#HisOtherWoman by @LouiseVoss1

When my husband vanished, I could never have imagined that finding him again would be worse than losing him…

Not long before our daughter’s wedding, my husband plans a trip away. I encourage him to go I know he needs a break. I drive him to the airport, wrap my arms around him and kiss him goodbye, telling him I’ll see him soon.

Then he vanishes. And no one believes me when I say he would never have left us, not so cruelly, leaving our messages unread and our calls ignored.

I spend weeks in our empty house, surrounded by pictures of our family, desperately searching for answers. I go shopping with my daughter for her wedding dress, hoping beyond hope that he will come home in time to walk her down the aisle.

But when we find him, he doesn’t remember us – and he has done something I may never be able to forgive. I just want my husband back… but is he still the man I married?

From the bestselling author Louise Voss comes an unputdownable story about family and forgiveness, that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish. Perfect for fans of Nicole Trope, Kerry Fisher and The Silent Daughter.

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Despite the early flight, the kids had all stayed over so they could come and see their dad off at Gatwick.

ONE

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(@Bookouture, 2 July 2021, 353 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 2 July 2021, #booksontour)

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This is a new author for me. The blurb really intrigued me. It made me want to read the book. I loved the sound of it. I thought this was a terrific read. The characters are well written and I felt connected to them especially Alanda (cool name by the way). I enjoyed the way the book is paced as well. This is the kind of book you don’t want to stop reading once you pick it up because it’s so engrossing. I had so many questions as I read and had to keep reading to get the answers. This book defines emotional roller-coaster. It’s a win-win for me.

#TheButterflyGarden by #SophieAnderson

I blamed my son for the death of my daughter…

When twenty-five-year-old Erin flees London for Cornwall and takes a job at Hookes End, a huge house clinging precariously to the Cornish cliffs, all she knows about it are the stories people tell. The owner, reclusive novelist and butterfly enthusiast Maggie, has kept the curtains of her dusty house drawn for many years. But now she is dying, and Erin, seeing the shadows that cross Maggie’s face, wants to help in any way she can.

Years ago, Maggie’s only son Lucas ran away to the other side of the world and the searing heat of the Costa Rican jungle. Maggie is desperate to see Lucas again – there is something she needs him to know.

Erin wants to help Maggie find peace. But when she travels to the warm white sands and tropical butterfly gardens of Costa Rica to find Lucas, it becomes very clear that he is hiding something too.

As Erin unravels the webs of deceit entangling mother and son, she learns about the terrible tragedy that changed their lives forever: the night when a little girl in a fairy nightdress went missing. But with Maggie’s time fast running out, is it too late for them to find the forgiveness they need to move on?

A heart-wrenching page-turner about a family ripped apart by guilt and lies. Set against the storms of the Cornish coast and the silvery sands of Costa Rica, The Butterfly Garden is a story of love, loss and letting go. Fans of Jojo Moyes, Harriet Evans and Lucinda Riley will be gripped.

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I had my first appointment with Dr Sham today.

CHAPTER ONE

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(@Bookouture, 21 June 2021, 311 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 24 June, #booksontour)

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This is a new author for me. I thought The Butterfly Garden was excellent. I enjoyed the way the author explores the relationship between Maggie and Erin as Erin ghost writes for Maggie and family secrets and tragedy is revealed. I got swept up in the book after a few pages and didn’t want to stop reading. I found the book incredibly sad at times. I really enjoyed this.

#TheEnglishGirl by @SarahM_writer

1946, Norfolk, England: She gazes out across the beach, its beauty marred by the sharp barbed wire, hiding deadly mines beneath the sand. Back in the village, everyone is nervously awaiting the arrival of the German prisoners, who will change everything…

Grief and anger spill over in Fran’s small village when German prisoners of war are sent to the nearby camp. After the death of her beloved brother on the front lines in Europe, it is hard for Fran to see these young men as anything but his killers. But prisoner Thomas, with his gentle nature and piercing blue eyes that see into Fran’s very soul, will force her to question everything she thought she knew.

