Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Is it my imagination or, as the year progresses, do Sundays come around faster and faster? Or is it just a side effect of aging?

Anyway, it is time to take a look at what I’m currently reading, what I am planning on reading in the coming week, and what ARCS I have received from NetGalley this week.

Currently I am reading

Those Other Women

which I was very excited to be approved for, having been declined for her previous release The Fifth Letter. Just over 10% in and wondering where this is going. Somewhere wonderful no doubt!

And I am listening to

Meet Mr. Mulliner

I loved Wodehouse’s Jeeves series but had never heard of the Mulliner series until a fellow Wodehouse enthusiast on Goodreads suggested I try it. Can’t now remember who it was, but thank you. I love the absolute ‘Englishness’ while at the same time  ‘taking the Mickey’ out of the English class system that existed at that time.

This week I am planning on reading

The Neighbor

In a taut psychological thriller filled with breathtaking twists, Joseph Souza explores the tangle of betrayal and deception between two neighboring couples, and asks how well we can really know others–or ourselves.

It all seems so promising at the start . . .

When Leah and her husband, Clay, move from Seattle to Maine, she envisions a vibrant new neighborhood packed with families–playmates for her twins, new friends she can confide in and bond with. But while Clay works long hours to establish his brewery, Leah is left alone each day in a nearly deserted housing development where the only other occupants are aloof and standoffish.

Bored and adrift, Leah finds herself watching Clarissa and Russell Gaines next door, envying their stylishly decorated home and their university careers. But Leah’s obsession with the intriguing, elegant Clarissa grows until she’s not just spying from afar but sneaking into their house, taking small objects . . . reading Clarissa’s diary. It contains clues to a hidden turmoil Leah never guessed at–and a connection to a local college girl who’s disappeared.

The more Leah learns about Clarissa, the more questions emerge. Because behind every neighbor’s door there are secrets that could shatter lives forever .

Cross Your Heart (Detective Jess Bishop, #2)

Blinking her eyes open, she looks around the room, taking in the bed and the wardrobe full of clothes she’s never seen before. This isn’t her bedroom. Those aren’t her clothes. She begins to cry as she wonders if she’ll ever see her own home again.

Three young girls are missing. All of them cold cases. All of them forgotten. But when Detective Jess Bishop identifies a disturbing link between them, she’s determined to find out what happened, and fights to re-open their cases.

At the scene of each abduction the kidnapper left a clue – a small bag of candy – in place of the missing child.

And then a fourth child is taken. Eight-year-old Ava is snatched from her hospital bed and when a bag of candy is found in her room, Jessica knows it’s the same kidnapper.

As the pressure to solve the case pushes Jess and her team to breaking point, Jess takes a personal risk she fears she’ll live to regret. But she has no choice.

Out of hospital, Ava can only get sicker: Jess is running out of time. Can she find Ava before it’s too late?

The Family at Number 13

The most perfect lives can hide the darkest secrets…
Mary has everything. Beautiful and rich, she lives on an exclusive street in the heart of the city, in a house with gorgeous views and an immaculately maintained garden. Her life looks perfect.

But behind closed doors the truth is very different. Her husband Andrew barely speaks to her, spending his days down in the basement alone. Her teenage nephew is full of rage, lashing out with no warning. Her carefully constructed life is beginning to fall apart.

And then someone starts sending Mary anonymous notes, threatening her and her family…

Everyone has secrets. But is someone at number 13 hiding something that could put the whole family in danger?

And as far as new ARCs from NetGalley this week, 3! So I have been a little more restrained, but my goal is 2 per week, which would ease the pressure and allow me to catch up on my rather alarming pile of back titles. . .

The Fifth To Die (4MK Thriller, #2)

Dying Truth (D.I. Kim Stone, #8)

The Killing Habit: A Tom Thorne Novel

As you can see, I scored the latest books in two series I have followed from their outset. So stoked!

