He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly #Review @mserinkelly @MinotaurBooks

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If I were to describe this book in a single word, the word would be breathtaking… an apt description, indeed, as this He Said/She Said is chock full of surprising plot twists that will, well, take your breath away.

The story centers on Kit and Laura, eclipse enthusiasts whose lives were turned upside down after Laura witnesses a rape in progress. Despite the attacker’s proclamations of innocence, he is arrested and—thanks to Laura’s testimony—found guilty and sent to prison. Laura initially befriends the victim, a woman named Beth, until a series of frightening events leave them fearing for their lives and sends them into hiding. 15 years later, the couple are married, expecting twins, and living under assumed names when the consequences of that night comes back to terrorize them once more. What really happened that long ago night? Someone is lying… but who?

He Said/She Said is a slow burn that gradually builds to a magnificent blaze that will leave you gasping aloud at one shocking reveal after another.  Written from the dual perspectives of Kit and Laura, in alternating timelines, readers gradually learn what happened in the past while witnessing the psychological effect it has on both of them in the present day.

To say these characters and events are complex almost feels like an understatement. Every single time I thought I had a handle on what was going on—even feeling smug a time or two thinking I had it all figured out—I was humbled by an unforeseen twist that was intense in its ramifications, and left me to puzzle it out all over again.

Hint: I never figured out one damned thing before it happened. It was a glorious failure that left me highly impressed with Kelly’s inventive writing and her ability to weave a completely unpredictable story.

This is a must-read for fans of psychological thrillers! Trust me… you won’t be sorry. And while you’re at it, add Erin Kelly to your Author Radar. With skills like these, she’s an author whose work you won’t want to miss out on.

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Minotaur Books.

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Author: Erin Kelly

Title: He Said/She Said

Genre: Psychological Thriller

To Be Published: June 6th 2017 by Minotaur Books

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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 Purchase Links

Macmillan | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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About the Book

“A tour de force – a gripping, twisting, furiously clever read that asks all the right questions, and keeps you guessing until the very end. I loved it.” –Ruth Ware, bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Kit is an eclipse chaser; Laura has never seen one before. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share.

But in the hushed moments after the shadow passes, Laura interrupts a man and a woman. She knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. It is her word against his.

The victim seems grateful. Months later, she turns up on their doorstep like a lonely stray. But as her gratitude takes a twisted turn, Laura begins to wonder—did she trust the wrong person?

15 years later, Kit and Laura married are living under new names and completely off the digital grid: no Facebook, only rudimentary cell phones, not in any directories. But as the truth catches up to them, they realize they can no longer keep the past in the past.

From Erin Kelly, queen of the killer twist, He Said/She Said is a gripping tale of the lies we tell to save ourselves, the truths we cannot admit, and how far we will go to make others believe our side of the story.

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About the Author

erin_kelly
Author Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. She read English at Warwick University and has been working as a journalist since 1998.

She has written for newspapers including the The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Express and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan.

Author photo and bio via Goodreads.

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#Review: The Breakdown by B.A. Paris @BAParisAuthor @StMartinsPress

The Breakdown cover

B. A. Paris has no need to fear the dreaded “sophmore slump.” Bestselling debut novel Behind Closed Doors left fans with high expectations, and I’m sure more than a few wondered if she would be able to catch lightning in a bottle twice, and worried her next book may not be as stellar as the first.

Wonder and worry no more, reader.  She did, and it was.

Cass Anderson took a shortcut through the woods (despite promising her husband she wouldn’t) as she was driving home on a stormy night, and saw a woman sitting in a parked car alongside the road—presumably a breakdown. Fearful of offering help in case things weren’t as they appeared to be, Cass goes home. The next day she learns the woman in the car was murdered, and worse still, she is someone Cass recently befriended. Overcome with guilt (could she have prevented her friend’s murder?) and unwilling to admit the broken promise to her husband, Matthew, Cass stays silent. But the more she hears about the murder, the more fearful she becomes that the murderer might come after her next… a fear that seems justified when she starts receiving silent calls that feel menacing in nature. Fears of a different nature surface when Cass begins to have serious difficulty remembering things—her mother had early-onset dementia, and the problems Cass is having feel heartbreakingly familiar to her. Paralyzed with fear and weighted-down with guilt, Cass is unable to cope and it wreaks havoc on her mental health. Is someone stalking her… or is Cass having a breakdown of her own?

The Breakdown is simply phenomenal. I was able to guess a particular event that takes place, and I was disappointed at first, but what I didn’t know was that laid the groundwork for an explosive reveal that was truly astonishing. Fast-paced and clever to the core, this novel is destined to be a hot topic of conversation between readers. Trust me. This is a book you do NOT want to miss out on!

B. A. Paris is well on her way to becoming my go-to author for psychological thrillers. If you’ve read her books, I’m sure you know why. If you haven’t…. what are you waiting for?

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press.