Thrown together on the day one of the mines on the beach explodes, they begin to meet in secret. Fran even dares to dream about a future when their countries are no longer enemies and their blossoming love is not something they must hide from the world. But when Thomas receives shocking news from home, Fran must decide how much she is willing to risk for love…

1989, Berlin: Tiffany arrives in Berlin just as the wall that divided a nation finally falls. As citizens celebrate in the streets, she joins the tide of people crossing the newly opened border between West and East. In her pocket is a crumpled letter addressed to her grandmother, yellowed with age, that has led her in search of a wartime secret with the power to change her future…

Inspired by an incredible true love story, this is a beautiful, sweeping tale about the power of hope in the face of war and the legacy of a terrible choice. Fans of Fiona Valpy, The Forgotten Village and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will be absolutely gripped from the very first page until the final, heart-stopping conclusion.

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Tiffany lowers her rucksack onto the packed pavement of Freidrich-Strasse and listens to the sound of singing.

CHAPTER ONE

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(@Bookouture, 18 June 2021, 340 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 18 June, #booksontour)

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This is a new author for me. I’ve read and enjoyed books set the same periods and the blurb sounded similar to other title’s I’ve read so I thought I’d enjoy it. I wasn’t disappointed. Apparently, the book is based on a true story which intrigued me. I enjoyed the way the book moves between two time periods gradually revealing the threads that link them. A lot of author’s use a similar structure and I tend to enjoy fiction that uses this. I’ve strangely read a lot of books set in Berlin recently. Must be my new thing. I found this well written and engrossing.

#HerOceanGrave by @DanaPerryAuthor

Over the cliff edge, she sees a broken body on the jutting rocks below, the waves crashing all around. She can’t see the girl’s face, which is covered by her long, brown hair. But she knows her. She met her just yesterday…

When Samantha Claymore doesn’t return home after an afternoon bicycle ride on Martha’s Vineyard, Detective Abby Pearce acts immediately. She knows from experience how quickly a lost girl can become a tragedy. Back on the island for the first time since she ran away as a teenager, Abby hopes solving Samantha’s case will make up for her past mistakes… But, as the media swarm and Samantha’s grieving mother joins the search, the police find no trace of the beloved sixteen-year-old—even when a reward is offered for her return.

Trawling through old case files, Abby discovers that Samantha is not the only girl to have gone missing in the small community of Martha’s Vineyard. She’s convinced more could follow, but her team insists there’s no link to be found. Until Samantha’s best friend is found dead at the bottom of a cliff the next day…

After searching Samantha’s bedroom and trawling through the files on her computer, Abby digs into the death of Samantha’s father five years ago at sea, following the trail to one of the island’s most powerful families. The same people who failed to protect Abby the night she was forced to leave as a young girl. Is there anyone left on this quiet island who Abby can trust? Can she find Samantha before more innocent lives are taken?

An absolutely unputdownable and nail-biting crime thriller that will have you racing through the pages. Perfect for fans of Lisa Regan, Kendra Elliot and Gregg Olsen.

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Most crime stories have a beginning and an end.

PROLOGUE

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(@Bookouture, 2 June 2021, 314 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 5 June, #booksontour)

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This is my first time reading the author. I read a lot of fiction with female detectives. Thrillers and mysteries so I was on familiar territory with this book. I enjoyed the book a lot but some elements didn’t quite work for me. At points, the prose came across a quite stilted rather like reading reported facts rather than a narrative to help build pictures and a story in my head. This didn’t happen all the time and was quite jarring. Her Ocean Grave has most of the elements I expect from the kind of book; well written characters, twists, turns, tension and lots of suspense. I did enjoy the book.

#OneLastTime by @HelgaFlatland

Anne’s diagnosis of terminal cancer shines a spotlight onto fractured relationships with her daughter and granddaughter, with surprising, heart-warming results. A moving, warmly funny novel by the Norwegian Anne Tyler.

Anne’s life is rushing to an unexpected and untimely end. But her diagnosis of terminal cancer isn’t just a shock for her and for her daughter Sigrid and granddaughter Mia it shines a spotlight onto their fractured and uncomfortable relationships.

On a spur-of-the moment trip to France the three generations of women reveal harboured secrets, long-held frustrations and suppressed desires, and learn humbling and heart-warming lessons about how life should be lived when death is so close.

With all of Helga Flatland’s trademark humour, razor-sharp wit and deep empathy, One Last Time examines the great dramas that can be found in ordinary lives, asks the questions that matter to us all and ultimately celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, in an exquisite, enchantingly beautiful novel that urges us to treasure and rethink … everything.

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I bring the blade of the axe down on her neck.

