The Other You by J.S. Monroe

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EXCERPT: ‘We’ve all got a double out there somewhere, watching, waiting. Shadowless.’ He looks around the cove, up at the clifftop behind them. The man with the binoculars has gone. ‘And I’ve already met mine, a long time ago.’

‘When?’ she asks. He doesn’t answer.

‘They say it’s bad enough to see your double once, but it’s meant to be much worse if you meet them a second time.’ He pauses. ‘The day I see him again will be my last. He’ll take over my life, me, you, the house, my company, all that I’ve achieved, everything that’s precious to me.’

He pauses, eyes welling as the Cornish sun disappears behind a solitary cloud, casting the beach into sudden shade. ‘He’ll steal my soul.’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: You are waiting for your husband to join you on holiday. But when he arrives, you know it’s not him…

This clever, twisty psychological thriller explores identity and pretence, paranoia and the disturbing notion that we are all, at some level, impostors.

MY THOUGHTS: Clever. Twisty. Chilling. I won’t be sleeping any more tonight.

This is the second book I have read by this author, and he continues to stun me with his unusual plots and his ability to totally creep me out. I love to be creeped out. I can’t remember the last time I had a sleepless night because of it.

This book is edgy and tense, The. Whole. Way. Through. If you are looking for a relaxing read, this isn’t it. This is heart-pounding paranoia. This will have you looking twice at anyone acting a little out of character. This will have you doubting and questioning everything you know about everyone. This will give you sleepless nights…

A ‘couldn’t bear to put it down’ read.

😱😱😱😱😱

#TheOtherYou #NetGalley

THE AUTHOR: J.S.Monroe is the pseudonym of the British author Jon Stock. Jon is the author of five spy novels and a new standalone psychological thriller, Find Me, to be published in 2017 under the name of JS Monroe. He lives in Wiltshire with his wife and three children.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Head of Zeus via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Other You by J.S. Monroe for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3137489876?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Watching What I’m Reading…

Summer has returned to New Zealand after a week of very strong winds and cooler temperatures. The wind has browned off all the grass and everything is very dry . Even the lawn in our backyard has big cracks running through it. The farmers will be hoping for rain , and my garden could certainly use it, but please can we have it at night…😂🤣😂🤣

I am currently reading

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And listening to

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This week, despite the fact that I can only read my Kindle when it is connected to the power as it won’t hold a charge, I am planning on reading

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You are waiting for your husband to join you on holiday. But when he arrives, you know it’s not him…

This clever, twisty psychological thriller explores identity and pretence, paranoia and the disturbing notion that we are all, at some level, impostors.

They say she’s a murderess. She claims she’s innocent. But Lucy has been known to tell lies…

1855, New Hampshire. Lucy Blunt is set to hang for a double murder. Murderess or victim? Only Lucy knows the truth.

In the shadow of the gallows, Lucy reflects on the events that led to her bitter downfall—from the moment she arrived at the rambling Burton mansion looking for work and a better life to the grisly murders themselves.

In a mysterious household of locked doors and forbidden affections, Lucy slips comfortably into the shadows, where she believes the indiscretions of her past will remain hidden. But when Lucy’s rising status becomes a threat to the mistress’s current companion, the delicate balance of power and loyalty begins to shift, setting into motion a brewing storm of betrayal, suspicion, and rage.

Now, with her execution looming closer, Lucy’s allies fight to have her sentence overturned as the tale she’s spinning nears its conclusion. But how much of her story can we trust? After all, Lucy’s been known to bend the truth…

I have received 4 new ARCs this week

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That’s my lot for the week.
Wishing you a happy and safe week.

Cheers and happy reading
Sandy
❤😍📚

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

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EXCERPT: The Reach is wide and quiet this morning, the pale blue sky streaked with pink mackerel-belly clouds, the shallow sea barely rippling in the slight breeze, and so the sound of the dog barking breaks into the calm like gunshots, sending flocks of gulls crying and wheeling in the air.

Plovers and terns explode up as the dog bounds joyously down the riverbank, scampering down the runnelled side, where the earth turns from spiky grass dunes to reed-speckled mud, where the water wavers between salt and fresh.