And, in case you missed yesterday’s post, my posting may well be a little erratic again this week due to pressure of work. So I apologize in advance 😳

Please don’t be shy about letting me know what you like and don’t like. I love getting your feedback. And I love hearing about what you are reading, or if you have read something that is on my list, what you thought of it.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, have a lovely week and  happy reading.😎

The Last Thing I Saw by Alex Sinclair

The Last Thing I Saw by Alex  Sinclair
The Last Thing I Saw 
by

Alex Sinclair (Goodreads Author)
30817744


EXCERPT: The signs had all been there. The warnings had been clear. His past threats floated into the forefront of my mind on a loop, preventing me from thinking of an alternative.

‘I have to,’ I whispered, eyes closed. My words were weak and crippled, but they could all hear me.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: The perfect family. A moment that will change everything.

Emma thought she had the perfect life: a beautiful home, a loving husband and a gorgeous son.

She was wrong.

She wakes up in hospital, with no idea how she got there or why her husband and son won’t come to see her. What happened to Emma’s family?

As Emma tries to piece her memories back together, she remembers that her husband was hiding something from her, and that someone was watching their house.

She remembers that she was afraid.

Emma is desperate to find out what happened – and that her loved ones are safe – but remembering the truth could be the most dangerous thing of all…

MY THOUGHTS: Firstly, on a positive note, I loved the cover. And it was relevant to the storyline. Now. . . Oh, how do I count the ways in which this book failed for me?

I failed to feel any involvement with either the characters or the plot from the beginning. From the 30% mark I found myself skimming, and seriously considered abandoning the read. I stuck with it, hoping that it would improve, and it did marginally in the second half, but not enough for me to become invested in any way. I didn’t feel any suspense, and in all honesty would never classify this as a psychological thriller.

I know that I am in the minority with my feelings, but I found the writing often labored and the dialogue stilted. Emma Taylor constantly complains about the ‘wailing and moaning’ in her ward. I doubt the author has bothered to visit the type of ward he describes and has very little understanding of how a psychiatric hospital operates. I felt disgruntled when I finished. A very grudging 2 stars.

Just because I found this to be an unsatisfying read doesn’t mean that you won’t love it. This is my personal opinion, my reaction to the book. Most reviews for this book are positive, so if you enjoyed the excerpt and like the summary of the plot, please go ahead and read The Last Thing I Saw by Alex Sinclair. You may be one of the many who enjoy this book.

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Last Thing I Saw by Alex Sinclair for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2367931101

Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Here we are at Sunday and it’s time, once again, to take a look at what I’m currently reading, what I am planning on reading in the coming week, and what ARCS I have been approved for from NetGalley this week.

It’s been a busy week, non-reading wise. I started my new job which I am enjoying more than I expected. But I am having to develop a new routine. . . so at the moment I am all over the place, and will be until I settle into my job properly and get some regular hours organised. Because it is a seven day business, and I am trying to learn about everyone’s functions and place in the organisation, I seem to be at work at some very odd times. Another couple of weeks should see me settled in.

But onto what you really want to know about  –  books! Currently I am reading, well I haven’t actually started this yet, but will be later today-

The Key to Death's Door

and I am going to start listening to

Lessons in Love

This week I intend to read

The Fear

‘Grabs you by the metaphorical throat right from the start and doesn’t let up until the end.’ Heat

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

The million copy Sunday Times bestseller returns with a taut, compelling psychological thriller that will have you glued to the edge of your seat.

The Last Thing I Saw

The perfect family. A moment that will change everything.

Emma thought she had the perfect life: a beautiful home, a loving husband and a gorgeous son.

She was wrong.

She wakes up in hospital, with no idea how she got there or why her husband and son won’t come to see her. What happened to Emma’s family?

As Emma tries to piece her memories back together, she remembers that her husband was hiding something from her, and that someone was watching their house.

She remembers that she was afraid.

Emma is desperate to find out what happened – and that her loved ones are safe – but remembering the truth could be the most dangerous thing of all…

An addictive and page-turning psychological thriller that will having you looking over your shoulder and checking the doors are locked. If you love B.A. Paris, Shari Lapena and K.L. Slater, The Last Thing I Saw is for you.

The Girl With No Name (Detective Josie Quinn, #2)

Detective Josie Quinn is horrified when she’s called to the house of a mother who had her newborn baby snatched from her arms.

