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The Stolen Sisters By Louise Jensen

The Stolen Sisters‘The Stolen Sisters’ is the latest book by Louise Jensen and is currently only 99p on the Kindle Store, which is a must buy for fans of the author and fans of tense thrillers.

Leah’s perfect marriage isn’t what it seems but the biggest lie of all is that she’s learned to live with what happened all those years ago.Marie drinks a bit too much to help her forget. And Carly has never forgiven herself for not keeping them safe. Twenty years ago The Sinclair Sisters were taken. But what came after their return was far worse. Can a family ever recover, especially when not everyone is telling the truth?

The story is about the 3 sisters Carly, Leah and Marie Sinclair who one day are kidnapped from their house and spend the next couple of days keep captive in an old military base and were fed crisps and sweets to keep their energy going, before they finally escaped to freedom. Now, it’s the 20th anniversary of their kidnapping and the women are on edge especially when they begin to receive letters counting down to the actual day. The kidnapping received a lot of interest from the media and the girls became a national treasure.

The story is written in the past and present sequences with the past scenes seen through Carly’s perspective and the present scenes are seen through Leah’s narrative. Carly is a typical teenager, desperate to hear from Dean, the boy that she likes and when she doesn’t hear from him, she takes her disappointment on her 8 year old twin sisters Marie and Leah. Snapping and being nasty to them, she makes them out go outside the house to retrieve their lost ball and this is when the kidnapping occurs. But during the kidnapping, she feels terrible for her behaviour and makes it her duty to get them to safety.

20 years after the kidnapping, it’s terribly sad to see how the events have effected the women’s lives. Carly leaves alone with the guilt that she could have prevented it all from happening, if she hadn’t horrible to the girls and looked after them properly. She punishes herself by not letting herself or anyone else get close to her. Leah is married with a little boy but her extreme OCD is ruining her relationship and she’s convinced that every person she sees is the kidnappers even though they are dead and Marie is battling a drink addiction. All 3 women were fun and happy girls and it’s so sad to read the kidnapping ruin their lives.

The story flows between past and present tense in the alternating chapters and this keeps the reader on their toes with this snappy and fast paced thriller. As the days count down to the anniversary and Leah receives more letters, I was gripped by what was going to be revealed on the day and who was behind them. There are so many fractured relationships and characters in the story, that I found myself regularly wondering was it person or was it this person as the story progresses.

One fascinating thing that I learned from reading this book was that Leah suffered from a rare condition called The Fregoli delusion or Fregoli syndrome. A rare disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that different people are in fact a single person who changes appearance or is in disguise and this was why she was convinced that the kidnappers were following her.

A cleverly crafted and twisted tale with drama and deceit riddled throughout, ‘The Stolen Sisters’ is a sad and traumatic tale that made for gripping reading with hook and reveal that left me chilled.

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

The Heatwave By Kate Riordan

The Heatwave‘The Heatwave’ is the latest book by Kate Riordan.

Sylvie hasn’t been back to her crumbling French family home in years. Not since the death of her eldest daughter Elodie. Every corner of the old house feels haunted by memories of her – memories she has tried to forget. But as temperatures rise, and forest fires rage through the French countryside, a long-buried family secret is about to come to light. Because there’s something Sylvie’s been hiding about what really happened to Elodie that summer.

Wow, I started reading this book this morning and each time I was properly hooked, I was interrupted. So, I ended up fleeing to another room and boy was it worth it!

The story is seen through the narrative of Sylvie, who’s returned to France to pack up her family home to sell. The house had a fire in it, but there wasn’t much damage done so Sylvie and her daughter Emma set about getting the house in order. It’s there that we find out that the house doesn’t find have happy memories for Sylvie as she had another daughter called Elodie who was a difficult and troubled daughter. It’s being back in the house, that reminds Sylvie of bad times and even the small village residents don’t like to see Sylvie returned because of Elodie’s behaviour.

The story is set in 2 eras, the 1970s when Elodie was born and 1993 when Sylvie and Emma return to the house.

