Kisscut by Karin Slaughter

Kisscut by Karin Slaughter
Kisscut (Grant County, #2) 
by Karin Slaughter (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: At twenty-eight weeks old, Jenny Weaver’s child might have been viable outside the womb had its mother not tried to flush it down the toilet. The foetus was well developed and well nourished. The brain stem was intact and, with medical intervention, the lungs would have matured over time. The hands would have learned to grasp, the feet to flex, the eyes to blink. Eventually, the mouth would have learned to speak of something other than the horrors it spoke to Sara of now. The lungs had taken breath, the mouth gasped for life. And then it had been killed.
For the past three-and-a-half hours, Sara had tried to reassemble the baby from the parts Jenny Weaver had left in the bathroom and in the red book bag they found in the trash by the video game room. Using tiny sutures instead of the usual baseball stitches, Sara had sewn the paper thin flesh back together into the semblance of a child. Her hands shook, and Sara had redone some of the knots because her fingers were not nimble enough on the first try.
Still, it was not enough. Working on the child, tying the tiny sutures, was like pulling a thread on a sweater. For every area repaired, there was another that could not be concealed. There was no disguising the trauma the child had been through. In the end, Sara had finally accepted that her self-appointed task was an exercise in futility. The baby would go to the grave looking much the way it had looked the last time her mother had seen her.

THE BLURB: Saturday night dates at the skating rink have been a tradition in the small southern town of Heartsdale for as long as anyone can remember, but when a teenage quarrel explodes into a deadly shoot-out, Sara Linton–the town’s pediatrician and medical examiner–finds herself entangled in a terrible tragedy.

What seemed at first to be a horrific but individual catastrophe proves to have wider implications. The autopsy reveals evidence of long-term abuse, of ritualistic self -mutilation, but when Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver start to investigate, they are frustrated at every turn.

The children surrounding the victim close ranks. The families turn their backs. Then a young girl is abducted, and it becomes clear that the first death is linked to an even more brutal crime, one far more shocking than anyone could have imagined. Meanwhile, detective Lena Adams, still recovering from her sister’s death and her own brutal attack, finds herself drawn to a young man who might hold the answers. But unless Lena, Sara, and Jeffrey can uncover the deadly secrets the children hide, it’s going to happen again . . .

MY THOUGHTS: Grant County is a series that needs to be read in order, from the beginning, to get the full benefit from the storyline.
Kisscut by Karin Slaughter is not a pretty story. It is not a pleasant read. It contains references to child abuse, and while it doesn’t go into specific detail, we all know enough to fill in the blanks. But Kisscut is compelling reading. Even though this is a reread for me, I found myself totally embroiled in the plot and the fates of the characters.
This is Slaughter at her best, and I still love the Grant County series best of all.
I listened to Kisscut by Karin Slaughter,narrated by Kathleen Early, on audiobook via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. 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/2177382184

Friday Favorite – Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

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.

I am currently reading Broken Bones by Angela Marsons, #7 in the DI. Stone series, and newly published just this week. It is not often that an author can maintain their focus and momentum through a series of seven books, but Marsons has done just that.

So while I am up in the middle of the New Zealand night devouring Marsons latest offering, I thought I would introduce you to the first in the series, Silent Scream.

WARNING: Unless you are planning on a sleepless night, don’t start this when you are going to bed, otherwise you will find yourself doing as I am, sitting up all night reading because you are going to read just one more chapter before you turn out the light. ..

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons
Silent Scream (D.I. Kim Stone, #1) 
by Angela Marsons (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT:
PROLOGUE
Rowley Regis, Black Country, 2004
Five figures formed a pentagram around a freshly dug mound.
Only they knew it was a grave.
Digging the frozen earth beneath the layers of ice and snow had been like trying to carve stone but they’d taken turns.
All of them.
An adult-sized hole would have taken longer.
The shovel had passed from grip to grip. Some were hesitant, tentative. Others more assured. No one resisted and no one spoke.
The innocence of the life taken was known to them all but the pact had been made.
Their secrets would be buried.
Five heads bowed towards the dirt, visualising the body beneath soil that already glistened with fresh ice. As the first flakes dusted the top of the grave, a shudder threaded through the group. The five figures dispersed, their footprints treading the trail of a star into the fresh, crisp snow.
It was done.

THE BLURB: Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…

Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …
Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.

But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.

As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?

Fans of Rachel Abbott, Val McDermid and Mark Billingham will be gripped by this exceptional new voice in British crime fiction.

Watch out for more from D.I. Kim Stone
A Detective hiding dark secrets, Kim Stone will stop at nothing to protect the innocent. Silent Scream is the first book in the series – watch out for EVIL GAMES coming soon.

