Blog Tour: Till The Dust Settles by Pat Young

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Pat Young’s debut novel Till The Dust Settles.

There are still  more stops on the tour so don’t forget to check them out.

BLOG TOUR (9)

Synopsis

til the dust settles FINALThe lives of two women who never meet are about to collide.

Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent.  Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away.

As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens.

On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity for a new life.

She thought the grass would be greener. But starting again is never that simple…

Sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly.

Review

Till the Dust Settles is Pat Young’s debut novel and what a brilliant first book it is. It follows the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York and adds a totally unique spin to it all.

Lucie is on her way to an interview when the attack takes place and she is caught up in a dust cloud in the middle of Manhattan. While attempting to survive the carnage in the streets, she trips and somehow finds herself with someone else’s handbag without initially realising. By the time she has realised her mistake it is too late to return it so she looks for an alternative way to get the bag back to its rightful owner.

The story is effortlessly combines identity theft, conspiracy, murder and domestic violence into a compelling story. The twists kept me wondering what was going to happen next and the ending, well I never in a million years expected that!

The development of the characters as the book progresses is well done and overall the book is very well written.

I really enjoyed this book and although everyone is aware of the events of 9/11 this book throws an interesting twist into the mix which makes for a fascinating read.

Many thanks to Pat, Sarah and Bloodhound Books for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

Till The Dust Settles was published on July 20th

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About the Author

downloadPat Young grew up in the south west of Scotland where she still lives, sometimes. She often goes to the other extreme, the south west of France, in search of sunlight.

Pat never expected to be a writer. Then she found a discarded book with a wad of cash tucked in the flyleaf. ‘What if something awful happened to the person who lost this book?’ she thought, and she was off.

Pat knew nothing of writing, but she knew a thing or two about books, having studied English, French and German at Glasgow University. A passion for languages led to a career she loved and then a successful part-time business that allowed her some free-time, at last.

Pat had plans, none of which included sitting at her desk from daybreak till dusk. But some days she has to. Because there’s a story to be told. And when it’s done, she can go out to play. On zip-wires and abseil ropes, or just the tennis court.

Pat writes psychological thrillers. Till the Dust Settles is her debut, from Bloodhound Books.

Blog Tour: The Second Captive by Maggie James

I am delighted to be one of today’s stops on the blog tour for The Second Captive by Maggie James.

There are still a few remaining stops on the tour, here’s where it’s heading next.

BLOG TOUR (5)

Synopsis

Second Captive final

Stockholm syndrome: the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with his or her captor.

Beth Sutton is eighteen years old when Dominic Perdue abducts her. Held prisoner in a basement, she’s dependent upon him for food, clothes, her very existence. As the months pass, her hatred towards him changes to compassion. Beth never allows herself to forget, however, that her captor has killed another woman. She has evidence to prove it, not to mention Dominic’s own admission of murder.

Then Beth escapes…

And discovers Dominic Perdue is not a man who lets go easily. Meanwhile, despite being reunited with her family, she spirals into self-destructive behaviour. Release from her prison isn’t enough, it seems. Can Beth also break free from the clutches of Stockholm syndrome?

A study of emotional dependency, The Second Captive examines how love can assume strange guises.

Review

I was totally drawn in by this book. The entire concept of Stockholm Syndrome had me intrigued from the beginning.

Beth Sutton is having problems at home and when an older man shows an interest in her she is smitten. Dominic Purdue is attractive with intriguing eyes of different colours. They begin dating and Beth has plans for the two of them but, unbeknown to her, so has Dominic and the aren’t the kind of plans she had hoped for.

Dominic’s childhood wasn’t the best of starts and he witnessed things nobody should ever see. This left him a little unbalanced with a screwed up idea of how relationships should be.

The Second Captive follows what seems to be a popular format for psychological thrillers at the minute as we switch between multiple POV’s. The first part of the story follows Beth Sutton and Dominic Purdue while the second part focuses on Beth and her mother, Ursula.

The multiple viewpoints really work well in this story and regardless of right and wrong I did find myself feeling a little sympathy towards Dominic and his behaviour as well as wanting to shout at Beth to stop being so silly.