This book is a great psychological thriller that really pulled me attention in. I loved Sylvie, she’s a kind woman who’s primary concern is Emma, who she refers to as “you” in the story. Elodie is a severely troubled character, who lacks empathy and seems to revel in hurting people, particularly Sylvie and then Emma. Scenes with Elodie do make for upsetting and disturbing as she continually turns on her mother and Sylvie begins to lose faith in their relationship and become fearful of her daughter. Her marriage also suffers, as Elodie is a daddy’s girl with Greg unable to believe that his daughter is as bad as Sylvie maintains.

As the story progresses, I found myself racing through the pages to find out what has become of Elodie and with each short and snappy chapter, there’s a great reveal pulling the reader back in. The book is filled with vivid descriptions of the French town and cuisine and is atmospheric from the first page with the heady backdrop of the sweltering heatwave that’s getting underneath everyone’s skin.

A thrilling story about complicated relationships and a mother’s love, ‘The Heatwave’ is a sultry and complex drama that sizzles with menace and sophistication.

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

An Inconvenient Woman By Stéphanie Buelens

An Inconvenient Woman‘An Inconvenient Woman’ is the latest book by Stéphanie Buelens.

When Claire Fontaine learns that her ex-husband Simon is marrying again, to a woman with a teenage daughter, her blood runs cold. She is sure that years ago Simon molested her own daughter and was responsible for her mysterious death. She can’t let him get away with it a second time. Vandalism, harassment; whatever it takes, Claire will expose him. Simon doesn’t know where Claire got this delusion from; her daughter’s death was ruled a suicide, but she has always blamed herself – is she just lashing out? Wanting to protect his new fiancee, he hires Sloane Wilson, an ex-cop turned ‘sin-eater’, whose job it is to handle delicate cases without getting the police involved, to get Claire off his back.Sloane must navigate the wreckage of Claire and Simon’s marriage to discover the truth. Two people with conflicting stories and a whole lot of reasons to want to hurt each other. Is she crazy or is he manipulative? And can Sloane stay clear-headed enough to figure it out?

Claire Fontaine has never gotten over the death of her teenage daughter and blames her ex husband Simon for her death. Now that Simon has moved on and is getting married again, Claire is determined not to let history repeat itself. As Claire is making Simon’s life miserable, he hires Sloan Wilson, who is a sin eater to stop Claire from ruining his life.

This book is a really interesting concept and I found Sloan Wilson’s job to be quite fascinating. A sin eater, is someone you call to take care of problems and make them go away. A famous sin eater is Mr White from ‘Reservoir Dogs’. But as Sloan delves into Claire’s life and befriends her, she realises that the women have more in common than she would have ever expected with both of them having dominant fathers in their lives.

The characters in this story are fascinating, Claire is a French tutor and through her jobs meets loads of different people of all ages, all wanting to learn French for different reasons. Sloan is also interesting with her career choice, initially a policewoman, she followed in her fathers shoes but she changed her career when the force became corrupt. She’s honest and wants to help Claire, but the more she delves into Claire’s life that she begins to sympathise with her.

The story is quite cultured in parts with the French language as well as Claire love and knowledge with art especially when she starts tutoring an art dealer called Ray. When Claire is with Ray, we see a happier version of a normally stressed and unhappy woman.

This book evoked a lot of emotions in me, there was sadness for a Claire who was grieving for her daughter and is everyday reminded of her loss. But primarily I was angry for the majority of time with the way that women were treated in this book. When Claire fails to reciprocate her feelings for one of her students, he then harasses her, forcing himself upon and turning up at her house, his behaviour towards me riled me, even more so than Simon. Simon is a smarmy character, who has gaslighting down to a tee, one minute charming and immediately using his authority as a lawyer to undermine Claire.

With an unique plot, a gripping hook with flawed characters that kept me engaged throughout. ‘An Inconvenient Woman’ is a cleverly crafted story with strong female characters and suspense that keeps the reader guessing throughout.

You can buy ‘An Inconvenient Woman’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

Charlotte McGee By Annabelle Lewis

Charlotte McGee‘‘Charlotte McGee’ is the first book in the ‘Carrows Family Chronicles’ series of billionaire romance suspense novels.

Beautiful, sensitive Charlotte never fit in her family of American grifters. Determined to make her own way in the world, she sets out for New York City with a new identity, certain no one will discover that she’s a Carrows. Wealthy. Powerful. Elite. With anonymity comes the freedom to love. And to be loved for herself, not her money. She finds that in David Torres, her college boyfriend at NYU. But what will David do once he discovers he’s been dating a Carrows? Nothing good. The heartbreaking devastation that David brings leaves Charlotte estranged from her family and alone. Or so she thinks. With her mother’s help, they set out to right a grievous wrong. Can they repair their broken family? Can they bring David to justice?

