Everything But The Truth

Everything But The Truth

NETEverything But The Truth by Gillian McAllister
Published by Penguin
Ebook
Published 9 March 2017
432 pages
NetGalley

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WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT

Just how much can you trust the person you love?

Everything but the Truth is Gillian McAllister’s stunning breakthrough thriller about deceit, betrayal and one woman’s compulsive need to uncover the truth.

It all started with the email.

Rachel didn’t even mean to look. She loves Jack and she’s pregnant with their child. She trusts him.

But now she’s seen it, she can’t undo that moment. Or the chain of events it has set in motion.

Why has Jack been lying about his past? Just what exactly is he hiding? And doesn’t Rachel have a right to know the truth at any cost?

OPENING 

It ended with an accusation I never thought I’d make, thrown across the room at him like a grenade.

WHAT I THOUGHT 

I really enjoyed Everything But The Truth. This is a different sort of thriller than I’m used to and I really liked it. This novel is packed with tension and is quite intense and uncomfortable at times. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading the book. I geared myself up for a run-of-the-mill thriller about someone with dark secrets and got something very different. I thought Rachel was a great character and I loved her voice. I had complete sympathy for her – her quest to uncover the truth after discovering enormous lies was very believable. I would have acted the same way she did. I really didn’t like Jack at times. Given what happened, I understood his motivations but found myself furious with his botched way of handling it and the lies he kept telling Rachel. I wanted to slap him across the face. In the end, when Jack tells Rachel the whole truth my opinion of him completely changed. I thought Everything But The Truth was great. I’d recommend it.

RATING

4 STAR RATING

Here And Gone ARC

Here And Gone ARC

NETHere And Gone by Haylen Beck
Published by Crown Publishing Group
Ebook
Expected publication 20 June 2017
304 pages
NetGalley

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I was given an ARC of this book by the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT

Audra has finally left her abusive husband. She’s taken the family car and her young children, Sean and Louise, are buckled up in the back. This is their chance for a fresh start.

Audra keeps to the country roads to avoid attention and finds herself on an empty road in Arizona, far from home. She’s looking for a safe place to stay for the night when she spots something in her rear-view mirror. A police car is following her and the lights are flickering. Blue and red.

As Audra pulls over she is intensely aware of how isolated they are. Her perfect escape is about to turn into a nightmare beyond her imagining…

Dark secrets and a heart-pounding race to reveal the truth lie at the heart of this page-turning thriller.

OPENING 

The road swayed left then right, the rhythm of it making Audra Kinney’s eyelids grow heavier as each mile marker passed. She had given up counting them; it only made the journey slower. Her knuckles complained as she flexed her fingers on the wheel, palms greasy with sweat.

WHAT I THOUGHT 

Here and Gone is a well-paced thriller, full of twists and turns and brilliant misdirection. This is the kind of book you can’t put down. As I read I found myself compelled to read on to find out what the hell was going on and to see the cops get their comeuppance. The novel starts brilliantly, with a seemingly innocent encounter turning brilliantly menacing. My jaw hit the floor! Even though I knew from the start what had happened to Audra’s kids this didn’t spoil the book in any way. The enjoyment was from watching Audra’s gut-wrenching ordeal as she’s demonised and wondering when the cops would finally slip up. I loved the way the novel is paced, getting more and more intense as it rattled towards a very satisfying conclusion. I had a great time with Here and Gone and would recommend it.

RATING

4 STAR RATING

A Game Of Ghosts

A Game Of Ghosts

A Game Of Ghosts by John Connolly
Published by Hodder & Stoughton
Ebook
Published 6 April 2017
464 pages
Owned

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WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT

It is deep winter. The darkness is unending.

The private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished, and Charlie Parker is dispatched to track him down. Parker’s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found.

Eklund is no ordinary investigator. He is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker will be drawn into Eklund’s world, a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts . . .

EXTRACT 

A new fall of snow had settled upon the old, like memories, like the years.

