Posted in 2021, ARC, Contemporary Fiction, Crime Fiction, NetGalley, Novel, Richard Osman, thriller

#TheManWhoDiedTwice by @richardosman

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?

***

‘I was talking to a woman in Ruskin Court and she said she’s on a diet’ says Joyce, finishing her glass of wine.

PART 1, 1

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(@VikingBooksUK, 16 September 2021, ebook, 432 pages, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed)

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I really enjoyed the first book, The Thursday Murder Club and took part in the blog tour when it was launched last year. I couldn’t wait to read the club’s next adventure. I wasn’t disappointed. This was everything I expected and I look forward to the next adventure. The Man Who Died Twice like the previous book is a blend of cosy mystery and thriller with a group of elderly amateur sleuths finding themselves in the middle of a real crime involving spies, stolen diamonds and grisly murders. I love the characters, especially Joyce. Due to their age they are assumed to be feeble and doddery and I love it when they kick ass and show they are more intelligent than the criminals and police combined. This is a delight.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, historical fiction, NetGalley, Novel, Sharon Maas

#ThoseIHaveLost by @sharon_maas

A secret love affair on a faraway island. Seas crawling with Japanese spies. A terrible war creeping ever closer…

India, 1940. and Rosie is devastated by the sudden death of her beloved mother. The parties, smiles and games disappear, and although Rosie is desperate to stay in her home, her father cannot look after her. All alone in the world, she is sent to Sri Lanka, to live with her mother’s friend Silvia and her three sons.

Time passes and Rosie flourishes in her new home amongst the mango trees and canna lilies. And one day, under the heat of the Sri Lankan sun, she falls in love for the first time. But her happiness is short lived, for the brutal war that has devastated families and torn Europe apart is creeping closer to their island. One by one the men depart Sri Lanka leaving Rosie with just memories and a broken heart she must hide.

As Rosie waits for letters that never come, tortured by stories of torpedoed ships and massacres of innocent families, she realises that she cannot just sit and wait for news. She volunteers to help the army, working in military intelligence to protect her island paradise. But then her work brings shocking news that makes her blood run cold. The man she loved is missing, feared dead. Yet Rosie cannot lose hope – even as more women are left widows, more children left without fathers. But when the much longed-for news comes that the war is ended, and a limping wasted figure returns home, will one final devastating revelation tear Rosie’s world apart?

An emotional and heart-breaking read with rich historical detail set against the backdrop of Sri Lanka during World War Two. Fans of Hazel Gaynor, Fiona Valpy and Kristin Hannah will be swept away by Those I Have Lost.

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The people always came in cars, black Ambassador cars, great humpbacked beetles creeping along the potholed road outside the fence.

PROLOGUE

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(@Bookouture, 9 July 2021, 430 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 9 July, #booksontour)

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I’ve read and enjoyed other books by the author so was looking forward to this. The blurb sounded like something I’d really enjoy. This is another of many book I’ve read set around WWII. I must have a thing for WWII. I was impressed by the way the author brings India and Ceylon to vivid life. This is a sad book at times but is also full of love and hope. I got swept into the book after a few pages and didn’t want to stop reading. I had a great time with this.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, First Read, Louise Voss, NetGalley, Novel

#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.

***

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.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, historical fiction, NetGalley, Novel, Suzanne Goldring

#TheShutAwaySisters by @SuzanneGoldring

Two sisters torn apart by war. A little house full of dark secrets…

As German bombs rain down on London and lives are sacrificed in a long and terrible war, fifteen-year-old Florrie is forced to grow up fast. There has been no word from her father, fighting in the muddy trenches, and her mother is heartbroken and distracted. Florrie, lonely in the freezing house, turns to her sister Edith for comfort. Since her sweetheart Frank left to fight for his country, Edith has withdrawn from her sister, leaving the house in secret, not telling anyone where she is going. Worried by her older sister’s strange behaviour, one day Florrie follows Edith and makes a shocking discovery…

Years later Kate, running from her broken relationship, is sorting through her dying aunt Florrie’s house, which she shared with her sister Edith. At first the musty shut-up house, with its threadbare carpets and dusty ornaments, seems to be the perfect place for Kate to hide and heal her broken heart.

But as time goes by, Kate discovers that the little house has dark secrets. Why is there a locked room hidden at the end of the passage? What is the story behind the abandoned wedding dress wrapped in tissue and tied up with a ribbon? Is there any truth in the strange stories the neighbours tell, that they never saw her aunt Edith leave the house? And when Kate discovers the tragic secrets that have bound her family together, will she ever be able to move on?

