BELIEVE ME BY JP DELANEY

Believe Me

In this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Timesbestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

After a disastrous on set affair with her leading man, Claire is not exactly in high demand. She is in the country from England without a green card and no one to hire her as an actress.

When she is approached by a law firm who specialize in divorce to become a decoy, hired to find out if husbands are cheating or at least thinking about it. The job is fairly easy. Use your acting skills and tape everything but under no circumstances sleep with them or proposition them first. Just get the evidence and sneak out.

But when the wife of the target is violently killed in her hotel room, it seems the husband is a good candidate for murder. When they come to Claire with a plan to get him to confess and a part for her to play that earns actual money, Claire jumps in with both feet!

And this is where it all goes insane! Claire’s mind is really a stage with her voicing all of the characters. Or are they real people? Who exactly is the bad guy here? Is she insane?

This was what I’ve come to expect from this author. The ultimate mental maze that leaves you exhausted and asking What???    Great Job.

Netgalley/ July 24th 2018 by Random House

 

BRING ME BACK by B.A.Paris

Bring Me Back

A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again. 

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

My first issue with this book is that blurb above. That’s not what happened. They stopped at a rest area to go to the bathroom, had an argument and when he came out of the toilet she was gone and there was only a small Russian nesting doll on the ground.

My first thoughts were this was going to be a kidnapping and probably something much worse. When Finn is allowed to leave France, he is lost. And confused. Where did Layla go? Is she alive or dead? As the years go by he keeps their cottage just in case and moves to a small village near by.

Move forward 10 years or so and he is living with and engaged to Ellen, Layla’s sister. Then odd things begin to happen. Nesting dolls left or mailed to the house. Finn trying to keep them from Ellen and wondering if he is losing his mind or if Layla is really alive and playing with his head.

I kept yelling Danger! at him, but he wasn’t listening and that ending was like, What??? Even though towards the end you kind of wondered if someone here was seriously disturbed, you weren’t sure who it was until the very end.

At first I was going to give this a few stars, but then it just stayed with me for a couple of days and that for me is the sign of a good read!

NetGalley Reviews/ HQ

SOCIAL CREATURE by TARA ISABELLA BURTON

Social Creature

They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them… They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers-to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste…

Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon.

Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship. A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new.

From the very first page, you know this is not going to end well. This tale of two young women who have nothing in common, except a need to be wanted and loved. But this was a friendship doomed by what appears to be mental illness on all sides!

Lavinia goes through ‘friends’ at an alarming rate. She is a first class narcissist and manipulator. We see Louise as a poor, struggling working class girl who has a real gift for writing. We know she came from a working class family, but the rest comes in bits and pieces as she falls under the spell of Lavinia. And I felt sorry for her.

I should not have felt sorry for her. Nothing you know in the beginning or the middle will prepare you for the end. And that ending left me with more questions than answers, and for some reason I am okay with that.

If this was a movie, I would be sitting in the theater mumbling, “No, no, no, don’t do that!”.  Well Done!

NetGalley/Doubleday  June 15, 2018  Release

THE NEIGHBOR by Joseph Souza

The Neighbor

In a taut psychological thriller filled with breathtaking twists, Joseph Souza explores the tangle of betrayal and deception between two neighboring couples, and asks how well we can really know others–or ourselves.

It all seems so promising at the start . . .

When Leah and her husband, Clay, move from Seattle to Maine, she envisions a vibrant new neighborhood packed with families–playmates for her twins, new friends she can confide in and bond with. But while Clay works long hours to establish his brewery, Leah is left alone each day in a nearly deserted housing development where the only other occupants are aloof and standoffish.

Bored and adrift, Leah finds herself watching Clarissa and Russell Gaines next door, envying their stylishly decorated home and their university careers. But Leah’s obsession with the intriguing, elegant Clarissa grows until she’s not just spying from afar but sneaking into their house, taking small objects . . . reading Clarissa’s diary. It contains clues to a hidden turmoil Leah never guessed at–and a connection to a local college girl who’s disappeared.

The more Leah learns about Clarissa, the more questions emerge. Because behind every neighbor’s door there are secrets that could shatter lives forever . .

This is the book blurb above.

Right from the start you just felt there was something odd and just plain wrong about every one of these characters.

Moving from Seattle to Maine is a huge culture shock but Clay has a dream of making beer and owning his own pub. And the market in Seattle is saturated and housing costs are outrageous, so it’s off to Maine.

While he gets the business going, Leah and the kids finish up in Seattle and come to join him. They find what seems to be a great deal on a new house, one of only two completed in a new subdivision. But like they say, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

As Clay spends all his time drinking the beer he makes and Leah seems to be seriously disturbed, going into their neighbor’s house and snooping on them.

