#Review By Lou of Quicksand of Memory By Michael J. Malone @michaelJmalone1 @OrendaBooks #QuicksandOfMemory #Revenge #PsychologicalThriller #TartanNoir #BlogTour #RandomTTours #TeamOrenda

Quicksand of Memory
By Michael J. Malone

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Quicksand Graphic 4 (1)

Quicksand Of Memory is a page-turner that packs a punch! Check out more in the blurb and the rest of my review below about this psychological thriller/TartanNoir… Today I have the privilege of closing the blog tour. The book is Available Now!
Thanks first, to Random T. Tours and publisher – Orenda Books for inviting me to review and for a copy of the book.

Quicksand of Memory Proof Cover

About the Author

Michael Malone pic

 Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and   brought  up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems   in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland,   Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won   the  Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers.
 His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines, After He Died, In the Absence of Miracles and A Song of Isolation soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.
Michael lives in Ayr.

Blurb

Quicksand cover 2Jenna is trying to rebuild her life after a series of disastrous relationships.
Luke is struggling to provide a safe, loving home for his deceased partner’s young son, following a devastating tragedy.
When Jenna and Luke meet and fall in love, they are certain they can achieve the stability and happiness they both desperately need.
And yet, someone is watching.
Someone who has been scarred by past events.
Someone who will stop at nothing to get revenge…
Dark, unsettling and immensely moving, Quicksand of Memory is a chilling reminder that we are not only punished for our sins, but by them, and that memories left to blacken and sharpen over time are the perfect breeding ground for obsession, and murder…

Review

Michael J. Malone has skillfully delved into the inner-sanctum that is memory. The way he plays with his characters memories has created a psychological thriller that waxes lyrical and yet grips hard until the end.

Jenna has attacks of anxiety due to her relationship issues, so seeks a therapist – Luke. It’s rivetting being in the therapist’s room with her, as she pours out her life to him, which is more than what she thought she was originally for as he probes into other life events. This is possibly the most sedate the book is and then delving further, it all becomes such a page-turner.
hrough Luke, you can really see the power of loss and guilt and so much more, that permeates through, and through his clients, the sense of needing a support system, or at least someone to give support through life, or parts of life.
It’s just as, or even more fascinating when it comes to learning about Luke. There is so much more to Luke than healing people in his therapy sessions and the sinister burdens he carries.
Then, as time moves on, the fractures in lives really start to open up, wider and wider, increasingly revealing more secrets, more previously buried truths and falsehoods and deadly obsessions.

Quicksand of Memory twists and turns, leading readers down a deep, dark path of the professional and personal aspects of life and the blurring of lines and crimes committed, with romance flourishing and revenge, later in the book with revenge occuring. It is beautifully constructed and written. Once started this visceral, chilling psychological thriller; it’s pretty hard to put down as you find out more about people’s pasts, where they are presently and the spine-tingling secrets that emerge. 

Malone gives lots for readers to ponder over, with the thought-provoking, complex themes of obsession, guilt, love, revenge, support, memory, trauma, grief, violence, drug-use and more… It really packs a punch. 

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#BookReview By Lou – Mummy’s Little Secret By M.A. Hunter @Writer_MAHunter @0neMoreChapter_ @HarperCollinsUK #MummysLittleSecret #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller

Mummy’s Little Secret
By M.A. Hunter 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Mummy’s Little Secret is a gripping thriller. Discover more in the blurb and my review below. Thanks to One More Chapter – Harper Collins for gifting me a copy of the book for review purposes.

Mummy's LIttle Secret

Blurb

Four little words can ruin a life.

When Jess meets five-year-old Daisy and her mum, Morag, in a local London park, they seem a perfectly happy and loving pair. Until Daisy whispers four little words that send ice seeping down Jess’s spine…

She’s not my mum.

Determined to save Daisy, Jess becomes obsessed with unearthing Morag’s secrets. As she digs ever deeper, her friends and family start to question her own increasingly paranoid behaviour…

Four little words can end a life.

But Jess knows what she heard and she’s certain the fear in Daisy’s eyes was real. Of course she isn’t imagining things… Or is she?

Mummy’s Little Secret is a nerve-shredding new psychological thriller from the author of The Missing Children Case Files – perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and C.L. Taylor.

Review

Mummy’s Little Secret is a page-turning psychological thriller. It has a real spine-chilling quality that may well have you involuntarily taking a sharp intake of breath.

The story goes between reality and delusion and is told between Jess and Morag and throws many twists as you try to work out what is real and what’s not.

Jess is a highly emotional character, plus has depression and is in a wheelchair, but has dug deep to find some determination to discover something within Daisy’s family (which Morag belongs to), that she believes doesn’t ring true with her. Her husband, Charlie thinks she is wrong and her obsession in this has impact. It also creates much mystery.