MY THOUGHTS: The cover states that this is an edge of the seat serial killer thriller – and yes, it does deliver what it promises!
A headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.
Then human remains are discovered buried in the grounds of a former children’s home, threatening to bring to light a legacy of disturbing secrets.
How far will the killer go to protect these secrets?
The characters, some of whom are quite horrifying, are all well portrayed and well rounded.
This book had me gasping in shock, then shedding tears at moments of extreme compassion and tenderness.
Strongly recommended. But beware – this book is almost impossible to put down.

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Silent Scream by Angela Marsons for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. 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/1180418128

Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft

Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft
Silent Lies 
by Kathryn Croft (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: ‘Who…who are you?’

‘Exactly who I said I was. I just didn’t mention that I know who you are, or that I’m here to tell you your husband didn’t kill himself.’

THE BLURB: ‘Your husband didn’t kill himself.’
Five years rebuilding your life. Five words will destroy it again.

Mia Hamilton lived the perfect life with her husband, university teacher Zach, and their two-year-old daughter, Freya. But everything changed when Zach committed suicide on the same night one of his students, Josie Carpenter, vanished.

Five years later, and Josie is still missing but Mia has finally found some happiness with new boyfriend Will.

Until one day when stranger Alison walks into her life and tells Mia that her husband didn’t kill himself.

Desperate to find out what really happened to Zach, Mia is forced to put her trust in Alison. But she soon discovers that Alison has her own agenda behind exposing the details of Zach’s death. Can Mia really believe anything Alison says?

Mia must decide how far she is willing to go to uncover the truth – even if she risks losing everything she loves.

MY THOUGHTS: ‘How do you know who to trust?’ This is the question that is the crux of Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft. And after reading this, I don’t know that I am ever again going to believe anything I am told that I haven’t seen with my own eyes.

Silent Lies is told from the viewpoints of Mia and Josie over two different timelines that gradually merge. There are more twists and turns than is likely to be found in a plateful of spaghetti. All the way through, I was wondering why……..why Mia was taking such risks, why she couldn’t just settle down with Will and be happy, why she couldn’t look to the future instead of the past, why she was listening to Alison who was manipulative and scheming?

All my questions were answered in an absolutely unexpected ending.

If you are looking for a gripping psychological thriller, I can recommend Silent Lies.

Thank you to Bookouture via NetGalley for providing a digital copy of Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. 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 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2141504402?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 and on Twitter @SandraFayJones2

The Treatment by C. L. Taylor

The Treatment by C.L. Taylor
The Treatment 
by C.L. Taylor (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: I slip into the single stall toilet at the back of the cafe. I hold it together long enough to close the door and lock it and then I rest my arms on the wall and burst into tears. I’m still crying when I sit down on the closed toilet lid and reach into my pocket. Tears roll down my cheeks as I pull out the note that Dr Cobey thrust into my hands. They plop onto the paper as I carefully unfold it. I read the words Mason has scribbled in blue biro. I read them once, twice, three times and the tears dry in my eyes.

I’m not sad and confused any more. I’m terrified.

THE BLURB: “You have to help me. We’re not being reformed. We’re being brainwashed.”
All sixteen year old Drew Finch wants is to be left alone. She’s not interested in spending time with her mum and stepdad and when her disruptive fifteen year old brother Mason is expelled from school for the third time and sent to a residential reform academy she’s almost relieved.

Everything changes when she’s followed home from school by the mysterious Dr Cobey, who claims to have a message from Mason. There is something sinister about the ‘treatment’ he is undergoing. The school is changing people.

Determined to help her brother, Drew must infiltrate the Academy and unearth its deepest, darkest secrets.

MY THOUGHTS: There were a lot of things I liked about The Treatment, C. L. Taylor’s debut Young Adult novel, and a few things I disliked, which resulted in a 3.5 star rating.

This was, for most part, a fast paced read. The plot flowed well, mostly. I had trouble with the ease with which Drew was bundled off to the reform school. I know her step-father is involved in the process, but there is a reason he should, to my mind, be keeping Drew and Mason well away from there, not facilitating their admission. This is only one instance for which I had to suspend rationality and go with the storyline.

The ending, I felt, was over simplified. And rushed. Our young adults are a great deal more savy than I was at that age, and I was an advanced reader. I was tempted to get my ten year old grandson to read this to see what he thought because I am certain he would have picked up on most of the same things I did.

Having said that, I found most of the book to be riveting, an exciting adventure, one I didn’t want to put down in favor of sleep last night.