1

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(@Orendabooks, 24 June 2021, 276 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 1 June 2021)

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This is a new author for me. I thought One Last Time was a remarkable book, incredibly sad at times but gripping and full of hope as well, a nice blend of light and dark. I plan to read more of her books. I’m in for a treat if One Last Time is anything to go by. The premise for the book isn’t exactly original, familiar territory that’s featured in books many times over, terminal illness that brings uneasy family relationships into focus. However, what makes One Last Time so unique is how great a job the author does of brining her complex characters and their relationship to life. I really connected with everything about the book.

#TheHuntedGirls by @JennaKernan

Stumbling through the pitch-black forest, twigs scratching her bare feet, she sobs as she imagines her children crying for their mommy to put them to bed. By now everyone will know she is missing. Please, please let me find the way home. Before he comes back.

As Agent Nadine Finch rushes to investigate the murder of newlywed Nikki Darnell in Ocala National Forest, Florida, fear floods her body. She swore she’d never set foot here again, not since the case fifteen years ago which tore her life apart. But taking in the triangular cuts scarring Nikki’s perfect pale skin, she knows she must put her own traumatic past aside to find justice for Nikki’s inconsolable husband.

Discovering water in Nikki’s lungs, and certain the triangular wounds were made by arrowheads, Nadine must convince her team of her terrifying theory: that Nikki was hunted down and drowned before being left for them to find. But what monster would do such a thing? And why? Then another woman, a mother of two, is discovered in the woods, tell-tale arrow marks all over her body.

Recognizing the victim as a local waitress, Nadine fears the killer has started attacking women known to her. And the moment she traces the arrow heads to a nearby outdoors store, her own partner disappears.

Frantic, Nadine follows the trail to a lonely cabin deep in the Florida wetlands where she finally learns the heart-stopping truth. To save one of her own, she must confront a deadly hunter obsessed with the case that’s haunted her whole career. Will Nadine have to make the ultimate sacrifice to stop him taking more innocent lives?

Jaw-dropping, packed with twists and turns, and impossible to put down until you reach the final page. Fans of Robert Dugoni, Lisa Gardner and Rachel Caine will be totally addicted to The Hunted Girls.

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He moved undetected by the authorities, the public or his prey.

PROLOGUE

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(@Bookouture, 25 May 2021, 418 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 29 May, #booksontour)

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This is a new author for me. I really enjoyed The Hunted Girls. I read a lot of thrillers so felt very at home in the world created in the book. I was fascinated by the idea that Nadine’s mother and uncle were serial killers and other members of her family were felons and her grand-father had been a killer as well. This idea is not something I’d come across in a thriller before and I really enjoyed getting to know her as a character and the way her mind worked. I really connected to her and her fear that due to her family she might had had a genetic predisposition to be a killer. The book is intense at times and really gripping. I thought it was great.

#TheMixUp by @elizabeth_neep

What if you meet the love of your life, but he thinks you’re someone else?

Anna and Marley are best friends. So when Anna rings Marley, panicking because she has to miss a tour of an exclusive wedding venue, Marley agrees to go in her friend’s place.

After being totally ignored by the glamorous receptionist who can tell she doesn’t belong there, Marley meets handsome hotel manager Cameron. He assumes she’s Anna and instead of admitting that she’s not the blushing bride, but the unlucky-in-love single friend, Marley plays along to see what it’s like to be Anna for a day.

After all, Marley is unemployed, single and was woken up that morning by her flatmate playing the bagpipes. Anna has a high-flying career and is planning the perfect wedding. Why wouldn’t Marley want to be her?

Only she wasn’t counting on Cameron being so smart and funny. Or this spark between them that she can’t ignore. She hasn’t felt this way about a guy in forever. But he thinks she’s somebody better.

Marley needs a way out of this mix-up to get her shot at true love. But her fictional fiancé is now standing in her way and it’s harder than she thought to stop living someone else’s life…

A funny, uplifting and poignant story of friendship, love and finding your way. Fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Holly Bourne and Bridget Jones will adore Elizabeth Neep’s wit and warmth.

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It’s hard to be yourself when you’re paid to be someone else.

CHAPTER ONE

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(@Bookouture, 27 May 2021, 311 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 29 May, #booksontour)

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This is a new author for me. I enjoyed The Mix-Up despite it being well outside my comfort zone and not the kind of book I usually read. The premise of the book really appealed to me. This is the kind of light-hearted read I expected and I found it really entertaining. There were some cliché moments such as Marley being naïve in a way that really wasn’t believable. The book felt a bit rushed at times. There are times when Marley talks to people and we also gets her thoughts about what she’s experiencing. This made a bit of a disconnect and I struggled to get back in the flow of the book. Overall, I found The Mix-Up frothy and entertaining.