A heart-breaking historical novel of war, tragedy and the dark secrets between two sisters. Fans of Fiona Valpy, Kristin Hannah and Victoria Hislop will be hooked by The Shut-Away Sisters.

***

Kate traced her fingertip through the film of dust that powdered the contents of the locked room.

ONE, KATE

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(@Bookouture, 29 June 2021, 394 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 1 July, #booksontour)

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This is a new author for me. I really enjoyed The Shut-Away Sisters. I enjoyed the dual narrative of the story. There’s something I really like about this structure. I haven’t read many books that feature WWI so this was a change of scenery for me. I found some of the WWI events quite difficult to read about and very intense at times. I thought the characters were well written. I really enjoyed this.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, First Read, NetGalley, Novel, Sophie Anderson

#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.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, First Read, historical fiction, NetGalley, Novel, Sarah Mitchell

#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.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, cosy mystery, NetGalley, Novel, Verity Bright

#MurderattheFair by @BrightVerity

Summer flowers, warm sunshine, a maypole dance and… is that another murder? A tricky case is afoot for Lady Swift!

Summer, 1921. Lady Eleanor Swift, the best amateur sleuth in the country, is delighted to be in charge of the prize-giving at her village summer fair. But the traditional homemade raft race takes a tragic turn when the local undertaker, Solemn Jon, turns up dead amongst the ducks. Jon was the life of any party and loved by the entire village. Surely this was simply an awful accident?

But when a spiteful obituary is printed in the local paper, Eleanor realises there may be more to Jon’s death than first thought. Despite handsome Detective Seldon giving her strict instructions not to interfere, Eleanor owes it to Jon’s good name to root out the truth. So with her partner in crime, Gladstone the bulldog, Eleanor starts digging for clues…

When another local dies in a riding accident, the police refuse to believe he was murdered. But a second vindictive death notice convinces Eleanor of foul play. Solemn Jon’s assistant, a bullish banker and a majestic marquess make her suspect list, but it isn’t until she finds a dusty old photograph that she knows the true culprit behind both crimes. Then another obituary appears – her own! Can Eleanor nail the killer before she too turns up dead among the ducks?

An utterly compelling and charming cosy mystery! Pure delight for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.

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‘Thief’.

ONE

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(@Bookouture, 15 June 2021, 324 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 17 June, #booksontour)

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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed other books in the series and I was really looking forward to Murder at the Fair. I was not disappointed, this is as well written, engaging and entertaining as the other book. I think I’m becoming a bit of a fan of cosy mystery. I really must read the books I’ve missed in the series. Cosy mysteries are by definition a lighter read than a thriller but there are some dark moments. I got to know Lady Eleanor a little better and how she and operates. This is well written and very enjoyable.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, Kerry Wilkinson, NetGalley, Novel, thriller

#TheChildinthePhoto by @kerrywk

I stare at the newspaper article about a baby snatched from the back of a car thirty years ago and wonder why someone would post it through my door. Looking closer, my blood freezes. The little girl in the photo has an unusual scar – just like mine. I’ve never met anyone with one like it. Is this stolen child… me?

Trembling with shock, I know I have to confront my mother. My parents got me through a horrific accident, helped me find a job I love teaching art, and even with buying my own house. But was it all built on lies?

She tells me the day I was born was the best day of her life, and I’m flooded with guilt for questioning her – but why do I catch her burning papers in the garden the next day?

Then I come home to find a woman sitting on my doorstep, covered in bruises and claiming she knows who abducted me. I don’t know if I can trust her – or if I’ll be the next to get hurt.

Because all the while, I’ve been hiding my own secret. Does whoever sent the article know what really happened the day of my accident? Desperate for the truth, I break into the house of my supposed kidnapper. Inside, I find a handwritten list of names. A shiver goes down my spine as I realise wasn’t the only child to be stolen.

Then I hear a key in the lock, and I know my life is in terrible danger…

An absolutely addictive read that will have you racing through the pages and questioning everything you thought you knew about your family. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Lisa Jewell and Shari Lapena.

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I don’t think human beings have enough hands.

