From the comfort of my sofa

I just like to read! There is no greater pleasure than a peaceful house and a good book. I will read most genres but not sure I have the imagination to really "get" some science fiction and fantasy.

Interesting but not overly gripping

The Optician's Wife - Betsy Reavley

I have seen some brilliant reviews about this book and was really keen to read it. This is always a problem, as rarely does a book match up to the hype - even when the hype is within your own group of reader friends. I loved the premise of the book and thought the full range of really despicable characters was excellent. As a study of developing evil, this was great and the parallel with real life evil was clear to see. It didn't have that thrill for me that would make it a five star read, it was clear what was going on so there were not very many shocks or twists that I hadn't expected. This didn't detract from the story though - so it rates highly as a book worth reading but loses something when compared with really gripping psychological thrillers. For me this was a 3.5 star read, definitely worth it, a really interesting storyline but not necessarily a gripping thriller.

There are not enough stars or superlatives

Edward Unspooled - Craig Lancaster

There is not much that I can say about this book.  I have read and adored the first two "Edward" books:  600 Hours of Edward and Edward Adrift and to be honest I didn't think they could be bettered. How wrong I was!  Edward Unspooled in just sublime:  I laughed, I cried and I adored every word.  I am heart-broken that I have finished but feel like I have spent time with the most wonderful group of friends.

There are not enough superlatives for this book, I cannot recommend it enough and there are only two things I really want to say:

1 - EVERYONE should read it
2 - Make sure you read 600 Hours of Edward and Edward Adrift first.

There are not enough stars in any rating system for this bo

A perfect summer read

It’s Not Me, It’s You - Mhairi McFarlane

As a break from my normal fare of serial killers, psychopaths and disintegrating personalities, it is a treat for me to read something lighter, brighter and warming. The problem I have is that "lighter and brighter" sometimes also means trite, predictable and unrealistic so choosing these books, for me, is harder than choosing my next serial killer! HOWEVER, Mhairi McFarlane is one of those novelists whose books I am pretty certain to enjoy, after all You Had Me At Hello is one of my favourite books in this genre. It’s Not Me, It’s You does not disappoint, well written with witty dialogue, this book just flows along even though it is quite long. A perfect summer read, holiday or poolside book or, like me, a perfect break from the darker side!

A brilliant, brutal roller-coaster!

Nina is Not OK - Shappi Khorsandi

Well Nina is definitely NOT ok!

What a roller coaster of emotions in this book.  I was by turns sad, horrified, scared and worried as Nina's life spirals out of control into addiction.  Written with compassion, humour and pulling absolutely no punches this is a raw account of a life gone so wrong.  Well researched, well-written, brutal in it's honesty, this book is incredible, a week after finishing it I am still shocked, hurt, worried and upset for Nina.

5 massive stars and straight on to my list of top books this year.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Eventually I was intrigued

Still Mine - Amy Stuart Wells

It took me a while to get into this book; for quite a while I thought I was missing something but couldn't put my finger on what it was.  However, once I did "click" with it, I actually found it to be a real page-turner. 

There is a good sense of place, even though I have no idea about the area in which it is set, I have a very clear picture in my head.  The writing is atmospheric and the characters are all particularly unlikeable, to the point that at times there is a huge sense of disappointment in the main character, but in some way this added to the book.

I don't know anything about the author but the ending reads as if there is another book planned, which I shall definitely look out for as I am intrigued to see where the author takes this.

A good 3.5 to 4 stars for me.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me a copy of this in exchange for my honest review.

Gripping and disturbing

My Husband's Son - Deborah O'connor

This is an uncomfortable read following characters who are hurt, disturbed and flawed in a situation that is every parent's worst nightmare.
It's gripping, it's disturbing and it's a page-turner.  I can't say I enjoyed it but I had to get to the end and to be fair, I didn't expect what I found when I got there!
3.5 stars
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Dark and disturbing

Watching Edie - Camilla Way

Dark and disturbing with lots of secrets and lies and add in unreliable narration all makes this a very satisfying psychological thriller!

Told in past and present by Heather (past) and Edie (present) both parts of the story unfold in parallel and I have to say that even though it is quite clear that neither is entirely reliable, the story is cleverly structured and has a very satisfying end.

This is one psychological thriller that is definitely worth its place on your reading list!  4.5 stars.

Thank you to HarperCollins UK and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest review.

a slow-burner

The Woman Next Door: A dark and twisty psychological thriller - Cass Green

An interesting read and a definite slow-burner.  I disliked all of the characters as each seemed to become more vile the more I got to know them. I wasn't sure about it for quite a long time then realised I was actually quite engrossed and needed to see how it would all end!

I liked it, it won't be one of my favourites of the year, but it's certainly one that I will remember.  I will definitely look out for more from the author as I did enjoy the writing style.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an electronic copy in exchange for my honest review.

