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Hypnotic By Sherry Hostler

Hypnotic‘Hypnotic’ is the latest book by Sherry Hostler.

Trying to outrun his past and save his marriage, Tom is unwittingly drawn into a university experiment which has a hidden objective. Can you hypnotise someone to commit murder? The experiment is led by the obsessive Bethany, who harbours a secret she will do anything to keep safe. The more involved Tom becomes in the experiment, the more he risks everything he holds dear. But is it too late to turn back?

‘Hypnotic’ is seen from the narrative of university student Bethany and an older man called Tom. They are both at a turning point in their lives, both recovering from terrible circumstances and are dealing with their problems in their own ways. Tom finds solace in drink much to the upset of his wife Gemma and even though, he knows it’s tearing the couple apart, he can’t stop. Bethany attends counselling sessions with a woman called Leigh, who’s helping her channel her emotions in a positive way and even helps with a university assignment that leads Bethany to meet Tom. Along with her student friend Jordan, they are going to hypnotise someone to see if under hypnotism could cause someone to commit a murder. When Tom sees an advert for a group to help with sleeping disruption, Gemma urges him to attend as this might help them. As Tom works with Bethany and Jordan and the hypnotism, they all have ulterior motives for attending the group.

I really enjoyed this story, the dual narratives gave an interesting insight into the complicated characters and I found myself racing through the pages, solely so I could find out the source of their issues. The hypnotism parts made for fascinating reading and it’s obvious that the author has a genuine interest in the topic due to the sheer amount of detail and research that has been put into the story.

Of the two characters, I have to say Tom was my favourite, it was hard not to feel sympathy for him as he continuously pushed the self destruct button on his life and relationship and it made for hard reading at times, as he struggled.

A cleverly written novel about obsession, deceit and recovery, ‘Hypnotic’ is an intense and addictive story.

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

The Party House By Lin Anderson

The Party House‘The Party House’ is the latest book by Lin Anderson.

The village of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands was shocked when seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago. While a recent pandemic has stirred up old tensions and sparked an animosity in the small community towards outsiders. Angry that the local estate is to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists results in an angry mob causing damage to the property’s hot tub, only to unearth the buried body of the missing girl in its foundations. The discovery ignites old suspicions among the villagers, especially the men, who’d known Ailsa. Men like Greg, who has invited Joanne to stay with him having met her on a recent business trip in London. When questioned about the girl, he angrily refuses to discuss the case. Joanne, disturbed by his reaction, questions how well she knows this new man in her life. Then again, he’s not the only one with secrets in their volatile relationship. When a police team arrives to excavate the remains, they find a close-knit community who would prefer the past to stay buried.

The first book that I’ve read by Scottish author and this story set just after the pandemic makes for additive and intense reading.

The story is seen though the perspective of Greg and Joanne. New lovers, Joanne decides to visit the small village that Greg lives in, just as a body of a young woman is found in the estate that Greg is the groundskeeper of which has come to to be known as ‘The Party House’ As the small village recovers from the pandemic and reopens to the swarm of police, media and tourists. They are still reeling from the deaths during the pandemic when they were safe but out of towners brought the virus in so they are distrust and are wary of newcomers.

Joanne has come to the village under the guise of a writer but really she’s writing an article about the girl who disappeared five years ago only to be found dead and Greg is trying to keep his head together as the guests from five years when the woman went missing. As history and secrets are revealed, both Joanne and Greg find themselves discovering and hiding lies, all whilst ruining from their past.

This story is a suspenseful one, set in a small claustrophobic village where everyone knows everyone’s business and tourists are not welcome. The story is cleverly crafted, riddled with drama, it’s also packed with Scottish history and culture that was really insightful. Joanne and Greg are interesting couple, the chemistry between them is obvious and makes for thrilling as they get to know each other and deal with with small village drama and dynamics.

A story of mystery, secrets and suspense, ‘The Party House’ is a compelling Scottish thriller.
You can buy ‘The Party House’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

From The Ashes By Deborah Masson

From The Ashes‘From The Ashes’ is the third book in the ‘DI Eve Hunter’ series by Deborah Masson.

In the dead of night someone starts a fire in a home for underprivileged children in Aberdeen. The flames spread quickly, and one person doesn’t make it out alive. But the victim wasn’t found in their bedroom; they were discovered locked inside a secret basement underground. As DI Eve Hunter and her team search the blackened ruins, the case takes them into even darker territory. Soon Eve unearths a horrific discovery at the heart of the property – one that turns the whole investigation on its head. Everyone in this home has something to hide, but who has a secret worth killing for?

Although this book is the third book in a series, it’s actually the first one that I’ve read and if you’re a fan of police procedural books then the ‘DI Eve Hunter’ series is for you.