A woman caught fleeing the scene is Josie’s only lead, but when questioned it seems this mysterious girl doesn’t know who she is, where she’s from or why she is so terrified…

Is she a witness, a suspect, or the next victim?

As Josie digs deeper, a letter about a mix-up at a fertility clinic links the nameless girl and the missing child to a spate of killings across the county. Josie is faced with an impossible decision: should she risk the life of one innocent child to save many others… or can she find another way?

And five  (yes! 5!) approvals this week. I think I was feeling a little apprehensive about the new job, so I indulged in my version of a shopping spree for stress relief!

Blood on the Tracks: Railway Mysteries

11 Missed Calls

One Little Lie

Theo

The Fear

Realistically, I don’t know how much reading time I will get this week, so I may be a little overexpectant about what I can actually achieve. But hey, aim high! I can always lower my sights.

Please don’t be shy about letting me know what you like and don’t like. I love getting your feedback. And I love hearing about what you are reading, or if you have read something that is on my list, what you thought of it.

Have a lovely week and  happy reading.

Friday Favorite – Visiting Lilly by Toni Allen

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming “read me!”?

Check out my Friday Favorite  – it may not be new, it may not even be by an author you have ever heard of, but it will be a book that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

It is a wonderful experience going back over all my 5-star reads. While I may have forgotten some of them until I see the cover, read the title or the author’s name, some of them stay with me. Visiting Lilly is one of these.

Visiting Lilly by Toni Allen
Visiting Lilly 
by Toni Allen (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: Frankie stood in the rain. It had started out mild, but a driving wind had kicked up, and nowhe was freezing cold. He stared at the building, looked up and across the windows, wondering which room she was in. He’d rehearsed what to say one hundred times over, but that had been in his head, in his imagination. The nursing home had been built in the sixties, straight lined, pebble dashed – no character. In the rain the building looked grim. The idea of going inside was daunting, and for the past hour his courage had failed him. He dug his hands into his pockets. He’d bought new clothes especially for the occasion, a pair of black jeans, a chestnut brown sweater, and some leather shoes, not trainers. He knew she’d like the shoes, polished and smart; but they didn’t look smart any more. It was silly standing there getting wet with no umbrella and his waterproof left in the car. He was supposed to go straight in, only it wasn’t happening as planned. His nerve had failed him.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Why should a man at a Surrey police station go ballistic because someone tries to visit Lilly, his elderly grandmother?

Detective Inspector Jake Talbot is intrigued, and this little puzzle might serve to distract him from sorrows of a Christmas past. Soon he is entangled with Frankie, an odd young man who claims to have met Lilly in her youth. Talbot dismisses the notion of time travel, but then discovers the Ministry of Defence has been monitoring Frankie since his friend disappeared ten years previously. Forced to work with the MOD, Talbot unearths family secrets and betrayals. The families act ruthlessly to prevent him from discovering the facts, colluding to ruin him.

If Frankie is innocent, Talbot won’t let him be victimised. An uneasy understanding grows between them as they follow the evidence, for only the truth will allow Frankie to visit Lilly.

MY THOUGHTS: Can I write a review that does this outstanding book justice? I hope so.

This is a carefully and delicately layered book that delivers so much more than you first expect.

What starts out as a simple police procedural, and one where no real crime has been committed, soon turns into something far more sinister.

Detective Inspector Jake Talbot wonders why a man at a Surrey police station would go ballistic because someone tries to visit Lilly, his elderly grandmother? He asks to follow up the complaint, mainly as a distraction from the ghosts of Christmases past which come to haunt him at this time each year.

He is soon intrigued, even more so after he has met the man in question, Frankie Hayward, who claims to have met Lilly in her youth. Perhaps the authorities, who variously describe Frankie as a nutter, schizophrenic, genius, murderer, stalker and fanatic, may be right.

But in spite of all this, he forms an oddly protective friendship with Frankie, who is traumatised by the disappearance of his only friend, Keith MacKenzie, ten years earlier.

There are lots of secrets and lies, and people acting ruthlessly to prevent Frankie from seeing Lilly. The big question is “Why”?