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Author: B. A. Paris

Title: The Breakdown

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Expected publication: July 18th 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Purchase Links

Macmillan | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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About the Book

THE NEW CHILLING, PROPULSIVE NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

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About the Author

Author B.A. Paris
Author B.A. Paris (Photo credit: EV Sekkides)

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, B. A. Paris, grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked in finance and as a teacher.

Photo via publisher website . Bio via Google.

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#Review: Safe With Me by K.L. Slater @bookouture @KimLSlater

Safe with Me cover

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Bookouture.

When Anna was a child, something terrible happened and destroyed her family. Anna has always laid the blame for that horrific event at the feet of a single person: Carla Bevin. Thirteen years later, Anna is leading a boringly routine life and having difficulties at work, her only friend her elderly neighbor, when she is witness to a car-motorcycle accident. She is enraged when she recognizes the driver as Carla, who calls herself Amanda Danson. Anna is determined to make her pay for what she did to her family, and manages to ingratiate herself with Liam—the injured motorcyclist—and his grandmother, Ivy, in order to keep tabs on the police investigation. Anna’s obsession with Amanda, and the need for revenge drives her to do whatever it takes to protect Liam from Amanda. But who really needs protection—and from whom?

This is not a book to be read while half-asleep. Told from multiple POVs, with scenes taking place in the past as well as the present, you can easily get confused about who did what, when they did it, and why. I certainly did, so much so that I started and stopped reading it a couple of times before I finally got serious and paid attention… otherwise known as NOT reading while I was half-asleep. (It’s amazing how much your reading comprehension improves when you can actually concentrate on the words you’re looking at…)

If ever a character ran me through the full gamut of emotions, it was Anna. There were times early on that I thought she was quite possibly the most uninteresting character I’ve ever read in my life. Ah, but those first impressions aren’t always to be trusted! Anna was actually a character of surprising depth. Once I knew all the details of what shaped Anna into who she was, everything she said and did made perfect sense to me. Huge kudos to Slater for creating such an intricate character!

All was definitely not as it seemed in this deliciously convoluted story, and I absolutely LOVED that.  K.L. Slater definitely has a fan in me. I can’t wait to read more of her work!

(Can convoluted be used in a complimentary way? I hope so, because that’s how I meant it!)

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Author: K.L. Slater

Title: Safe With Me

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Published: November 3rd, 2016 by Bookouture

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Purchase Link

Amazon

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About the Book

 

Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even …

Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.

Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully …

First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…

But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller, perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and The Sister.

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About the Author

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Author K.L. Slater

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

Author photo and bio via Bookouture.

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#Review: Bad Little Girl by Frances Vick @franvicksays @bookouture

Bad Little Girl cover

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Bookouture.

Everyone, even her parents, says Lorna Bell is a bad little girl. But when a child tells you someone is abusing her, you have to believe her, no matter what. Because a little girl would never lie about something so terrible. Would she?

Bad Little Girl is a dark psychological thriller that will leave you feeling horrified at how truly evil someone can be, and how far they are willing to go in order to get what they want.

There were several things I liked about this novel. The story is much different from anything I’ve read in a while, with strong characters and vividly written throughout. I could easily picture everything in my mind as I read; even as I write this review more than a month later, I can still ‘see’ several scenes that played out in the story.

The one thing I was disappointed with, and what ultimately led me to give a three star rating rather than a four star rating, was being able to figure out a few key things in the story long before it was ultimately revealed near the end of the novel. I’m still torn on whether or not it’s fair to give it the lower rating, but I’ll leave it as that’s how I rated it immediately after I finished it.

Rating uncertainties aside, Frances Vick is definitely a worthy addition to my Author Radar. I’ll be on the lookout for more of her work!

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Author: Frances Vick

Title: Bad Little Girl

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Published: February 22nd 2017 by Bookouture

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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Purchase Link

Amazon

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About the Book

‘I’m not safe – you have to help me…’

Little Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Claire Penny can’t help herself; some kids just need a bit more support, a bit more love, than the rest.

As the bond between teacher and pupil grows stronger, Claire sees Lorna’s bruises, and digs to uncover the disturbing tale behind them. Heartbroken, Claire knows she has to act. She must make Lorna safe. Just when Claire thinks she has protected Lorna, a chance encounter brings enigmatic stranger Marianne Cairns into their lives. Marianne seems generous and kind but there is something about her story that doesn’t quite add up. Why does she feel so at home, and why is Lorna suddenly so unsettled?

Claire has risked everything to save Lorna. But what can save Claire from the shocking truth?

An utterly unputdownable and darkly compelling read that will have fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister, and Gone Girl absolutely hooked.

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About the Author

frances_vickThe only child of parents who worked at a top security psychiatric hospital, Frances grew up receiving disquieting notes and presents from the patients. Expelled from school, she spent the next few years on the dole, augmenting her income by providing security and crewing for gigs, and being a guinea pig for medical trials. Later jobs included working in a theatre in Manhattan, teaching English in Japanese Junior High Schools, and being a life model in Italy, before coming back to London and working with homeless teenagers and refugees.

Author photo and bio via Bookouture.

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