This was one twisted psychological thriller! And in the end, you are left asking yourself What in the heck just happened?  There was not one redeeming character here even one of the kids is a psycho. And I enjoyed every twisted minute of it.

Well Done Mr. Souza!

NetGalley/Kensington April 24,2018

everything she lost by Alessandra Harris

Everything She Lost

After suffering a mental breakdown that nearly destroyed her marriage, Nina Taylor works hard to maintain her tenuous hold on sanity and be a good mother to her two young daughters. Despite her best efforts, she questions the possibility of a full recovery. 

Single mom Deja Johnson struggles to overcome her troubled past and raise her young son. But her friendship with Nina brings more complications. What Deja is hiding could not only destroy relationships, but endanger lives. 

One traumatic night threatens to shatter Nina’s mind. With Deja’s help, she strives to maintain her mental balance. But as events spiral out of control, the women must find out if Nina is losing her sanity or if someone is plotting against her. 

Poor Nina. Her past haunts her, her husband is less that supportive and her friend Deja could just be her undoing.

It’s horrible when you aren’t sure of your own sanity. It’s worse when someone takes advantage of your fears.

Ms. Harris has given us some deeply flawed characters in Nina and Deja. Each struggling in their own way. Both hiding in their own way. But in her darkest hour with paranoia and fear running rampant, will it be someone she knows who betrays her?

Filled with nail-biting moments. Darkness, paranoia, fear, friends who are liars, liars who are friends. Everything a good Psychological Thriller should be!

Nice to Meet You Ms. Harris! Well Done

 

EMMA IN THE NIGHT BY WENDY WALKER

Emma in the Night

From the bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten comes a thriller about two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back…

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

This is one of the most spell binding psychological thrillers I’ve read in a bit!

Ms. Walker has told this story from the viewpoint of the victim, Cass, and Dr. Abigail Winter, a Forensic Psychologist with the FBI. And it works extremely well.

With a narcissist as a mother the Tanner girls never really stood a chance. If you don’t know what a narcissist is, you will after reading this book!

The sorrow I felt for these girls and their poor father, who just did not know what he was getting himself in to by marrying Judy. When she cheats on him and divorces him to marry up, it just opens a new can of ugliness. There were no boundaries, the girls had no voice.

When after three years Cass shows up at her family’s doorstep, everyone is shocked, no one more than Dr.Winters, who knows first hand what it means to live with a narcissist.

As Cass says, People believe what they want to believe. And that is so true in this case and a lot of others. Easier to believe the pretty story. But this wasn’t pretty but it was powerful. And the end? Did not see that coming at all!

Highly recommend this book!

Netgalley/St.Martin’s Press  August 08, 2017

 

The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias

The Devil's Prayer

Explicit Content Warning: “The Devil’s Prayer” is a historical horror thriller that contains brutality, rape, sex, drug abuse and murder. Readers may find its content offensive.

A nun commits suicide in front of thousands in Spain. In Australia, Siobhan Russo recognises that nun as her mother, Denise Russo, who disappeared six years ago. 
In search of answers, Siobhan travels to the isolated convent where her mother once lived. Here she discovers Denise’s final confession, a book that details a heinous betrayal that left her crippled and mute, and Denise’s subsequent deal with the Devil to take revenge. In the desperate bargain Denise made with the Prince of Darkness, she wagered Siobhan’s soul.

As Siobhan discovers the fate of her soul, she learns that hidden within the pages of her mother’s confession is part of The Devil’s Prayer, an ancient text with the power to unleash apocalyptic horrors.

And now her mother’s enemies know Siobhan has it.

Can Siobhan escape an order of extremist monks determined to get the Prayer back? Can she save the world from its own destruction?
REVIEW:

This is a genre I am very familiar with. I can’t tell you how many books I have read this year about the Illuminate, the other secret societies and the Catholic Church. While some have been quite good, this book is beyond that. It is exceptionally well written, blending fact with fiction and with enough twists and turns to make it whiplash worthy!
When a nun commits suicide in front of thousands of people, Siobhan Russo recognizes the woman as her mother, who disappeared six years ago. At a memorial service for her mother, Siobhan is approached by an elderly priest. Father Jakub has something for Siobhan, her mother’s Bible. And then he is gone. As Siobhan begins to read, she finds the book is more of a confession, written for her and also a request to finish what her mother started.

As we bounce back and forth between centuries, we along with Siobhan hear fantastical stories of the Devil and of God. You can’t have one without the other. Did her mother kill herself? What happened in the past that drove her to make a deal with the Devil for Siobhan’s own soul?