In the distance the Tide Mill stands sentinel, black and battered against the cool calm of the morning sky, the only man-made structure in a landscape slowly crumbling back into the sea.

‘Bob!’ The woman’s voice rings out above the volley of barks as she pants to catch up. ‘Bob, you rascal. Drop it. Drop it, I say. What’ve you found?’

As she draws closer, the dog tugs again at the object protruding from the mud, trying to pull it free.

‘Bob, you filthy brute, you’re covered. Let it go. Oh God, it’s not another dead sheep, is it?’

It’s the last heroic yank that sends the dog staggering back along the shore, something in its jaw. Triumphant, he scrambles up the bank to lay the object at the feet of his owner.

And as she stands, looking dumbstruck, the dog panting at her feet, the silence returns to the bay like a tide coming in.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).

MY THOUGHTS:’A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on’.

I have only read Ruth Ware’S debut novel previously, and I DID NOT LIKE IT. Not one bit. The Lying Game, however, is brilliant. It is told from the point of view of one of the four girls, now all women, Isa, mostly in the present, but with flashbacks to when they were in school.

The Lying Game had 5 rules –
Rule 1: Tell a lie.
Rule 2: Stick to your story
Rule 3. Don’t get caught.
Rule 4. Never lie to each other.
Rule 5. Know when to stop lying.
– the most important being “Never Lie to Each Other.’ It slowly becomes apparent someone has broken this rule….and the day of reckoning may well be nigh with consequences far beyond what their teenage selves could ever have imagined.

Ware has cunningly depicted the pack mentality of the teenager, the narcissistic tendencies, the brash certainty that they know best, and woven it into an atmospheric, twisty tale that left me breathless and wanting more.

Imogen Church was the ideal narrator. She is brilliant with voices.

****.5

THE AUTHOR: Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of The Lying Game by Ruth Ware, narrated by Imogen Church and published by Random House Audio, via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page, or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on my https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3086319398

Watching What I’m Reading…

Happy New Year y’all. I hope you have had a happy and safe holiday season. I don’t know what it was like wherever you may be, but we had brilliant weather up in the Bay of Islands. I had forgotten how beautiful it is up there and we’re planning on heading back up there soon.

I have just started reading

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And OMG! What an opening chapter…I can feel an all nighter coming on.

I need to download a new audiobook fo my walk to work tomorrow, but at this point have no idea what it will be.

This week I am planning on reading

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You’ve met Mrs Bright. She’s that nice woman who lives three doors down and always smiles at you in the mornings. She’s planning her thirtieth wedding anniversary with her husband. She wants to travel, read endless books and take beautiful pictures. She’s been waiting for this forever.

For the past twenty-nine years, Kay Bright’s days have had a familiar rhythm: she works in her husband’s stationery shop, cooks for her family, tries to remember to practice yoga, and every other month she writes to her best friend, Ursula, and Ursula replies. Kay could set her calendar by their letters: her heart lifts when the blue airmail envelope, addressed in Ursula’s slanting handwriting, falls gently onto the mat.

Ursula is the only one who knows Kay’s deepest secret, something that happened decades ago that could tear Kay’s life apart today. Ursula has always been the person Kay relies on. Knowing she will hear from Ursula is like being sure the sun will rise tomorrow.

And now Ursula has stopped writing. Three missing letters doesn’t sound like a lot, but Kay gets out her shoebox of notes from her best friend, in case there’s something she overlooked. Ursula seems fine, but the further back she goes, the more Kay begins to question every choice she has made in her life. Which might be why, at ten o’clock one morning, Kay walks out of her yellow front door with a just a rucksack, leaving her wedding ring on the table…

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When Cameron Swift is shot and killed outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer. Her role is to support the family – and investigate them.

Monika, Cameron’s partner and mother of two sons, had to be prised off his lifeless body after she discovered him. She has no idea why anyone would target Cameron.

Beth can understand Monika’s confusion. To everyone in their affluent community, Monika and her family seemed just like any other. But then Beth gets a call.

Sara is on holiday with her daughters when she sees the news. She calls the police in the UK, outraged that no one has contacted her to let her know or offer support. After all, she and Cameron had been together for the last seven years.