Atmospheric

The Pier - Claire Douglas

I really enjoyed this as a gripping, atmospheric page-turner full of interesting characters.  I thought the way the book switched between present and past was really well done.  The setting was brilliant and was probably my favourite part - there is something about a small coastal town out-of season that is somewhat chilling and this book made the most of that.

I was gripped but felt a bit let down at the ending which just seemed a tad unrealistic. However, it was a really good read which I did enjoy immensely and, looking back a couple of days after finishing I remember it very clearly, which doesn't always happen and therefore is for me a measure of a book that I have truly enjoyed reading!

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publishers, Penguin UK -Michael Joseph, for allowing me to read a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

A page-turner

The Stepmother: A gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist - Claire Seeber

This wasn't as dark as I was expecting from the blurb BUT at the same time it was much "more" than I was expecting.  The Storyline was interesting and detailed, focusing on a cast of characters that felt real and whose reactions felt realistic, if not always sensible.  This  is a modern day fairy tale, of the traditional not the Disney kind, and represents a very modern situation of trying to merge families and all their baggage.

A good page-turner!

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for allowing me an electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Beautiful, emotional and genuine

A Boy Made of Blocks - Stuart Keith

What an absolute delight this book is and how wonderful it is to read a positive, uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable tale about a family's voyage with a child who has autism.  I have read other books that deal with this subject recently but have found them a little disheartening and bleak. So, when the publisher contacted me to offer an early copy for review my first reaction was to say thanks but not this time.  What a mistake that would have been!  I am so, so glad that I decided to read it.

I adored watching how Alex and Sam's relationship developed through the book and delighted in how the other characters' stories played out alongside.  I also learned quite a lot about Minecraft, which I hadn't come across before as my sons only ever played FIFA Football and Call of Duty!

It has been so refreshing to read about a family struggling and succeeding in this modern world. 

Beautifully written, emotional and  genuine.  I really can't recommend this book highly enough.

Many thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley for offering me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Worryingly possible!

I See You - Clare Mackintosh

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book via THE Book Club (TBC on Facebook) and the publisher (Little, Brown Books).  Having loved I Let You Go, I was very excited to be able to read this.

Firstly, I absolutely loved the cover and this alone would be enough for me to buy the book - just to look at it!

Secondly, the book itself, while not necessary the most action-packed of thrillers to start with, this one crept under my skin. I don't want to give anything away, it would be very easy to spoil this book, but it seems scarily realistic, worryingly possible and just horribly shocking! 

All round easy five stars from me, highly recommended.

Completely Unputdownable

The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena

Gosh, what an excellent novel – completely unputdownable! I started this and just could not leave it alone until I was finished. Compelling, gripping, captivating, there are so many words that fit. Very clever plot, very good pace, very well constructed, just a very good read! I can’t wait to read more from this author. Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

Compelling, funny and tragic

Shtum - Jem Lester

This is a really interesting book that is bound to be HUGE when it is released next year.  Compelling, funny, tragic, painful, a true emotional roller-coaster.  The story is set around three generations of males in a family – Jonah who is profoundly autistic, his father Ben and his grandfather Georg.  I can’t comment on the reality of living with autism but it would appear that the author has managed to put into words the turmoil that comes with living with such complex needs.
Far and away my favourite character is Georg, he is just wonderful.  Ben, however, I found irritating and frustrating.  I also found Emma to be a bit two-dimensional, but then again the book is about the males in the family.
Thought-provoking and insightful this should be a must read for anyone who comes into contact with autism.
Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and THE Book Club (TBC) for my copy of this book.

Great debut!

The Sister - Louise Jensen

I really enjoyed this novel and was surprised to learn that it was a debut.

This book has a big cast of characters with personalities ranging from damaged and vulnerable though irritating and all the way to psychotic. It is thrilling, chilling, emotional and sad and takes you on a roller coaster of all these feelings as it builds to it's climax with a few big surprises along the way.

I enjoyed this immensely, was very creeped out at some of the events and at other times I even had a lump in my throat. So, in all a real roller-coaster with a lot going on, a cast of characters that doesn't disappoint and a few genuine OMG moments!

This is exactly what you want from this type of book and I highly recommend it. An easy four stars and would like to be able to give 4.5 for this one!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Bookouture, for allowing me to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Interesting Idea but a bit shallow

Baby Doll - Hollie Overton

This is an interesting concept as the novel begins as the main character escapes from her eight years in captivity so I was looking forward to reading something different.

It was a much lighter read than I expected, which is not in itself a bad thing, but I felt that it was quite superficial and somehow skipped over the details of re-integrating back into normal life after so many years in captivity. I also found some of the storyline quite unrealistic and, even though I am happy to suspend belief for good fiction, I couldn't get away from the fact that I didn't believe the ease with which Lily seemed to just fit back in ready to go shopping after years in the dark while everyone focused on their love-lives.

So, for me, the start of the book was excellent with real pace and the end of the book definitely picked up again but the mid way seemed to lose it's purpose and read more as YA fiction than as a thriller.

Several of my friends have also read this book and absolutely loved it, so it is definitely worth making up your own mind!

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for my honest review.