There is, subsequently, a detective who arrives on the scene, who gives further perspective and insight into what’s really going on and who is telling the truth and who is not as lives are dramatically changed.

The climax is as rivetting as the rest of the book, which is pretty fast-paced once it gets going.

#BookReview by Lou – The New Home By Chris Merritt @DrCJMerritt @bookouture #PsychologicalThriller #Thriller

The New Home
By Chris Merritt

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The New Home is a stand-alone psychological thriller that has a quiet intensity propelling the pages to turn and will keep you guessing. FInd out more in the blurb and then my full review,
First, thanks to Bookouture and Chris Merritt for the book and allowing me to review.

The New Home

Blurb

The New HomeFreya loves her new home on a quiet suburban street. And her beautiful neighbour Emily is everything she’s ever wanted in a best friend. Finally, she has somebody to share her secrets with over a glass of wine. But as Freya watches her new friend setting the table for dinner one evening, she sees something shocking that makes her think that Emily’s life might not be as perfect as it seems. Days later, Emily and her daughter vanish…

When you meet Emily’s husband, you will think you know what he’s hiding.

You will ask yourself whether Emily and Freya really did meet by chance.

You will think you know what happened to Emily and her little girl the night they went missing.

But when you discover the truth, it will shake you to your core and you will lie awake at night wondering if you can ever really trust the people in the house next door…

Review

Jack and his fiancee, Freya have moved to Sunningdale Road to Weybridge, a London suburb. They move to a house, which should have been wonderful. A new home also brings new neighbours to get to know. These are Emily and Michael and their daughter Thea. There is also Cathy to meet, along the way. Things seem like they could be okay, even though Emily and Michael’s relationship have strains within it due to bereavement of a miscarriage, which Emily are trying to talk through with therapist, Laurence.
There is also control within relationships and delusion that are some of the other meaty themes dealt with in the threads of the book.

 Emily and Thea go missing and the search, reported on the news, is on. As time goes on, the mystery to the disappearance of them deepens, and also feels more sinister and at times, spine-tinglingly so. The quiet intensity also builds, that wraps around this psychological thriller that keeps you guessing to the end and leave you thinking about it for a while after, since what seems like a nice neighbourhood has darkness within it.

On another note, this book may be also good for book clubs as it holds plenty to discuss within the themes raised and character behaviours.

Read to the very end and find an author’s note about the themes dealt with in this book and holds an important message for readers.

This is the author’s first standalone novel. He is known more for writing series and it absolutely does not disappoint!

 

#BookReview of amazing 5 star book – The Things I Want To Say But Can’t By Carla Christian @Carla_C_Author @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

The Things I Want To Say But Can’t
By Carla Christian
Rated: 5 Stars *****

Not so long ago I revealed the cover for The Things I Want To Say But Can’t. Now I have the priviledge of sharing my review of its contents. Readers are in for a treat! This is a debut novel, but it feels like this author has been writing for years. This book seriously reads like there have been many books under her belt, even though there is not. It’s seriously impressive and hard to put down.

One emotional journey of life! That’s what this story is. It’ll grab you and hold you so you can’t let it go and will stay with you for a bit longer as you come to terms with what just happened. I don’t think readers will be disappointed. I certainly was not.
In the acknowledgements, Carla Christian credits being inspired by One Day by David Nicholls. It’s certainly almost as good as that, but with a bigger intensity. Both One Day and The Things I Want To Say But Can’t, hook you into characters lives, but different genres. Then there is “You” in the story…
I thank Love Books Tours for inviting me on the blogtour to review. I thank Carla Christian for signing the book and for Lets Get Booked for sending it. Please note this has no bearing on what I have rated or written in the review. I have based it on its own merits. 

Find out more below in the blurb and my review.

About The Author

CopenhaganMe (1) (2)Carla Christian lives in the Lake District in the North of England. A busy working mum of two teenagers, she has a passion for writing, art and travel, and these interests have been a part of her for as long as she can remember. 

Constantly inspired by both the good and the bad in the world around her, she spends much of her time creating in one way or another; be it painting canvases for the blank walls of her new home, sketching pictures to capture memories of the many travel adventures she’s been lucky enough to go on, baking fantastical cakes with her daughter, or writing endless beginnings to a million unfinished stories.

The Things I Want To Say But Can’t is her first novel.

Blurb

‘A lifetime of endings, a million goodbyes. None of them right. It’s funny what you remember when you’ve got nothing else to think about. All those things you should’ve said while you had the chance. You never learned, did you? You never, ever learned.’

Belle has a habit of losing things. Her friends. Her lovers. Her mind.

Everything ends eventually, or at least that’s what life has taught her. But what if everything she lost came back again? What if she got a chance to finally have her say? To face her past. To put things right.

Second chances aren’t easy when memories are all you have. So, when Belle invites the nightmares of her past back in, is she willing to deal with the consequences? Because maybe, just maybe, this time she’s getting what she deserves.