Until Cameron died, Monika and Sara had no idea each other existed.

As the case unfolds, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets. Especially the dead…

I have received five new ARCs since I last posted, just prior to Christmas.

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Happy reading my friends.
Cheers
Sandy
❤😍📚

Behind Dark Doors (One) by Susan May

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EXCERPT: Then this producer rang from ‘Today Tonight’ – or ‘Yesterday Morning’, or something sounding equally cliched – and asked if he could do a piece on them.

A piece, he thought. He wished he could have done just a piece of marriage, instead of the whole lot. They never ask you that during the wedding ceremony. ‘How much do you think you can do? Five years? Twenty? Fifty? After fifty we’ll come and get you out, George.’ No, they do not. They say ‘until the day you die.’ And that is that.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Twilight Zone, Darker Things and Black Mirror.
These tales will delight fans of the horror short story with their ingenius twists and wicked irony. Brought to you by the international best-selling author readers have named the new Stephen King.

Enter strange worlds and meet their unusual and sometimes terrifying residents.Dive into the first collection of ;Behind Dark Doors, filled with stories of suspense, horror, paranormal and supernatural, from the dark mind of short story award-winning author Susan May.

DO US PART
When you’ve been married seventy years, what secret and deadly thoughts lie behind the smiles?

HELL’S KITCHEN
Gordon must survive the elimination round in an intense cooking competition. But he’s made a fatal mistake and winning is now a matter of life and death.

MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES
When a mother feels she’s not being heard at a parent-teacher meeting, sometimes actions can speak louder than words.

I HATE EMMA CARTER
New girl in school, Emma Carter, is assigned Angie Dutton as her babysitter. Angie’s nobody’s keeper but perhaps this time she’s picked the wrong victim.

IT’S IN THE GENES
Ever since Brandon joined his father on his late-night fishing trips he’s changed from Helen’s happy-go-lucky son. Today, she’ll discover why.

THE WAR VETERAN
For seventy years, World War II veteran Jack Baker has endured vivid flashbacks to that horrific June day on Omaha Beach. Tonight, Jack’s seventy-year-old secret comes back to claim him.

MY THOUGHTS: Susan May has a twisted mind….be very careful around her and her family. Don’t upset her. You may, if her stories are anything to go by, live (or not live, as the case may be) to regret it.

My favourite story was Do Us Part. It’s something that I have often wondered about…. as my dear husband often says, you get less for murder.

This is a wonderful collection of macabre stories, some of which will amuse, while others will chill. Sit back and enjoy the ride…..

🤣😱🤯😳

THE AUTHOR: I was four when I decided I would be a writer, packed a bag, and marched down the road looking for a school. But for forty-six years, I suffered from life-gets-in-the-way-osis. Setting a goal to write just one page a day cured me in 2010. This discipline grew into an addictive habit that has since borne several novels, and dozens of short stories and novellas–many of which are published award-winners in Australia, the US and the UK.

My childhood reading diet consisted of Edgar Allen Poe, O’Henry, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, plus horror comics like Tales From the Crypt. Anything out of this world like The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits had me glued to the television.

Inspired by these classics, I attempt to pen tales that are simply about the story and the characters and not about fancy words or beautiful descriptions. At the end of my stories I hope, wonderful reader, that you will feel you’ve enjoyed a journey into the fantastic with a neat twist at the end.

Every day I pinch myself that I am able to do what I love and be in control of every facet of it. And I can wear my track suit pants and slippers while doing it. Bliss.

Most days I’m just an average mother and wife living in Perth, Western Australia, but this darn imagination of mine keeps constantly venturing into the crevices of dark worlds, whether I want to go there or not.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to author Susan May for providing a digital copy of her short story collection Behind Dark Doors 1 for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1386311068?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Watching What I’m Reading….

I am, in all probability, not going to get another post in until after New Year so I will wish you all a very Merry Christmas (or whatever you may be celebrating) and a happy and healthy 2020 filled by all the people you love.

I am currently reading

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This is a heart wrenching read and tissues are mandatory.

I am listening to

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Which is excellent! Great narrator too.