This is a brutally raw and ugly look at history and what people have done in the name of religion and what continues to go on. How far would you go to exact revenge for unspeakable acts done to you or your loved ones? For Denise,she made a pact with the Devil. Wagering her own daughter’s soul. And with the Devil is anything really as it seems? What will this deal cost her in the end?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and actually spent 8 straight hours reading it and then looking up all of the historical places and people and events mentioned in it. Fascinating look at history and religion through the ages.

Thank you Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this. I’ll be keeping it.

THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10 by [Ware, Ruth]

Book Blurb:

From New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin 10, an equally suspenseful and haunting novel from Ruth Ware—this time, set at sea.

In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

Lo Blacklock is a travel writer and while she has not had the best past few days, having been burgled, and gotten totally drunk right before leaving on a cruise around Norway on board The Aurora, an expensive yacht, built for smaller groups of 10 or less.

As the other passengers arrive, it felt rather like an Agatha Christie tale. On a ship that no one can leave.

The first night on board Lo is once again drunk and wakes suddenly by a noise next door. Is that blood on the glass? Was that a body?

Even after everyone looks into it and no one seems to be missing from the boat, she will not let it go. Of course no one believes her, part of that probably being that she was drunk and on medication.

The problem is the same issue I had with Girl on a Train. Lo is just not a likable person. None of these people are except maybe the boyfriend. Also the ending left a lot of questions for me that weren’t addressed in the book. It left me questioning how some of it could even be realistic. And obviously I am not alone.

When I was finished I thought, Well that was Girl on a Train on a Boat!

The Girl Before by J.P.Delaney *Release Day*

The Girl Before
A true Psychological Thriller! I wanted it to keep going! Even though I did not see that ending coming. Which is wonderful.
The story of two women, Emma/Then and Jane/Now. Flipping back and forth between the two seamlessly.
Their only connection is a house. One Folgate Street. An odd house with an even odder owner, the architect who designed it to live in with his own family. Now it sits empty, as if waiting for the right tenant.The vetting process is extreme and the house comes with an iron clad list of rules. Think Minimalist, extreme minimalist. The house is built to read and anticipate your needs and moods. The house is almost a character itself in the story. There comes a time when you wonder if the house is guilty!

Emma and her boyfriend, Simon, move into the house after Emma was home alone when there was a break in. Thinking she would feel safe here in this house and that they could learn to live simply.

Jane moves in after her own traumatic experience and soon discovers the previous tenant died in the house. This doesn’t seem to bother her, but it does send her on a quest to find out who killed this girl, and that quest puts her own life in jeopardy.

Edward Monkford, the architect, has some issues, but is he a killer?

I can tell you that no one in this book is who or what they seem. Reading this was like peeling back the layers of an onion, until you finally get to the center of it and realize you really never know anyone.

The twists and turns were fast and shocking. The author’s head must be a very interesting place to be!

There are so many good UK writers out there. I don’t know if they have always been there or maybe I just wasn’t looking in the right place. The past 5 books I’ve read have been by UK writers and I am loving what they are doing!

I will definitely read this again and recommend it! Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this copy. The Release Date for this book is January of 2017.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J. P. Delaney is the pseudonym of an an acclaimed crime writer who is also a creative director for the largest advertising agency in the U.K.

The Girl From The Sea by Shalini Boland

The Girl from the Sea

Washed up on the beach at Dorset, half drowned and with no memory of what happened to her or even who she is, Mia James is alone and frightened.

The police aren’t sure either, until a man steps forward to say that Mia is his girlfriend. He’s pretty nice looking, but Mia has no idea who he is. However since the police believe him, she lets him take her home. He seems to want to just pick up where they supposedly left off before her accident and Mia isn’t so sure she’s even the same person as she was before.

When she begins having memories or hallucinations about a blonde woman coming for her meaning to do her harm, she isn’t sure what is real and what isn’t. Was someone trying to kill her? Was it someone she knows?

As Mia tries to put together what her life was like before, things turn ugly. And that is all I am telling you!  Because I didn’t see that ending coming at all! And I’m pretty good at that.

How wonderful to have a new voice in the Psychological Thriller genre!

As soon as I saw this cover, I wanted this book. Thank you Netgalley for a great read!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hello 🙂 I write suspense thrillers for adults, as well as dark YA adventures. I live in Dorset, England with my husband and two noisy boys. Before children, I was signed to Universal Music as a singer songwriter. As well as writing novels, I also run eBookSoda – a place for readers to get FREE and bargain ebooks – yay!