This is a truly intriguing read. At times I wondered if there had been a book prior to this one, but there hasn’t, and all becomes clear by the end.

Toni Allen has done a wonderful job of this book and I am looking forward to her next book, Saving Anna, which is due out later this year.

Thank you to gejohnsonmedia, Kay Vreeland at Booktrope and author Toni Allen for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1401085494

The Address by Fiona Davis

The Address by Fiona  Davis
The Address 
by Fiona Davis (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: London, June 1884
The sight of a child teetering on the window ledge of Room 510 turned Sara’s world upside down.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Fiona Davis, author of The Dollhouse, returns with a compelling novel about the thin lines between love and loss, success and ruin, passion and madness, all hidden behind the walls of The Dakota—New York City’s most famous residence.

After a failed apprenticeship, working her way up to head housekeeper of a posh London hotel is more than Sara Smythe ever thought she’d make of herself. But when a chance encounter with Theodore Camden, one of the architects of the grand New York apartment house The Dakota, leads to a job offer, her world is suddenly awash in possibility—no mean feat for a servant in 1884. The opportunity to move to America, where a person can rise above one’s station. The opportunity to be the female manager of The Dakota, which promises to be the greatest apartment house in the world. And the opportunity to see more of Theo, who understands Sara like no one else…and is living in The Dakota with his wife and three young children.

In 1985, Bailey Camden is desperate for new opportunities. Fresh out of rehab, the former party girl and interior designer is homeless, jobless, and penniless. Two generations ago, Bailey’s grandfather was the ward of famed architect Theodore Camden. But the absence of a genetic connection means Bailey won’t see a dime of the Camden family’s substantial estate. Instead, her “cousin” Melinda—Camden’s biological great-granddaughter—will inherit almost everything. So when Melinda offers to let Bailey oversee the renovation of her lavish Dakota apartment, Bailey jumps at the chance, despite her dislike of Melinda’s vision. The renovation will take away all the character and history of the apartment Theodore Camden himself lived in…and died in, after suffering multiple stab wounds by a madwoman named Sara Smythe, a former Dakota employee who had previously spent seven months in an insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island.

One hundred years apart, Sara and Bailey are both tempted by and struggle against the golden excess of their respective ages—for Sara, the opulence of a world ruled by the Astors and Vanderbilts; for Bailey, the free-flowing drinks and cocaine in the nightclubs of New York City—and take refuge and solace in the Upper West Side’s gilded fortress. But a building with a history as rich—and often tragic—as The Dakota’s can’t hold its secrets forever, and what Bailey discovers in its basement could turn everything she thought she knew about Theodore Camden—and the woman who killed him—on its head.

With rich historical detail, nuanced characters, and gorgeous prose, Fiona Davis once again delivers a compulsively readable novel that peels back the layers of not only a famed institution, but the lives—and lies—of the beating hearts within.

MY THOUGHTS: Just like ‘The Dollhouse’, ‘The Address’ had me spellbound for most of its telling.

Although Davis has bent the historical facts a little to fit her timeline, most of the major events backgrounding this story actually happened, just not when they happened in the novel. I am more than prepared to forgive her this.

The Address is told over two timelines, beginning in 1884 and 1984. The characters in the two times couldn’t be more different. 1884 – Sara is a hard working young woman determined not to repeat her mother’s mistakes. 1984 – Bailey has tumbled ignominiously from the peak of her career and is trying to claw her way back up. Sara is kind-hearted and eager to please. Bailey has been selfish and pleasure seeking, and is now trying to find her feet, playing by a whole new set of rules.

Davis had me unsuccessfully trying to figure out the connection between these two women. The answer, when it came, was unexpected but brilliant. And perhaps that is where the book should have ended, but it didn’t. At this point, I would have awarded it very close to 5-stars. But it went on to tie everything up very neatly into an almost fairytale like ending which, for me, somewhat spoiled the ambience.

I see Fiona Davis has a new novel being released later this year, The Masterpiece. I will be first in line for it. She is a magnificent story teller.