What I Want to Say Cover

Review

Sharp, cutting and moving from the start, this tells the story of Isobel’s life. It’s definitely one powerful story that Carla Christian has written. The pain is striking! The sense of real emotion is written with a light touch and yet so excellently observed. It starts at a funeral to a new love and beyond. The pain is physical, psychological, emotional. It’s uncanny how recognisable it is, right to every nuance. I, who rarely cries, wants to, but doesn’t, and instead, I carry on in amazement at the writing, wanting to know more as it’s off-set with some joyous moments before turning a deep, dark corner. It’s quite extraordinary and incredibly enthralling and good!

There’s a new potential lover who comes onto the scene in a bar. She can’t take her eyes off this person. I can’t take my eyes off the words leaping off the page as the intensity increases. This is clever. The writing remains taught, even when Isobel is recalling compliments. Everything becomes heightened. What if her lover – referred to as You, discovers too much about her?

Butterflies do come into it when Isobel comes across Amy. She has a jar full of caterpillars because she wants to see them turn into butterflies. It’s sweet and innocent, mostly. Do take note of the dates as there are some that go back to the time of childhood. It works incredibly well in telling a bit of back story, which eases off the tension a little, before ramping it up again in Isobel’s adult life, especially with “You”.

The contrast between the beauty and vividness of butterflies and the darker edges of human life is stark and paints a picture itself. One that twists to some dark places of human behaviour and the cruelty that can occur in life that can creep up and subtly build and build, before you know what’s going on. It makes for a fascinating read of cause and effect and how the past is often still there and how it can mould, shape and transform life.

Interestingly, readers can, in part 2 of the book, see what happened before “You”, when there was the relationship with Matthew, which is when life begins to slide. Then there is the third and part of what happens after “You” and things change again, with so much to face and overcome. The fourth part is The End that is shocking! Brilliantly written, but shocking, not for art’s sake of creating a crescendo, but because it is fitting with the story.

Those caterpillars, earlier, in the jar, waiting to be beautiful, elegant butterflies becomes more and more nuanced in adult life. What seemed innocent in childhood, becomes less so later on, I realise as my mind casts back and then to the current pages, as it becomes more apparent that there’s a lot more than the lust of earlier, it turns into something ugly and would make anyone wonder if she’s always going to be trapped like those caterpillars or if there will she be able to fly away, like the butterflies?
Read this amazing book to find out if she, like the caterpillar, can transform?

Buy Link  Amazon

#BookReview by Lou – The Heights by Louise Candlish @louise_candlish @jessbarratt88 #TeamBATC @simonschusterUK #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller #blogtour

The Heights
By Louise Candlish

Rating: 5 out of 5.

louise candlish, the heights, the other passenger, our house

The Heights is a well-plotted, compelling psychological thriller with twists and large themes and buildings to explore… The Heights, by bestselling author – Louise Candlish, provides the reader with much suspenseful atmosphere and excellent characterisation, scenery and twists.
Find more about the book in the blurb and my full review below and then more about Louise Candlish and her exciting news about one of her books – Our House.

Thanks to Jess Barratt for inviting me to review as part of the blog tour and as part of Team Books And the City (TBATC) – Simon and Schuster and for sending my a physical proof copy of the book.

The Heights cover

Blurb

From the author of Sunday Times bestsellers OUR HOUSE (Winner Best Crime Novel 2018) and
THE OTHER PASSENGER, comes a nail-biting tale of tragedy and revenge

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building amongst the warehouses of Shad Thames, its roof terrace
so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed at all, if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat opposite.
But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognise anywhere.
He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him. Which makes no sense at all,
since he’s been dead for over two years. You know this for a fact.
Because you’re the one who killed him.

The Heights pic 2

Review

The Heights pic 1The Heights tells the story from Ellen’s point of view and then from Vic’s viewpoint of what happened that fateful day and how they both view Kieran, within 4 parts of the book in this slow burn of a psychological thriller that will keep readers gripped and hanging onto the very end.
There are also several continuations of the newspaper article, titled – ‘Killing Time’, which is also a very prominent part in telling the story of what occurred…

The book begins with an article in the prologue about Felix Penney is a high profile author of crime novels and writing manuals. It starts with an acknowledgement of the underfunding of libraries. There are then more newspaper articles interjecting througout the story, an even bigger and darker story of a crime (yes, even more criminal than the underfunding of libraries)… one of every mother’s nightmare…
There is more to it than meets the eye in that first article, with a huge revelation at the end, as that first article comes full circle to reveal more…

louise candlish, the heights, the other passenger, our house

There is an absolutely striking first chapter, that takes readers to Shad Thames (Louise Candlish explains very well what this is, as well as who Kieran Watts was). It grips from here because of course, I wanted to know more about what he had done that was so awful to a person, that it could have destroyed his victim, and I think other readers will too. This isn’t as black and white as that though. This also adds intrigue as to what was so awful that he himself could be dead… but the book questions this in the beginning and also what really happened in The Heights… Louise Candlish tells a sinister tale of credible characters and towering buildings. It all adds to this sinister feel from the beginning and creates an almost claustrophobic atmosphere as suspense builds throughout. This tells a story of Ellen, Vic, Lucas and Kieran with well-plotted layers of twists, crime, suspense, emotion and a question of how the reader may react, all in a thriller that may just keep you reading into the wee small hours…