The story is about a fire that takes place at a children’s home and one little boy tragically dies. Whilst investigating this case, DI Eve Hunter’s partner DI Scott Ferguson sees an accident with a homeless teenage boy that’s left him in a coma and is determined to find out his identity.

This story is a terribly sad one, about a place where children are offered sanctuary and a second chance only for it to be cruelly taken away. And as DI Hunter delves into the dark and grisly history of the home, they discover murky secrets that were never wanted to be found. As well as the current investigation around the fire, the accident, there is also the inclusion of a back story about previous residents in the home and this is quite interesting reading as it’s seen from the perspective of an unknown person.

Set against the bleak and poverty stricken backdrop of Scotland, Deborah has written a taunt, police procedural novel that really tugs on the reader’s heartstrings, the death of a child, children without a home and this cleverly crafted plot line makes for gripping reading with regular twists along the way that hooks your attention.

Packed with tension, suspense and an underlying sadness throughout, ‘From The Ashes’ is a pacy thriller and great introduction to a new crime series.

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

The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday By Cressida McLaughlin

The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday‘The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday’ is the latest book by Cressida McLaughlin in the ‘Cornish Cream Tea’ series.

Thea Rushwood was looking forward to exploring the beautiful Cornish tourist spot of Port Karadow, but when her friend drops out at the last minute, she is forced to go solo. Arriving at her cosy holiday cottage to discover a building site next door, Thea and the annoyingly attractive, but grumpy builder, Ben, don’t get off to the best start. Thea starts to wonder if her perfect escape wasn’t meant to be. That’s before she realizes there is more to Ben – and to the community – than she first thought. As a magical Cornish summer stretches out in front of her, Thea discovers this is one holiday that she never wants to end.

Cressida is back with another lovely story set amongst the Cornish community with a welcome return to some of her lovely characters as well as an introduction to Thea, an aspiring bookshop owner.

Thea was meant to be having the holiday of a lifetime with her best friend, Esme. Three weeks in a Cornish cottage with a bucket list of fun things to do. Unfortunately, work prevents Esme from coming along but Thea decides to still go along and enjoy the scenery as well as research a childhood dream of opening her own bookshop. But when she meets Ben, who’s initially a grumpy man, he ends up being her tour guide and with a combination of an adorable dog called Scooter, his exquisite culinary skills and his own charm Thea finds herself falling for him and finding another reason to the move to the coastal town.

This is another delightful story from the Cornish author, set amongst the stunning scenery of Cornwall, packed with heartwarming characters and a lovely plot that flows like a Cornish beach.

I loved Thea, she’s kind with a heart of gold and a massive book lover like myself. She’s brave and determined and even when her dreams are belittled, it gives her more of a drive to continue. The story has some lovely characters, like Sylvia, the eccentric old lady that shouts down from her tower at passerbys, she’s sharp and witty and scenes with make for entertaining reading and occasionally tender as she shows a vulnerable side. It’s warming to see Thea fit into her new life and settle in with the community whilst making friends and her budding relationship with Ben is really lovely reading, as they get to know each other bring out the fun side in each other.

Heartwarming, charming and packed with fun and aspiration, ‘The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday’ a journey of self-discovery and following your dreams which was the perfect seaside book to curl up with.

You can buy ‘The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Slow Lane Walkers Club By Rosa Temple

The Slow Lane Walkers Club‘The Slow Lane Walkers Club’ is the latest book by Rosa Temple.

Daniel isn’t used to living life in the slow lane. So when he finds himself unexpectedly jobless and back in his old Cornish hometown, he can’t sit still. Hazel used to be adventurous too. But now widowed and in her eighties, she barely leaves the house. When she sees an advert for Daniel’s new walking club, she grabs at the chance of some excitement. Daniel’s heart sinks when he sees that the only person who’s turned up for his walking club is the crazy old lady from two doors down. But what he doesn’t expect is to discover that Hazel is one of the most fascinating people he’s ever met.

If you like stories that flow at a slow pace but keep you attention throughout, then this lovely story of friendship is just for you.

Daniel has left the sunny scapes of Sicily for the blustery beach of Cornwall as he helps his sister sort out the family home. Whilst he does this he sets up a walking club and in doing this forms a new friendship with Hazel, a sweet elderly woman who fascinates Daniel with her knowledge of his family.

This is a genuinely lovely story to get caught up in, a story of friendship, bond and rediscovery. Daniel is a lovely character, he’s kind and trying to start a new life and leave his old life and relationships behind. His new friendship with Hazel makes for really sweet reading, she’s sweet, eccentric and her stories make for really interesting reading.

‘The Slow Lane Walkers Club’ is a tender story about unlikely friendships that made for heartwarming and uplifting reading.

You can buy ‘The Slow Lane Walkers Club’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.