WHAT I THOUGHT

This is the 15th Charlie Parker thriller and the books get better each time. I’ve been a rabid fan of Parker’s strange cases since the first book, Every Dead Thing which means I have been reading the author for more than 15 years. That gave me quite a chill. Anyway, I thought A Game of Ghosts was amazing. This book deals with a lot of repercussions of the novel, A Time of Torment especially in relation to Parker’s relationship with his daughter Sam and his already tenebrous relationship with his ex, Rachel. I look forward to seeing where this will lead but something tells me it’s not going to be good. This was quite a dark book. I’ve noticed the books have gotten darker since Parker almost died in The Wolf in winter. I wonder where this will lead. Parker is getting old. Angel is one of my favourite characters and his health is starting to ail. What is the exact nature of Sam’s gift? Who or what is the Dead King? Will he rise? What will the consequences be? I sense the end coming for Charlie Parker and I expect it to be nothing short of spectacular. I thought A Game of Ghosts was amazing and would highly recommend it.

RATING

5 STAR RATING

Whiskey From Small Glasses

Whiskey From Small Glasses

TWR_mainLogoWhiskey From Small Glasses by Denzil Meyrick
Published by Polygon
Ebook
Published 12 February 2014 (first published 1 November 2012)
368 pages
Library book

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I read this as part of the new Together We Readdigital book club.

WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT

When the body of a young woman is washed up on an idyllic beach on the west coast of Scotland, D.C.I. Jim Daley is despatched from Glasgow to lead the investigation. Far from home, and his troubled marriage, it seems that Daley’s biggest obstacle will be managing the difficult local police chief; but when the prime suspect is gruesomely murdered, the inquiry begins to stall. As the body count rises, Daley uncovers a network of secrets and corruption in the close-knit community of Kinloch, thrusting him and his loved ones into the centre of a case more deadly than he had ever imagined. The first novel in the D.C.I. Daley Thriller series, Whisky from Small Glasses is a truly compelling crime novel, shot through with dark humour and menace.

OPENING 

Lights sparkled and flashed before her eyes. The movement of her limbs slowed as though of its own accord. The pain she had felt was dull now; the panic subsiding. She was aware that her bowels had opened; she no longer cared. Her last emotions were a fading mixture of anger, injustice and overwhelming sadness, the cause of which she could barely recall.

WHAT I THOUGHT 

I didn’t enjoy Whiskey from Small Glasses as much as I expected. Some elements worked and others didn’t. For me, the book was too uneven to really work. I loved the setting. Kinloch is a fictional, remote community. This makes it the perfect place for sinister events to take place. The author does a good job of bringing the community and the sense of isolation to life. I felt like I was really there. The plot was okay but nothing really original. It reminded me too much of so many crime novels that have come before. I just felt that Whiskey from Small Glasses didn’t offer anything original. Been there, read that a few hundred times. The author creates good atmosphere in the novel but the lacklustre plot left me cold at times. The book contains quite a lot of Scots dialect at times which is really unnecessary and came across as cheesy and rather cringeworthily at times.  This part didn’t work for me. The local dialect was completely unnecessary. Whiskey from Small Glasses didn’t work for me and I won’t be reading the rest of the series.

RATING

3 STAR RATING

Dead Certain

Dead Certain

Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner
Published by Thomas & Mercer
Ebook
Expected publication 1 June 2017
348 pages
Kindle First

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WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT

Ella Broden is living a double life.

By day, Ella works as a buttoned-up attorney on some of the city’s most gruelling cases. By night, she pursues her passion for singing in the darkest clubs of Manhattan.

No one knows her secret, not even Charlotte, the younger sister she practically raised. But it seems she’s not the only one in the family with something to hide. When Charlotte announces she’s sold her first novel, Ella couldn’t be more thrilled…until she gets a call that her sister’s gone missing.

Ella starts investigating with the help of Detective Gabriel Velasquez, an old flame in the NYPD, and what she finds is shocking. If art imitates life, then her sister’s novel may contain details of her real-life affairs. And any one of her lovers could be involved in her disappearance.