I can’t see myself getting much reading done in the next week or so . I am in hospitality so this is our crazy busy time, and then I am at the beach with the grandchildren for a week, so fingers crossed that the weather holds . But hopefully I will be able to get to

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The discovery of a young student floating face down in Lake Windermere, her naked skin almost translucent in the freezing water, looks like yet another tragic teen suicide. But the victim’s lack of clothes make Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams want to investigate further. Anything to distract her from the arrival of her abusive ex-boyfriend’s body on the mortuary table that morning.

With witnesses keeping tight-lipped and any clues washed away by the tides, it’s up to Beth to find the evidence her team needs. But then another girl is found in the lake, this time still clinging to life. She tells them she was at a party on a boat, and that she was pushed…

As more bodies surface, Beth finds tiny traces of boat paint present on each victim. It’s a critical lead that links these attacks back to a tragic accident involving a group of school children years ago.

Faced with a killer hungry for revenge, and with her own life spiralling out of control, it’s going to take every ounce of skill and determination for Beth to catch this monster before he takes another innocent life. But will Beth realise he’s been right beside her all along?

I have 4 new ARCs from Netgalley this week

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Happy holidays my friends

❤😍📚🌞

Cold Heart Creek by Lisa Regan

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EXCERPT: Josie felt an involuntary shiver run the length of her spine and hoped Charlotte didn’t sense it. She was beginning to feel completely disarmed and thrown off by this strange woman who smiled as though she knew something Josie did not, who didn’t sweat in ninety degree weather, and who seemed to know Josie’s thoughts before she had time to articulate them.

‘Listen, ‘ Josie said. ‘I’m here as part of an investigation. We have two dead bodies and a missing female who may be ill. I don’t have time for this.

Charlotte remained in place, still as a statue. ‘You’ve never made time for it, don’t you see that?’ She took a step toward Josie and touched her cheek, where the long faded scar ran from Josie’s ear to beneath her chin. She wanted to recoil, but her feet were frozen in place. ‘Now things are coming to an end of some sort, aren’t they? Whatever it is, you’ll only have one chance at it, and you’re wondering whether you should take it or not.’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: When a park ranger stumbles across the bodies of newlyweds Valerie and Tyler Yates by a creek in the small town of Denton, Detective Josie Quinn is first on the scene. Still reeling from the news that her abusive mother is dying, Josie suspects this is more than just accidental poisoning, and she’s right: someone jammed a crudely carved pendant necklace down Valerie’s throat before she died.

Combing the area, Josie’s team discover a third sleeping bag indicating there could have been an extra guest around the fire that night. A lucky escape? A missing victim? Or a suspect on the run? Finding this person is the key to the entire investigation…

The trail leads Josie to the gates of a farmhouse hidden deep within the forest – a special place where people go to escape, and to hide. There is a young girl there with frightened eyes and bandaged wrists who knows more than she is saying, but the next day she’s found dead, choked with a matching necklace…

With her mother’s life hanging by a thread, Josie has an impossible decision to make as she races to find the meaning of the pendant and catch this twisted killer before another innocent life is taken – but is she already too late?

MY THOUGHTS: This series, of which this is the seventh book, is addictive. And I may have said this before, but this is the best in the series, so far. I read it overnight, finishing just in time to go to work this morning. I was so absorbed in the storyline, it wasn’t until I got to the end and caught my breath that I realized I hadn’t highlighted any sections for my excerpt!

At the end, the author/publishers ask, ‘Did this unputdownable thriller make your heart race and leave you wanting more?’ My answer is a resounding ‘YES!’ This is not a series that continues to be strong, it is one that gets stronger with every book.

We don’t see as much of Josie’s family in Cold Heart Creek as we have in a the previous books, but there are some very interesting characters; Donovan the hermit and,even more so, Charlotte featured in the excerpt above.

I can’t say anything about this book that hasn’t already been said except that if you haven’t already read it, you are missing out on ‘A breathtaking read!’

❤😍❤😍❤

#ColdHeartCreek #NetGalley

My favourite quote: ‘…the darkness had never hurt her. It was always the monsters in the light…..’

THE AUTHOR: Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Cold Heart Creek by Lisa Regan for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3035904538?type=review#rating_251048467