I think this book is probably suited to the younger end of the young adult spectrum.

The Treatment by C. L. Taylor is due to be published October 23, 2017.

Thank you to Harlequin Australia via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Treatment for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. 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 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2142848716

White Bodies by Jane Robins

White Bodies by Jane Robins
White Bodies 
by Jane Robins

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: The two men were struck by the unnatural stillness of the room, its air of unreality; Julio said it seemed considered, or planned, like a tableau vivant with Felix as the centrepiece, lying on his back on the bed in a strange balletic pose, right arm cast out across the duvet, left leg bent, bath robe open like a cape,grey eyes gazing at the ceiling. His left arm was dangling down the side of the bed, fingers suspended above the floor, and the hotel manager, who had a degree in the History of Art, was reminded of the pre-Raphaelite painting of the suicide of Thomas Chatterton. Except this didn’t look like suicide, there were no pill bottles or razor blades or other signs.

THE BLURB: Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless façade, not everything is as it seems.

Callie, Tilda’s unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix’s domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash. She knows about Felix’s uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister’s arms.

Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgment when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies—or was he murdered?

MY THOUGHTS: This is an extremely clever book. A book that is quite different from anything else I have read. But I can’t say I actually ‘liked’ it. It fascinated me. It intrigued me. But I didn’t like it and I couldn’t get ‘involved’ in it.

I think part of the problem, for me, is the author’s narrative style. Her sentences are inordinately long. And for suspense, nothing but short snappy sentences does it for me. Also large tracts of the book are narrated through emails/reading off a memory stick/searching the Internet/taking place in chat rooms.

However, Jane Robins has done a great job of keeping the reader off balance. Her characters are nearly all manipulative, some more overtly than others, and the reader never quite knows who is telling the truth. Is Callie protective of her sister Tilda, or is she jealous of Tilda’s success, professional and personal? Is Felix the adoring lover who likes to shower Tilda with surprises and protect her from the world, or is he a violent control freak? Is Wilf really in love with Callie, or is he just using her to find out information about Tilda to feed to the press? And who is Scarlet really?

The plot is great. After a great deal of thought, I decided that I just didn’t like how it was handled and rated it 3.5 stars. White Bodies by Jane Robins is due to be published October 23, 2017

Thank you to Harlequin Australia via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of White Bodies by Jane Robins for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. 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 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2155011405

Friday Favorite – NOS-4A2 by Joe Hill

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.

As most of my regular followers will know, Stephen King is one of my all time favorite authors. I have Sleeping Beauties, written in collaboration with his son Owen King,  sitting on my desk to read. That brought to mind NOS-4A2, written by King’s other son, with whom he also collaborates from time to time. For me, NOS-4A2 is right up there with King’s The Shining. If you haven’t yet read this, I urge you to. It is a masterpiece.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
NOS4A2 
by Joe Hill (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: Because she was preoccupied, she didn’t notice what was different about Charlie Manx until she was easing around his cot to reach the IV rack. He happened to sigh heavily just then, as if bored, and she looked down and saw him staring up at her, and she was so startled to see him with his eyes open that she bobbled the sack of blood and almost dumped it on her feet.

He was hideous-old, not to mention hideous. His great bald skull was a globe mapping an alien moon, continents marked by liver spots and bruise colored sarcomas. Of all the men in the long term care ward – aka the Vegetable Patch – there was something particularly awful about Charlie Manx with his eyes open at this time of the year. Manx liked children. He’d made dozens of them disappear back in the nineties. He had a house below the Flatirons where he did what he liked with them and killed them and hung Christmas ornaments in their memory. The papers called the place the Sleigh House. Ho, ho, ho.

THE BLURB: NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

MY THOUGHTS: If I could give this book 10 stars I would!

This has to be the best book I have read in 2014 (sorry to Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane – you’ve just been bumped into 2nd place!). I want to never let this book go.

I found myself cheering on Vic in her fight against Charles Manx, feeling her pain when her son Wayne was in danger….. This book sucked me right in and I felt for it’s characters.

Joe Hill is definitely his father’s son. He writes with the same easy narrative flow and sardonic wit, but I think that with NOS-4A2 he may even have out written Stephen King. If you are a Stephen King/Neil Gaiman fan, this is a book you have to read.

Please note: in  Australasia this book is published as NOS-4R2

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. 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

London Noir by Ann Girdharry

London Noir by Ann Girdharry
London Noir (Kal Medi #2) 
by Ann Girdharry (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: I suppose the realization I was different stole up on me slowly.