I loved how the relationships between the main characters developed and how bonds were forged and broken as the story progressed.

As a Mum to a daughter of a similar age I did find myself wondering if I would deal with things the same way as Ursula should I ever find myself in that situation.

There was a twist in the story which I have to admit I saw coming very early on but it didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the book and I am glad there was closure of some kind for everyone.

The story was exceptionally well written and researched and I felt I could almost understood how Beth must have been feeling both while captive and after she had escaped.

This is the first of Maggie’s books I’ve read but I will definitely be checking out her others.

 

Many thanks to Maggie, Sarah and Bloodhound books for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

Amazon UK | Goodreads Amazon US

About the Author

6142Per829L._UX250_Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.

Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background!

When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

LINKS:

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Website: click here

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Did You Whisper Back? by Kate Rigby

WHISPER for JennyToday I’m taking part in the weekend blitz for Did You Whisper Back? by Kate Rigby.

Synopsis

did-you-whisper-back(cover)Set in the nineteen-seventies, Did You Whisper Back? begins with Amanda Court’s longing to be reunited with her estranged twin sister Jo. Following a false lead, Amanda leaves her Merseyside home and family and goes to Devon to work as a chambermaid where she believes Jo now lives.

Amanda’s new life begins to encroach on her personal space and time, and her search for Jo is put on hold until Amanda feels Jo calling her back to Liverpool.

Gradually it emerges that Jo is, seemingly, just a figment of Amanda’s imagination arising from distorted childhood memories. She experiences a series of strange and sometimes frightening experiences, including lamps talking and the endless ringing of telephones, until the desperation of her family reaches breaking point.

Did You Whisper Back? is a psychological novel about family secrets and a disturbing portrayal of the fragility of the mind.

This book was awarded a Southern Arts Bursary.

Review

The novel, set in the 1970s, introduces us to Amanda, a young woman desperate to reconnect with her long lost, twin sister, Jo.   As she attempts to piece together where she could be, she leaves her family home and tries to find her sister.   However, distorted childhood memories emerge as she becomes closer to finding Jo. Did You Whisper Back? is a psychological novel about family secrets and a disturbing portrayal of the fragility of the mind.

This book is a quick read, it’s fast paced and follows the premise of a short story. It’s straight to the point while still providing enough background to allow you to connect with the characters.

Although this book is set in the 1970’s I didn’t really get the feeling it was set in a different decade. There were no obvious suggestions that indicated we were following a story set 40+ years ago. If it hadn’t been for the fact it was referred to in the synopsis the story could have been set last week in my opinion. That said, it didn’t really affect the story other than the fact I expected some suggestion towards the ‘flower power’ era.

The portrayal of Amanda’s mental health is very well done and the author did a brilliant job with this aspect of her character. Especially exploring what can happen when you keep a secret hidden for so long.

Many thanks to Kate, Jenny and Neverland Blog Tours for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

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If you want to be in with a chance to win a paperback copy of Savage To Savvy and Far Cry From The Turquoise Room then don’t forget to enter the competition here.

UK entries only

About the Author

kate-rigbyKate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England.  She’s been writing for nearly forty years, with a few small successes along the way. She is a hybrid author, having been traditionally published, small press published and now indie published.

She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and it has since been updated.

However, she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant garde magazine Texts’ Bones.

Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).

She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology, Pfoxmoor Publishing (2011)

She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).

She has re-Kindled her backlist of previously published as well as most of her unpublished work including:

Break Point (Awesome Indies Certified)

Seaview Terrace

Far Cry From The Turquoise Room

Suckers n Scallies (formerly Sucka!)

Down The Tubes (Underground Book Reviews Certified)

She Looks Pale

Tales By Kindlelight (a collection of short stories, many of them previously published or shortlisted in short story competitions and now available in paperback as She Looks Pale & Other Stories)

Savage To Savvy  (ABNA Quarter-Finalist 2012 and Awesome Indies Approved)

Thalidomide Kid

The Dead Club

LINKS:

Website:  click here

Book Review: I Let You Go

I Let You GoSynopsis

In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .

“In the time he’d been a copper, political correctness had reached a point where anything remotely personal had to be skirted around. In a few years’ time people wouldn’t be able to talk at all.”

Review

First let me start by saying what an outstanding debut novel. I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to any lover of psychological thrillers. That said, and it maybe that I have read a few too many psychological thrillers recently, but I figured out some of the plot twists before they were revealed.

The book is made up of two parts. The first is a little slow and drawn out but this is definitely made up for by the fast pace of the second part. After 3 or 4 days of struggling through part 1 I was surprised to find myself unable to put the book down until I’d reached the end and finished it in around 4 hours.

I found the characters a little hit and miss. It’s difficult to talk in too much detail about them without spoiling the plot.

On the whole I liked the character of Jenna Gray; as the story progressed you began to understand her and the motives behind her actions. However, I did find it a little difficult to relate to her character.

On the other hand I did relate slightly to Mags, the wife of the detective in charge of the case. She had given up her career to become a SAHM and was in the process of looking for a career change. This is something I’m working through at the minute.

I’m not sure exactly how I feel about the characters of DI Ray Stevens and DC Kate Evans. I did feel their working relationship is a little cliched in parts. However Clare’s police background definitely shines through with the detail shown in the description of police procedures.


Details

TitleI Let You Go

Author: Clare Mackintosh

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Page Count: 371

Publication Date: 9th September 2014

Format: Paperback

Add it: Goodreads

Buy it: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (June 13)

I’m back again this week with another First Chapter/First Paragraph/Intros, a weekly meme hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. The idea being you post the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book you want to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

First Chapter_First Paragraph

My first paragraph today comes from the The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards, a gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies.

The Devils Work

Synopsis

It was the job she had dreamed of since childhood. But on her very first day, when an unnerving encounter drags up memories Sophie Greenwood would rather forget, she wonders if she has made a mistake. A fatal mistake.

What is her ambitious young assistant really up to? And what exactly happened to Sophie’s predecessor? When her husband and daughter are pulled into the nightmare, Sophie is forced to confront the darkest secrets she has carried for years.

As her life begins to fall apart at work and at home, Sophie must race to uncover the truth about her new job…before it kills her.

 

First Chapter, First Paragraphs

Sophie got to Herne Hill station with just enough time to buy a coffee from the stall on the platform and grab a free paper, barely able to believe this was all real, that she was a paid worker again. The last time she’d stood here at this time of the morning she’d been eight months pregnant with Daisy, wearing a little badge that said ‘Baby on Board’, excited and terrified about being a mother. Now she wore a fitted grey suit, bought in a last-minute panic at the weekend, and the baby in her belly had been replaced by the fizz of nerves and excitement. Today was the day. The first day of her new life.

The first day in her dream job.

I’ve read a few psychological thrillers this year and have been enjoying them. This book caught my attention as the author had been raved about on one the book groups I’m part of so when this book came up at a reduced price for my kindle I jumped at the chance to add it to my TBR list.

What about you, would you keep reading?

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: My Holiday Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme which features a different book-related theme very week and is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

This is my first Top Ten Tuesday and this week the topic is a Summer Reads Freebie: summer/beach reads, books to go in your beach bag, best books set in summer, books with summer-y covers, best beach reads for people who don’t enjoy contemporary/realistic reads, best beach reads for fans of X genre, etc. etc.

This is perfect timing for me because, as you read this post I will be en-route to Majorca and plan to spend as much time as possible over the next 7 days chilling by the pool, sipping sangria and reading as much as possible.

For this week’s list I have chosen the top ten books on my Kindle Holiday TBR list.

1. CyberStormCyberStorm by Matthew Mather

This was a book I came across via Instafreebies. The cover caught my eye and the blurb held my attention.

It’s not my usual book, but then I do tend to read differently when I’m on holiday – it must be the sun!

Guilty Innocence2. Guilty Innocence by Maggie James

I’ve seen this book around quite a lot recently due to the book/blog tours prior to it’s release.

It seems to have had some pretty good reviews on the whole and is the type of book I enjoy, hence the reason it made my TBR list.

