second of it. It’s gripping, thrilling and pulls the reader in right from the first page.

The story is written in the past and present tense. The present being when Rose gets a phone call from her adopted sister asking her to visit her as she’s convinced she has found out who killed her own when she was a child. Rose then drops everything to be with Willow but finds herself in a dangerous situation when she received whispered threats and letters saying “Leave”. Plus Willow, has suddenly disappeared. As Rose delves into her sister’s life, Rose finds herself and her daughter unwrapping some dangerous information.

The past sequences are leading up to the death of Willow’s mother called Ava and this is a great side to the story as it really sets up the premise to the book and introduces a lot of characters that are suspicious and unreliable throughout the sequence of events.

Fast paced with clever dialogue and narratives and unreliable characters that really keeps the reader engaged and on their toes, ‘Traces Of Her’ is a fantastic psychological thriller. Filled with drama, tension and suspense throughout, this book was the perfect introduction to a new author.

You can pre-order ‘Traces Of Her’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 25th October 2019.