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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.

Watching You By Lisa Jewell

Watching You‘Watching You’ is the latest book by ‘Sunday Times’ bestselling author, Lisa Jewell.

You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow. You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room. That’s when you meet the man next door. He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him. All the time. But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession. Or that someone is watching you.

With a title called ‘Watching You’, I knew the latest book from Lisa Jewell would be a dark read, but nothing quite prepared me for the sinister twist to the tale that chilled me on the final page.

The story is primarily through the eyes of Joey, Jenna and Freddie, all people who keep a close eye on their community. Joey has recently moved back home from Ibiza with a new husband in tow. She’s trying to settle down to the quieter pace of life, but finds herself distracted from the handsome headteacher who has just moved into the area and has turned the heads off quite a few people. Jenna lives alone with her single mother who’s convinced someone is watching her. Jenna has to be adult of the family and deal with her mother’s paranoia, as well as look out for her best friend who has developed a crush on the new headteacher whilst Freddie, the son of the new principal, enjoys nothing more than observing and recording world around them. He knows a different side to his father and is tired of seeing people in awe of this supposedly charismatic man.

Since ‘The Third Wife’, I have found that Lisa’s books get considerably darker and I thought ‘Then She Was Gone’ was dark but then I read this and thought, wow this is twisted.

The story starts at the present moment, when a body is found and sets the scene perfectly as it backtracks through the narrative of the three main characters all with different perceptives of the situation and the people involved.

The different perspectives are a clever addition to the tale and give an interesting slant to story, keeping the reader on their toes. For me, I found the characters to be suspicious and regularly found them to be quite untrustworthy at times and this really keeps the reader absorbed as secrets and situations are revealed.

I was so fortunate that I had a day off work so I could absorb myself in this book as it really did need my undivided attention. A taunt thriller filled with paranoia, suspense and plenty of untrustworthy characters, ‘Watching You’ is a claustrophobic and dark story that will have you looking at your neighbours in a new light. Like a fine wine ageing, Lisa just gets better and better with each book.

You can buy Watching You from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

You Were Made For This By Michelle Sacks

You Were Made For This ‘You Were Made For This’ is Michelle Sacks’ debut novel.

Doting wife, devoted husband, cherished child. Merry, Sam and Conor are the perfect family in the perfect place. Merry adores baking, gardening, and caring for her infant son, while Sam pursues a new career in film. In their idyllic house in the Swedish woods, they can hardly believe how lucky they are. What perfect new lives they’ve built for themselves, away from New York and the events that overshadowed their happiness there. And then Merry’s closest friend Frank comes to stay. All their lives, the two women have been more like sisters than best friends. And that’s why Frank sees things that others might miss. Treacherous things that unfold behind closed doors. But soon it’s clear that everyone inside the house has something to hide. And as the truth begins to show through the cracks, Merry, Frank, and Sam grow all the more desperate to keep their picture-perfect lives intact.

When Merry and her husband Sam up stick from New York to Sweden, to the house that his deceased aunt left him. He thinks, it’s the perfect start for them with their new baby Connor, whilst Sam chases the dream of becoming a film director, Merry is left at home with the baby. Whilst Sam is away, Merry struggles with being a mother and pretending that she’s the perfect stepford wife, so when her best friend Frank plans to visit, she jumps at the chance for company.

Frank and Merry have a strange relationship. Their best friends but constantly are trying to outdo one another. When Frank visits, she’s surprised at how adept Merry has adjusted to her new life in the middle of no-where, but also finds herself jealous of Merry’s life and wants it for herself. Whilst Merry is trying to hide her struggles of parenthood as well as hide her mistrust of Frank as she settles into her role as Aunt Frank.

The story is written through the eyes of Merry, Sam and Frank and gives an insight into all of the characters and how all of them are hiding something and they’re not quite as perfect as we are all lead each other to believe. They are all unsettling in their own ways, Sam’s viewpoint of women and the relationship between Frank and Merry is toxic. Having been friends for 30 years, they know each other’s ticks and pretend to be best friends, but really they prefer to tear each other down, particularly Merry, who’s not as sweet and wholesome as she pretends.

The story is set in the wilderness of Sweden and this adds a lonely atmospheric touch to the story, as Merry spends most of her time alone until Frank turns up.

‘You Were Made For This’ is an exploration of motherhood and friendships, a story of lies and obsession, this story is deeply unsettling throughout. With believable characters and narrative, this psychological thriller about damaged characters and lives makes for brutal reading

You can buy You Were Made for This from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.