Alice Takes Back Wonderland3. Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D Hammons

This was one of my ‘next reads’ a week ago but I never actually got around to starting it. Whether I do actually get around to reading it will depend a whole lot on my ‘book hangover’ after reading my current Alice retelling.

The Good Widow4. The Good Widow by Liz Fenton

This was my Kindle First option back in April (I think). It’s been sitting on my TBR list since then but with a bit of luck I will be able to make a start this week.

 

Cursed5. Cursed by Christina Bauer

I’ve been enjoying quite a lot of supernatural/fantasy books recently so I’ve added a couple to my holiday reading.

This is the first in the Beholder series and looks like something I would enjoy, although I’m not loving the cover.

Snow and Ash6. Snow and Ash: An Endless Winter by Theresa Shaver

I’m not sure what attracted me to this book initially but I’ve added it to the list to mix things up a little.

You can’t beat a bit of nuclear winter while you’re lounging on a beach in the sun.

Summer at Hope Meadows7. Summer at Hope Meadows by Lucy Daniels

This is the first of several NetGalley ARC’s I have chosen to take. Whilst not my usual genre of books I was drawn to it due to it’s setting of Yorkshire which just happens to be my home county.

It looks like a light-hearted, easy read for by the pool.

An Act of Silence8. An Act of Silence by Collette Mcbeth

And we’re back with the good old psychological thrillers.

This is another of my NetGalley Arc selections.

 

When I Wake Up9. When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi

The cover of this book caught my eye when I saw it on NetGalley and after reading the blurb it seemed like my kind of book.

Not sure if I’ll get around to reading it on holiday but it’s there in case I feel the need.

The Devils Work10. The Devils Work by Mark Edwards

I’ve heard great things about this book from a Facebook reading group I’m part of and when I found it on Prime Reading by Amazon I knew I had to add it to my ever expanding TBR list.

 

Well that’s my Top Ten for today. What do you think of my choices? What’s on your holiday TBR list?

Book Review: My Sister and Other Liars

* Originally published on My Chaotically Eclectic Life*

Synopsis

Sam is seventeen, starving herself and longing for oblivion. Her sister, Jena, is mentally scarred and desperate to remember. Between them, they share secrets too terrible to recall.

Eighteen months earlier, Sam was still full of hope: hope that she could piece together Jena’s fragmented memory after the vicious attack that changed their family forever. But digging into the past unearthed long-hidden lies and betrayals, and left Sam feeling helpless and alone in a world designed to deceive her.

Now, in a last bid to save her from self-imposed shutdown, Sam’s therapist is helping her confront her memories. But the road to recovery is a dangerous one. Because Sam has not only been lying to her doctors: she’s been hiding dark secrets from herself.

“The brain is not like the body: it does not let go so easily and is harder to control, and as I drift to sleep it takes me elsewhere, to the place of all my nightmares.”

Review

After reading this book I can safely say that the subject matter is not for the faint-hearted. The topics include self harm, eating disorders and crimes of a sexual nature.

This is the first book I’ve read by Ruth Dugdall and although the story is a little uncomfortable at times, it made for compulsive reading.

The book focuses on Sam, a patient in a specialist hospital dealing with eating disorders. We follow her story as she works with her therapist on the run up to her review hearing.

Sam believes she deserves to die due to events in her past and her doctor is trying to get her to open up. The story is set in the present, although we share Sam’s memories from the past as she talks to her doctor.

We hear about her sister and how she was attacked on Sam’s 16th birthday and left with disabilities. We are also introduced to her parents and a few other characters.

I felt the some of the characters were a little unbelievable, such as why a 16 year old was taking on the role of detective to find out who attacked her sister. Surely the police would have done a much better job than they appeared to have done.

I’ll admit to figuring out some of the secrets before they were written but the identity of the attacker eluded me almost until the end.

If you can bring yourself to read this dark and gritty thriller then I would highly recommend it.

Have you read anything by Ruth Dugdall? Do they all cover controversial topics such as this one?


The Details

Title: My Sister and Other Liars

Author: Ruth Dugdall

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Page Count: 364

Format: Kindle

Publication Date: 1st May 2017