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Simon Says Die By Erika Strauss

Simon Says Die‘Simon Says Die’ is the latest book by Erika Strauss.

For the last 10 years, Angela Thompson has been living a nightmare. While motherhood was never her goal, she has tried everything to connect with her son, Max. It was supposed to be two of them against the world until Max’s behavior grew increasingly disturbing. The missing items, lost pets, and strange drawings she could handle, but now, the murder of little Tommy Marshall has the entire town of Oregon, Ohio on edge. Beaten with a large rock and left to die in the woods, the police search frantically for a sadistic child killer. Unfortunately, all of the evidence points to Angela as she begins to doubt everything and everyone around her. She swears that she would never hurt a child, but have her troubled son and loneliness pushed her too far? Her gut tells her that Max is involved, but authorities find it hard to believe that a 10-year-old boy could pull off the perfect murder and put his mother on death row. In fact, nobody believes her! But they don’t know Max like she does. They don’t know how sick and depraved her angelic little boy can be. Unfortunately, everyone is about to find out the hard way.

To be honest, I’m glad this book was only 200 pages long because the unsettling creepiness of Max was a lot to take in.

The story is seen through the narrative of mother and son, Angela and Max. Max is strange boy who thrives on causing pain to others particularly others and when a little boy is found dead, Angela knows her son did it and planted her DNA at the scene. Even though she denies any involvement, no one believes her and she finds herself on death row.

There’s something really unsettling about creepy children and the author has created such a creepy child that I raced through the book just to finish it!

It’s sad in parts as Angela tries to warm to her only son but is unable to love him due to his behaviour, she feels like a failure. Max is a strange boy, he lacks empathy and thrives on causing pain to others and his lack of remorse is shocking at times. The dual narrative also gives an interesting insight into the story.

Dark, twisted and disturbing, ‘Simon Says Die’ is a fascinating insight into a far from normal mother/son relationship that made for incredibly uncomfortable reading.

You can buy ‘Simon Says Die’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Shake It Up Beverley By Suzan Holder

Shake It Up Beverley‘Shake It Up Beverley’ is the latest book by Suzan Holder.

Beverley Wilson has always loved the Beatles but kissing a poster goodnight isn’t really an option when you’re a fifty-something mum of three. So when she decides it’s time to get back into the dating game, she turns to a dating agency for help. But the long and winding road to real love is littered with dating disasters – the pantyhose pervert being the real low point and in Bev’s opinon it’s all too much. But meeting fellow Beatles fan Scott Smith changes everything…

If you love aspirational and upbeat stories about love and new beginnings, then love me do, this book’s for you!

Beverly is a Beatles fanatic living in Paul McCartney’s childhood home, she collects memorabilia and has whole shrines dedicated to the quartet. After years of being alone, she decides to find love and after some hilarious and disastrous first dates, she meets Scott who also shares her love of music and the Beatles. Thinking that she’s found the one, she’s heartbroken when she finds out that he’s far from perfect and become a viral sensation when her broken heart is exposed.

I loved this story, it’s fun, warm and packed with nostalgia for times gone by. Beverley is a lovely character, she’s kind, wears her heart on her sleeve and can easily be fooled by people. It’s lovely when she meets Scott but it is quite sad to read that he’s a scoundrel that breaks her heart. In the short time that the book takes place, a lot happens to the Liverpudlian lass not just her heartbreak but also her own family.

I also loved the facts about the Beatles that the book is filled with, it was absolutely fascinating in parts. Other characters in the story also made for interesting reading, Julia, Beverley’s vibrant friend and Leon the handsome police man who’s always around to rescue Beverley.

Fun from the beginning and packed with charm, ‘Shake It Up Beverley’ is a wittily written coming of age story about finding love and starting over.

You can buy ‘Shake It Up Beverley’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Cruise By Catherine Cooper

The Cruise‘The Cruise’ is the latest book by Catherine Cooper.

What the back cover says –

During a New Year’s Eve party on a large, luxurious cruise ship in the Caribbean, the ship’s dancer, Lola, goes missing. Everyone on board has something to hide. Two weeks later, the ship is o ut of service, laid up far from land with no more than a skeleton crew on board. And then more people start disappearing. No one is safe. Why are the crew being harmed? Who is responsible? And who will be next?

I read Catherine’s debut called ‘The Chalet’ in one sitting and I’m sure ‘The Cruise’ will be just as gripping!

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

Dragonfly Summer By J.H Moncrieff

Dragonfly Summer‘Dragonfly Summer’ is the latest book by J.H Moncrieff.

What the back cover says –

Jo Carter never thought she’d return to Clear Springs, Minnesota. But when the former journalist receives a cryptic note about the disappearance of her friend Sam twenty years before, she’s compelled to find out what really happened. During her investigation, she learns another high school friend has died in a mysterious accident. Nothing is as it seems, and Jo must probe Clear Springs’ darkest corners and her own painful and unreliable memories to discover the truth – and save herself from the killer who could still be on the hunt.

Deliciously twisty and suspenseful from the first minute to the last, ‘Dragonfly Summer’ proves that no small town’s secrets can stay buried for good.

Perfect next for fans of Wendy Walker and Shari Lapena, ‘Dragonfly Summer’ is a gripping thriller that asks: What happens when the past comes back to haunt you?

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

With Dust Shall Cover By Paul O‘Neill

With Dust Shall Cover‘With Dust Shall Cover’ is the latest collection of short stories by Paul O’Neill.

With the Halloween season in full swing, when better to delve into the dark world of ‘With Dust Shall’? But I must warn you, do not read before bedtime or you shall look forward to an unsettled sleep. I’m still trying to catch up on my missed sleep!

There are 14 chilling stories featuring a host of mind blowing scariness with faces on ceilings, bands that can create music that will make their listeners kill, or a man who is made from bandages. As I delved further into the book, I discovered that the stories begin lighter and become more unsettling, like the author is teasing the reader with easier stories for them only to get darker as you got further in.

The stories are all set in Scotland and with the descriptive backgrounds, characters and the colloquialisms make the stories incredibly believable and sinister.

Taunt and chilling, ‘With Dust Shall Cover’, is an incredibly dark collection of stories that explore haunted worlds and possessed people with endings that will have you sleeping with the lights on!

You can buy ‘With Dust Shall Cover’ from Amazon and other good bookshops.