Desperate to bring Charlotte home, Ella works through her list of suspects, matching fictitious characters with flesh-and-blood men. But will it be too late to save the sister she only thought she knew?

EXTRACT

 I have news!

For someone who fancies herself as a writer, Charlotte’s texts are extremely heavy on exclamation points.

WHAT I THOUGHT

I really enjoyed Dead Certain. I liked the way the novel was structured, littered with extracts from Charlotte’s novel in progress, providing links to her disappearance. I liked the use of novel-within-a-novel in this book. I thought the characters were excellent, well written and very real. I liked Ella the most. Her bond with her baby sister was very touching. Dead Certain has fantastic pacing. I liked the chapters from the killer’s point of view which take place towards the end of the novel. His indifference to the woman he’d killed as chilling, especially when his real identity is revealed. I love the ending of Dead Certain. I really enjoyed this and would recommend it.

RATING

4 STAR RATING

Two Lost Boys ARC

Two Lost Boys ARC

Two Lost Boys by L. F. Robertson
Published by Titan Books
Ebook
Expected publication 16 May 2017
352 pages
ARC

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I was given an ARC by the publisher and voluntarily reviewed it. 

WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT

Janet Moodie has spent years as a death row appeals attorney. Over-worked, underpaid, and recently widowed, she’s had her fill of hopeless cases, and is determined that this will be her last. Her client is Marion ‘Andy’ Hardy, convicted fifteen years ago along with his brother Emory of kidnapping, rape and murder of two prostitutes, but Janet discovers a series of errors made by his previous lawyers. Andy may well be guilty of something, but what?

OPENING 

California’s death penalty long ago entered the realm of the surreal.

WHAT I THOUGHT 

I’m a huge fan of the show Cold Case and I expected this novel to be a bit similar. I just felt quite disappointed with the book. I feel like there is a huge chunk missing. The lack of any real resolution bothered me. There are so many things that are never touched on. Did Andy commit the murders? Did he deserve to get a death sentence? Did his brother plan it all and was Andy an unwitting puppet? Did Andy know what he was doing or was he mildly retarded and therefore not guilty? None of these questions are really answered. I have no issue with books that let readers make up their own mind or reach their own conclusions. I like signposts that let me assume what happened. Two Lost Boys didn’t even give me that. I actually flicked through to see if I’d skipped a few chapters. Two Lost Boys is well written and engaging and I liked the cover. I really liked the characters. Something about the plot just fell flat for me. I wasn’t completely satisfied. Maybe this was written to reflect what appeal lawyers do but it fell a little short for me and the lack of plot resolution let the whole novel down.

RATING

3 STAR RATING

Blood Sisters ARC

Blood Sisters ARC

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry
Published by Penguin
Paperback
Expected publication 29 June 2017
400 pages
ARC

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I was given an ARC by the publisher and voluntarily reviewed it. A paperback came through my letterbox one day with a miniature bottle of Jacob’s Creek.

WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT

Three little girls set off to school one sunny May morning.  Within an hour, one of them is dead. 

Fifteen years later, Alison and Kitty are living separate lives. Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here, or her life before it.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.

Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day.

And only another life will do…

OPENING 

Careful. It’s not the size that counts. It’s the sharpness. And the angle. The blade must sing. Not scratch.

WHAT I THOUGHT

My mind is reeling after finishing Blood Sisters. First off, I loved this book. I could not stop reading once I started and had to tear myself away for stuff like sleep and eating. This is an example of the kind of thriller I love where you think it’s about A or B and gradually discover you have no idea what the hell is going on. Blood Sisters is a great example of unreliable narration, all of the characters were bullshitting you and everyone else (and sometimes they didn’t even know they were doing this). I cannot quite get my head around how many twists and turns and misdirection’s there were. WTF was really going on? Who killed who? Who went to prison for what again? Colour me confused. I love it, love it when an author completely confuses me and leads me screaming down the garden path. Blood Sisters is amazing. Highly recommend. Go out and read it now. You know you want to.

RATING

5 STAR RATING