Then there is an Edwardian house, where the family relationships can be seen.  Attitudes to class, or rather those in lower classes, also comes into it and there is some great, cutting dialogue, that shows a certain truth of certain attitudes to those coming from different backgrounds from themselves and those usually around them.

Readers get to know Kieran, the crime and the criminal justice system pretty well. All of which has further depth and richness of what happened and is just as involving as this fascinating thriller moves ever onward.

In most pages, there are scenes that are rich and adeptly paint a picture in words, immersing the reader right there in the area and in the mood of what’s going on all around them.

This is a book that is easy to get so involved in and keeps you hanging on right to the end where there’s a clever twist and a huge reveal of what really happened in the characters lives, where not all, in a particular crime, is all as it first appears…

About the Author

Louise Candlish is the Sunday Times bestselling author of fifteen novels. Her 2018 thriller OUR HOUSE, which has sold over 250,000 copies in the UK to date, was a #1 bestseller in paperback, ebook and audiobook and winner of the Crime & Thriller Book of the Year at the 2019 British Book Awards. It is soon to be a major ITV drama series made by Death in Paradise producers Red Planet Pictures. THOSE PEOPLE (2019) was a #2 Sunday Times bestseller in paperback and is in development for TV by Company Pictures.
THE OTHER PASSENGER (2020) is a Sunday Times bestseller in paperback and under option for a feature film with Moving Image Productions. Louise lives in South London with her husband and daughter.

The Heights blog tour poster

#BookReview by Lou – The Lies We Tell by Jane Corry @JaneCorryAuthor @PenguinRandom @wordadventures #PsychologicalThriller #DomesticNoir #TheLiesWeTell

The Lies We Tell
By Jane Corry

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Lies We Tell is a great domestic noir of a psychological thriller that you will watch play out. Find out more in the synopsis and my review. Thanks first of all to Adventures With Words for inviting me to the blog tour to review and to Penguin for gifting me the book.

Synopsis

The Lies We Tell Cover‘Everything I love in a book’ LISA JEWELL
‘Leaves you asking – what would I do? Jane Corry’s best yet’ BA PARIS

Sarah always thought of herself and her husband, Tom, as good people. But that was before their son Freddy came home saying he’d done something terrible. Begging them not to tell the police.

Soon Sarah and Tom must find out just how far they are willing to push themselves, and their marriage, to protect their only child . . .

As the lies build up and Sarah is presented with the perfect opportunity to get Freddy off the hook, she is faced with a terrifying decision . . .

Save her son . . . or save herself?

Review

Oscillating chapters between Sarah and Tom, you get a sense of both perspectives on the thought-provoking thriller that plays out.
It questions, what would you do if someone in your family had done something so terrible, so illegal?

The differences in how Tom and Sarah are striking and it shows how funny love can be sometimes and how opposites can attract. Tom is stricter than Sarah’s more relaxed approach and this sometimes puts a strain on their relationship and even more so, now their son, Freddy, has gone off the rails somewhat and committed a terrible crime…. but there’s more and the lies that build started before Freddy. It seems if you need an ace liar, Sarah is you woman. This is far from a cosy, perfect family that happens to have a son who did something terrible, even his parents, especially Sarah had been in on the wrong side of the law before. As you read lies, you also discover truth about this rather messed up family, with the parents being relationship to each other, practically at crisis point. It is such an interesting read of this whole family set-up, where you think it will be in one direction, but goes in quite another. It’s interesting to see the formation of the different personalities and parenting traits quickly come out. It creates quite an atmosphere and one that holds tight to the end.

There is a sinister edge that grows in the book, that leads you to feel it more and see Tom’s distrust of his wife grow. It is, although a psychological thriller, very much and perhaps a bit more so, a domestic noir/ family drama feel, that is full of cause and effect and choices to make.

It is an intriguing read to find out how it all ends, with wayward attitudes and actions. There’s a bit of a change when Freddie reveals what it is that he’s done and Sarah’s more relaxed style is given quite a jolt. This works well as you can see the sobering of her style appears… for a bit. What happens next as things progress, brings a bit of a different feel and it all intensifies, until the end. At the end, it sort of has you linger, wondering just what you might do, if faced in a similar situation.

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