I listened to The Address by Fiona Davis, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld and Brittany Pressley and published by Penguin Audio via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2310913425

The Next Girl by Carla Kovach

The Next Girl by Carla Kovach
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: ‘When you smile, you make me the happiest man alive. Make me happy and I make you happy. Do you trust me?’ She nodded.
‘Good. Breakfast will be served in a minute.’ He pulled the door closed as he continued to whistle. She listened as he took the plates from the cupboard and slammed them onto the countertop. He then turned the portable television on and she heard the sound of a morning news show. As he turned up the volume, the cries she’d suppressed burst out. Sobbing, she clenched the blanket and silently screamed into it. As she drew her legs towards her chest, her body leaked more liquid. She lifted one leg off the other and yelped as pain seared through her body. The ankle chain cluttered as she moved her other leg.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: She thought he’d come to save her. She was wrong.

Deborah Jenkins pulls her coat around her as she sets out on her short walk home in the pouring rain. But she never makes it home that night. And she is never seen again …

Four years later, an abandoned baby girl is found wrapped in dirty rags on a doorstep. An anonymous phone call urges the police to run a DNA test on the baby. But nobody is prepared for the results.

The newborn belongs to Deborah. She’s still alive.

MY THOUGHTS: The Next Girl is an encouraging start to a new series featuring DI Gina Harte. I wouldn’t go quite so far as to classify it as a police procedural, I thought that some of the investigative techniques left something to be desired, but it does develop into a good crime thriller.

Even after learning Gina’s background, I didn’t at first like her. She seemed to be a caricature of most major female detectives currently being written – heavy drinking, hard-nosed, has been in an abusive relationship, estranged from family. However as the book progressed her character seemed to soften and mature and my feelings towards her mellowed accordingly.

There are a few interesting personalities amongst the cast of supporting characters and I look forward to seeing how they develop and grow.

This is a good solid 3.5 star read and I look forward to more from this author.

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Next Girl for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2307566717

Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Here we are at Sunday and it’s time, once again, to take a look at what I’m currently reading, what I am planning on reading in the coming week, and what ARCS I have been approved for from NetGalley this week.

Currently I am reading

The Next Girl (Detective Gina Harte, #1)

and listening to

Lessons in Love

This week I plan to read

Portrait of a Murderer

“Adrian Gray was born in May 1862 and met his death through violence, at the hands of one of his own children, at Christmas, 1931.” Thus begins a classic crime novel published in 1933, a riveting portrait of the psychology of a murderer.

Each December, Adrian Gray invites his extended family to stay at his lonely house, Kings Poplars. None of Gray’s six surviving children is fond of him; several have cause to wish him dead. The family gathers on Christmas Eve – and by the following morning, their wish has been granted. This fascinating and unusual novel tells the story of what happened that dark Christmas night; and what the murderer did next.

LETTERBOX

At approximately 09.00hrs on the 15th June 1996, an unassuming white lorry was parked on Corporation Street in the city centre of Manchester, England; it contained over 3000 pounds of high explosive.
At 11.15hrs the same day, Manchester witnessed the detonation of the largest device on the British mainland since the second World War … The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

Based around actual events, LETTERBOX tells the story of Liam Connor, an ordinary boy brought up in Manchester by a seemingly ordinary family. He goes to the local school, loves football and has a best friend called Sean … an ordinary life!
Unbeknown to Liam, his father, Michael Connor, harbors a dark historic secret, following a life a lot less ordinary … as a furtive, yet high ranking soldier within the IRA.

As a result of extraordinary circumstances, Liam’s innocent and carefree world is shattered when he is exposed to the truth about his family’s heritage and then learns about the tragic death of his father at the hands of the SAS.

Consumed with both hate and the need to seek retribution, Liam is taken to Ireland where he is intensively trained to become a highly skilled and efficient soldier within the Irish Republican Army … He is 16 years old!
Some years later, following the drug-induced death of his beloved sister, Liam is given the opportunity to exact his revenge on those he believed should truly be blamed for the tragedies in his life … The British Government!
Thus, on the 15th June 1996, it was Liam’s responsibility to drive the bomb laden lorry into the unsuspecting city of Manchester and let the voice of the IRA be clearly heard … And listened to!!