So The Doves by @heidipearljames

When award-winning journalist Marcus Murray’s latest story uncovers a corrupt alliance between a UK bank, the arms trade and the government, it seems he has triumphed again in his quest for the truth.

But he is accused of fabrication and nothing in his life makes sense anymore, including the disappearance twenty years ago of his best friend, Melanie. Why did she vanish, and who is the body recently discovered in a Kent orchard? A timeless story of how love and enduring friendship shape who we are, the novel exposes the fault lines in our reality and who and what we believe to be true, including ourselves.

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You could say that Newton’s third law was my guiding principle.

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(@Ofmooseandmen, 14 September 2017, ebook, 238 pages, borrowed from @GlasgowLib via @BorrowBox)

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This is a new author for me. I really enjoyed So The Doves. I will definitely read more of her work. I read a lot of crime fiction / thrillers and this was very different than similar books I’ve come across before. I’m not sure why. It’s very short, more of a novella and yet it felt like a much longer and more intense read, so much is packed in. I loved the way the book moves between now with Marcus trying to hold onto his sanity and career in light of a scandal and being a murder suspect and events twenty years ago which culminated in Melanie’s disappearance. Are the past and present linked and if so how? Who killed the man found in the orchard? Did Marcus fabricate the biggest story of his career? I loved the way it all slowly unfolded. I found this original and gripping.

#TheWitchsHeart by @gengornichec

Angrboda’s story begins where most witch tales end: with being burnt. A punishment from Odin for sharing her visions of the future with the wrong people, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the furthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be the trickster god Loki, and her initial distrust of him—and any of his kind—grows reluctantly into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces the most important things in her long life: a trio of peculiar children, each with a secret destiny, whom she is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family—or rise to remake it.

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Long ago, when the gods were young and Asgard was new, there came a witch from the edge of the worlds.

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(@TitanBooks, 4 May 2021, 342 pages, ebook, copy from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed)

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I knew I had to read The Witch’s Heart when I read the premise. I’m a huge fan of Norse Mythology and have read a lot of retelling’s and alternative versions. Loki is my favourite characters. The Witch’s Heart touches on events I’ve read in other books but from a completely different perspective, that of Loki’s giantess mistress and the mother of the monsters who will set the end of the world in motion. I couldn’t wait to see where the author went with the story. I really loved this. Angrboda and her monstrous offspring are humanised in the book and I felt empathy for them and their plight against the arrogance of the God’s, specially Odin. I thought this was amazing.

#TheAssistant by @ko_dahl

A seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity leads a PI and his ex-con assistant on a murderous trail, in a sophisticated, riveting historical Nordic Noir thriller set in interwar and prohibition-era Norway.

Oslo, 1938. War is in the air and Europe is in turmoil. Hitler’s Germany has occupied Austria and is threatening Czechoslovakia; there’s a civil war in Spain and Mussolini reigns in Italy.

When a woman turns up at the office of police-turned-private investigator Ludvig Paaske, he and his assistant – his one-time nemesis and former drug-smuggler Jack Rivers – begin a seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity.

But all is not what it seems, and when Jack is accused of murder, the trail leads back to the 1920s, to prohibition-era Norway, to the smugglers, sex workers and hoodlums of his criminal past … and an extraordinary secret.

Both a fascinating portrait of Oslo’s interwar years, with Nazis operating secretly on Norwegian soil and militant socialists readying workers for war, The Assistant is also a stunningly sophisticated, tension-packed thriller – the darkest of hard-boiled Nordic Noir – from one of Norway’s most acclaimed crime writers.

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Time is headstrong; it rolls on relentlessly and never looks back.

KRISTIANA, 1924

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(@OrendaBooks, 13 March 2021, 283 pages, ebook, copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 25 May)

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This is a new author for me. I read a lot of Norwegian crime fiction though mostly contemporary fiction. The Assistant is a historical crime novel split between 1924 and 1938. The author makes it clear what year each chapter is set in so you won’t get lost as the chapters rapidly weave back and forth. Both eras are really well written and I got a great sense of place so the author has clearly done his research. The novel has some elements of spy fiction, not my favourite genre so I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I could have if it had been more of a straight-forward thriller. Nevertheless, I enjoyed much about the novel; the intriguing characters, the historical detail and the twists and turns.

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