I’ve spent my afternoon with my head in this book and it was a really enjoyable story filled to the brim with sass, glamour and revenge.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Charlotte McGee nee Carrows who’s a daughter of one of the most richest family’s in America. But Charlotte is different to her brother Charles and sister Cary, where they are outspoken and mean, she’s soft and quiet and is always the butt of their mean jokes. But when Charlotte goes off to university in New York, she escapes her family and meets David, a man that she falls in love with and thinks they’re together forever, until one day when she brings home to meet her family and he is exposed to her wealth and steals from the family before leaving Charlotte for good.

Heartbroken, Charlotte has to move on life now pregnant and without the help of her parents as they’re convinced that she was part of David’s plan. Without an allowance from her parents, Charlotte is out on her own and manages to find a job in real estate and is able to find a comfortable life for herself and her daughter Petunia.

Heartbroken that her parents believe that she was involved in David’s deceit, she was surprised that her mother Julia calls out of the blue wanting to reconcile with her daughter and new grand daughter and with the aid of a private detective has plans in place to put things right.

The story is seen through multiple narratives and I really enjoyed this aspect of the story, particularly when it came to Charlotte and David. I loved Charlotte, she was kind and shied away from her wealth, that’s why she changed her name to McGee, so she was unknown. It was lovely to join her on a journey of self discovery and self worth and recover from the cruel actions from David. David intentionally came across as a nice character, but he was consumed by wealth and materialistic things and never properly showed any response for his actions or how he treated Charlotte.

I’m delighted to see that this book is the first book in a new series and look forward to reading more about the other Carrows’ family members.

This story flows at a lovely pace and was a joy to settle into. The variety of characters made for entertaining reading as well as the exotic locations of Sao Paulo as well as the fast pace of New York, with the glamorous lifestyle that the Carrows lead with the luxury brands.

A story with a great premise and fun from the very beginning, ‘Charlotte McGee’ is a juicy read riddled with drama and revenge and perfect for fans of romance novels.

You can buy ‘Charlotte McGee’ from Amazon

The Search Party By Simon Lelic

The Search Party‘The Search Party’ is the latest book by Simon Lelic.

16-year-old Sadie Saunders is missing.Five friends set out into the woods to find her. But they’re not just friends. They’re suspects. You see, this was never a search party. It’s a witch hunt. And not everyone will make it home alive.

I really enjoyed ‘The Search Party’ a fast paced whodunnit since from the narrative of the detective investigator investigating a young girl’s disappearance as well as her 5 closest friends, who are all suspects in the case.

The story revolves around the 5 friends going out on their own search party in the woods for their friend and then them telling their perspective to the police being interviewed. It’s during these moments, that you really see the different personalities come to light and shows the friction between the friends. The five friends are Mason; Sadie’s boyfriend, Luke; Sadie’s twin brother, Cora, Abi and Fash. It’s during this time whilst searching the tensions rise, opinions are voiced and the friends turn on each other especially when their phones are stolen and they feel that they are unable to trust each other.

The detective in charge, DI Fleet is under a lot of pressure to solve the mystery, as the search for Sadie is turning out to be one of the biggest and most expensive searches of all time. Even though, all fingers are being pointed at Mason, but he doesn’t believe it’s as clear cut as that and is determined to find the culprit. Fleet comes with his own baggage, having returned to his hometown for the first time in 17 years after the death of his sister and is working through a separation with his wife.

The book is a gripping and tense story and for me, read like a Young Adult novel. The troubled group of teenage friends all going through the hardship of losing a friend whilst battling with peer pressure, abuse and the pressure of social media. The multiple narratives gave an interesting slant to the story, with perspectives from Fleet including police procedures and the tension between the teenagers kept the reader on edge, as all of the supposed friends had issues with Sadie.

Atmospheric from the first page, ‘The Search Party’ is a well written and cleverly crafted thriller. With unreliable characters and everyone with a motive, this book is a compelling story with an ending that will take your breath away.

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