Deadly Secrets (Detective Erika Foster, #6)

To commit the perfect murder, you need the perfect cover. 

On a cold icy morning, a mother wakes to find her daughter’s blood-soaked body frozen to the road. Who would carry out such a horrific killing on the victim’s doorstep?

Straight off her last harrowing case, Detective Erika Foster is feeling fragile but determined to lead the investigation. As she sets to work, she finds reports of assaults in the same quiet South London suburb where the woman was killed. One chilling detail links them to the murder victim – they were all attacked by a figure in black wearing a gas mask.

Erika is on the hunt for a killer with a terrifying calling card. The case gets more complicated when she uncovers a tangled web of secrets surrounding the death of the beautiful young woman.

Yet just as Erika begins to piece the clues together, she is forced to confront painful memories of her past. Erika must dig deep, stay focused and find the killer. Only this time, one of her own is in terrible danger…

This week I have received only one ARC from NetGalley

The Perfect Mother

But I have received a proof from author June Rousso for a children’s book titled The Little Book of Character Strengths. You may remember I reviewed another title by this author, We All Live On This Planet Together, earlier this year.

I am starting a new job this week which is going to be quite time consuming for the first month or two. So if my posts are a little erratic in the next few weeks, I apologise in advance and ask that you bear with me.

Please don’t be shy about letting me know what you like and don’t like. I love getting your feedback. And I love hearing about what you are reading, or if you have read something that is on my list, what you thought of it.

Have a lovely week and  happy reading.

Friday Favorite- The Killing of Mummy’s Boy by Joan Ellis

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming “read me!”?

Check out my Friday Favorite  – it may not be new, it may not even be by an author you have ever heard of, but it will be a book that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

A couple of weeks ago I featured Guilty by Joan Ellis. This week I would like to introduce you to The Killing of Mummy’s Boy by the same author. It is a mind-blowing read. Please don’t judge it by its cover which, personally, I don’t like.

The Killing of Mummy's Boy by Joan  Ellis
The Killing of Mummy’s Boy 
by Joan Ellis (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: “I slit someone’s throat,” the man told the woman on the 4.20 from Waterloo to Portsmouth.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: When a woman meets a stranger on a train, she discovers they have one thing in common: murder.
Ben has slit a man’s throat and Sandra’s son, Carl is on a Witness Protection Programme after his evidence convicts local thug, Lee Elliott of murder. Fearing reprisals from the family, Sandra flees London for the Isle of Wight.
On the train, she reports her lost Oyster card, giving out her details over the phone. Ben overhears. Now, the murderer knows where she lives. Returning home to find an Oyster card on the mat, she assumes he has been there ahead of her.
It is the first in a series of unnerving events. Suspecting him of stalking her, she alerts the police. As no crime has been committed, they can’t help.
When her son leaves the safety of the Witness Protection Programme and moves back to London with his pregnant girlfriend, Sandra turns to drink. And to Ben.
Repelled by his past but excited by his body, she is in his thrall.
When Carl, girlfriend in tow, runs back to Mummy following a threatening message from Lee Elliott’s brother, Gaz, secrets and lies are unleashed and all hell breaks loose…

MY THOUGHTS: ‘ “I slit someone’s throat,” the man told the woman on the 4.20 from Waterloo to Portsmouth.’ is the opening sentence of The Killing of Mummy’s Boy, a book that kept me reading in one sitting until I was finished.

This is the second of Joan Ellis’ book s that I have read. The first, Guilt, was also a 5* one sitting read.

It has been a long time since I have read a book that had me jumping at noises in the night and checking that the doors and windows were locked, multiple times! The Killing of Mummy’s Boy had my heart in my mouth, my pulse racing, my nerves jangling.

Sandra, whose son Carl is on a Witness Protection Scheme, meets a man on the train, Ben, who reveals to her that he is a murderer. And more than that, I am not going to tell you for nothing I can say will do this superb book justice.

JUST. READ. IT.

Joan Ellis, you have joined my very select favourite authors group. When is your next book due for release? I await it with bated breath.