ONE, FRIDAY

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(@Bookouture, 14 June 2021, 418 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 15 June, #booksontour)

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I’ve read and enjoyed other books by the author so was looking forward to The Child In The Photo. I read a lot of thrillers and this is offers what I’d expect from a good one; fast pace, well written characters, twists, turns and misdirection. I found this as quick and easy read and very engrossing. I felt some major plot elements are revealed too early but I kept reading to see how everything connected. This is the kind of book where you don’t know what’s going on and you need to keep flicking pages until it all makes sense. I thought this was terrific.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, historical fiction, Kate Hewitt, NetGalley, Novel

#TheEdelweissSisters by @author_kate

1938, Salzburg. A powerful story of hope, forbidden love, and incredible courage, about three sisters who will risk everything—even their own lives—as part of the resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Austria.

Johanna, Birgit and Lotte Eder have always lived quiet lives, working in their father’s clockmaking shop and helping their mother in the house. But like many other Austrians, they find it impossible to ignore the changes in the world around them.

At first Johanna finds it hard to believe the Nazis pose a real threat. But then her father hires Franz to help in his shop. He’s kind and soulful, with dark eyes that twinkle with intelligence. But he’s Jewish, and as Johanna falls for him, she realizes that loving him puts them all in danger.

Then comes the Anschluss—the reunification of Austria and Germany under Nazi rule. The three sisters’ lives have become ever more separate with Lotte joining the convent at Nonnberg Abbey and Birgit’s secret involvement with the Resistance. But as Johanna realizes how mistaken she was about the level of danger; she begins to see that it may be down to her to protect the man she loves.

She knows that she can’t do it alone though. She will have to turn to the people she trusts the most: her sisters.

The three of them work together to try to get Franz to the safety of Switzerland, and they soon prove invaluable to the Resistance. But they’re risking everything. Can three women who would die for each other, also be prepared to die for what is right?

The sisters’ subsequent journey from Nazi-occupied Salzburg to the devastating concentration camps of Ravensbruck and Mauthausen will show the strength of human spirit like never before. As, out of the darkness, a tiny seed of hope flowers…

A totally heart-breaking and impossibly powerful story about love, tragedy, and the power of humanity. Perfect for fans of The Nightingale, The Lilac Girls and The Sound of Music.

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Spring is bursting like a song through the city, a symphony of beauty and renewal amidst the devastation wreaked by war.

PROLOGUE

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(@Bookouture, 8 June 2021, 437 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 12 June, #booksontour)

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I’ve read and loved other books by the author so was looking forward to reading The Edelweiss Sisters. I’ve read a lot of books set around WWII though not many set in Austria so this was familiar territory for me. I was impressed by the sense of place the author created in the book, Salzburg is brought to vivid life and I felt like I was there. I enjoyed the way the book explores the lives of the three very different sisters and the different paths their lives take as a result of the war and Nazi occupation.

Posted in 2021, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, NetGalley, Novel, Sue Watson, thriller

#TheForeverHome by @suewatsonwriter

You thought you’d always be safe there… you were wrong.

Carly had thought they’d always live there. The beautiful Cornish cliffside house they’d taken on as a wreck, that Mark had obsessively re-designed and renovated – a project that had made him famous. It was where they’d raised their children, where they’d sat cosily on the sofa watching storms raging over the sea below. It was where they’d promised to keep each other’s secrets…

Until now. Because Mark has fallen in love. With someone he definitely shouldn’t have. Someone who isn’t Carly. And suddenly their family home doesn’t feel like so much of a safe haven.

Carly thinks forever should mean forever though: it’s her home and she’ll stay there. Even the dark family secrets it contains feel like they belong to her. But someone disagrees. And, as threats start to arrive at her front door, it becomes clear, someone will stop at nothing. Because someone wants to demolish every last thing that makes Carly feel safe. Forever.

An utterly unputdownable psychological thriller about what lies are hidden in the most beautiful homes. Perfect for fans of Date NightGone Girl and The Woman in the Window.

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It felt like a wedding.

CHAPTER ONE

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(@Bookouture, 4 June 2021, 391 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 8 June, #booksontour)

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I’ve read and enjoyed other books by the author so was looking forward to reading this. The blurb made it sound like the sort of mystery / suspense / thriller I’d really enjoy. I was not disappointed. I got pulled deep into the book within the first few pages and I couldn’t stop reading it. I loved the dark secrets running through Mark and Carly’s marriage. I really sympathised with Carly unsure of who to trust when the floor is yanked from under her and her perfect life and marriage becomes unstable. This ticks all the boxes for a good thriller.