Thank you to Catlover Booklady VIP reviews for the chance to read this outstanding book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1249008208

The Child Next Door by Shalini Boland

The Child Next Door by Shalini Boland
The Child Next Door 
by Shalini Boland (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: Fear clutches at my belly. Sweat breaks out on my upper lip and prickles my scalp. The thump, thump, thump of my heart beats in my ears. I must have been mistaken. Surely it can’t have been. . . but there. . . what’s that? Whispering. And then, clear as day, a man’s hushed voice:

‘Quick, let’s just take the baby now and go.’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: ‘Don’t take my baby.’

Kirstie Rawlings is jolted awake by a child crying. Racing upstairs to check on her new-born, she is plunged into every parents’ worst nightmare. She hears an unknown voice in the baby monitor, saying: ‘Let’s take the child – and go.’

Is someone trying to steal her little girl?

In the bedroom, her daughter is safe asleep in her cot. Is the voice coming from a nearby house? But there aren’t any other babies living on her quiet country road…

The police don’t believe her. And neither does her husband.

Kirstie knows something isn’t right. She thought she could trust her neighbours, now she isn’t sure. As she unravels the secrets of the people living on her street, Kirstie’s perfect life begins to fall apart.

Because someone is hiding a terrible lie. And they will do anything to stop Kirstie uncovering the truth. But is the danger closer to home than she thinks?

MY THOUGHTS: Five super-sized shiny heart-pounding stars! 💗💗💗💗💗

‘Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you.’

I read The Child Next Door by Shalini Boland in one sitting, my thoughts darting all over the place. Is this woman crazy? Is she having some type of post-natal psychotic episode? Or is someone really out to get her?

This is my first book by Boland, and WOW! what an introduction to her writing.

First time motherhood is never easy. I remember it well. The sleep-deprivation, the bone-numbing exhaustion, the fear of not coping, of being the only mother in the world who doesn’t cope, the stupid thoughts that dog your waking hours and prevent you from sleeping at night, the wondering how your husband could possibly find this ghost of the vital woman he married even remotely attractive, the wondering just who he is spending his time away from home with, the resentment of the time he is not spending with you . . . Boland has captured all this fear exactly, and then taken it to the next level.

The shady neighbour, the beautiful woman down the street, your best friend. . . all looking at you, all whispering about you. . . who are these people really?

And then that ending! Breath-taking. Didn’t see that coming! Still shaking my head in amazement.

I just bounded through this book, unable to put it down, unable to take my eyes from the pages. Definitely recommended. Highly recommended. Very highly recommended.

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Child Next Door by Shalini Boland for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2316286210

Last Night by Kerry Wilkinson

Last Night by Kerry Wilkinson
Last Night 
by Kerry Wilkinson (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT : There’s blood on my windscreen.

It’s in the corner, a few speckled spots and then a thicker pool towards the bottom. . . How to explain what I’m seeing?

ABOUT THIS BOOK: It’s the early hours of the morning and Rose Denton wakes up behind the steering wheel of her car. She’s off the road, through a hedge and in a field.

There’s blood on the windscreen and bonnet – but it’s not hers and there’s no sign of anything or anyone she might have hit. The last thing she remembers is being in a hotel on a business trip but now she’s miles away.

Back home and her daughter’s boyfriend is missing. The last thing he did was argue with Rose over money. He left no note, no text, no clue as to his whereabouts.

The police have questions – and so does Rose’s family. But those are little compared to the ones she has for herself.

What happened last night? And, perhaps more importantly, does she really want to know the answer?

MY THOUGHTS: Apart from the OMG moment towards the end, Last Night by Kerry Wilkinson proceeds at an orderly pace, posing many questions about what may or may not have happened that Rose can’t remember. In fact there are a lot of things happening that makes Rose think that she is losing her mind, or perhaps being set up.

Rose has something in her past that she doesn’t want revealed, and it wasn’t hard to guess what that was. This should have created a greater sense of mystery and suspense than it did.

I didn’t much like Rose, who is self-absorbed, spies on her workmates and then derides their lifestyle choices. I couldn’t connect with her, and I think that this affected my enjoyment of this book. An enjoyable read, but not a particularly memorable one. 3.5 stars.

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Last Night by Kerry Wilkinson for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2307567775