There were signs from early on, if I’m honest. Like my first year in primary school when Mirabella wet her knickers in front of the whole class – the girls were mortified and the boys laughed and I was excited.

So, yeah, I knew I was different. To survive, I learned to act like my friends and I’m so good, pretty much everyone in my life would say I’m normal and I like that because it means I’m clever.

One thing I’ve learned is that when you’ve wanted something for a long time, your mind makes tracks in the sand showing exactly how it’s going to turn out. You anticipate your own excitement, your own arousal, and what the other person will say and do. Those tracks start out delicate and then solidify with each replaying of the fantasy, until they get to be as firm as a rail track. The fantasy can keep me occupied for months only, at some point, I have to have the real deal – the flash of horror in their eyes, the desperate urge to plead for mercy, bowels voiding and dribbling down a leg. It’s the helplessness that grabs me – when they realize there’s absolutely nothing they can do. It’s the best drug in the world.

And with me, it’s the eyes that are captivating. The windows of the soul – unable to lie in the final moments.

THE BLURB: Memory loss, nightmares, the urge to kill – Sophie has it all.
Is it Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? Or something more sinister? Kal is about to find out…

After a near-fatal road accident, Kal helps a young girl in trouble. The girl’s friends are being murdered one by one. Why? And who by?

Kal must kick start herself out of her downward spiral to save the young stranger.

But Kal is in the grip of the London Cartel and is someone after the girl, or is the girl after someone?

Crime suspense thriller. A stand alone novel. The second in the Kal Medi series.

MY THOUGHTS: I hadn’t read Kal Medi #1 before reading London Noir by Ann Girdharry. I think it would have helped, as there are numerous references to events that occurred in that first book that are not adequately explained, like what had happened to put Marty in hospital in a coma or why Kal was in the grip of the London Cartel. So I don’t really recommend this as a stand alone book. But if you do read London Noir without reading Good Girl, Bad Girl, then chances are you will do what I am doing, and lay your hands on a copy of #1 anyway.

Ann Girdharry had me hooked from the beginning. In fact at the 7% mark my comment was ‘WOW!’. Of course, this frenetic pace could not be maintained, although London Noir continued to be a fast paced book and a quick read. And while I didn’t always find Kal’s actions believable or at all rational, I was happy to suspend belief and just enjoy the read.

3.5 stars for London Noir by Ann Girdharry

Thank you to author Ann Girdharry for providing me with a digital copy of London Noir for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. 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 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2124446897?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Weycombe by G.M. Malliet

Weycombe by G.M. Malliet
Weycombe 
by G.M. Malliet (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: What happened to Anna could so easily have been an accident. She could have been running flat out on her chubby legs, minding her own business, when some solicitor speeding by on his way to his office in Walton-on-Thames, anonymous in his ventilated helmet and ubiquitous black bike shorts, pushed her off the path, sending her rolling downhill and breaking her neck. That time of year, the path could be slick with wet fallen leaves. She might simply have slipped and fallen on her head.

That is certainly how it could have happened. Except that of course she was murdered, dead before her body came to rest at the edge of the river.

THE BLURB: Weycombe is the chocolate-box village of everyone’s dreams. For American Jillian White, a gated life of pleasure and comfort with her titled English husband was a fantasy come true.

But the murder of a local estate agent mars the village’s so-pretty surface. Are people actually dying to live in Weycombe? Jill investigates, piecing together clues along the snaking paths and winding lanes of her adopted village. She knows truth has many versions, depending on who is doing the telling. And that few can be trusted in Weycombe, where nothing is as perfect as it seems.

MY THOUGHTS: After reading the synopsis, I thought I was in for a cosy Agatha Christie like read. But it seems G.M. Malliet is very clever. She has written a chameleon of a novel. To start with, she uses her acerbic wit to paint a portrait of life in an English village. Even at slightly over half way, I made the following comment- “This is so not about murder. It is an amusing, sometimes laugh out loud hilarious, tongue-in-cheek, slightly bitchy poke at life in an English village. The murder is merely the vehicle.”

Yes, I was well and truly sucked in. For, almost without me noticing, the story turned in on itself in the second half and became something far more sinister. This was definitely not Christie!

This is a book that I read with a smile on my face, especially at the end. Although I picked up the odd hiccup with continuity, this was an uncorrected ARC and so I would expect these minor imperfections to have been corrected before Weycombe is unleashed on the public.

All in all, a very enjoyable read that kept my interest from the first page to the last. I have added all this authors other works to my reading list.

Thank you to Midnight Ink via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Weycombe for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. 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 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2153334557?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

The Comfort of Black by Carter Wilson

The Comfort of Black by Carter   Wilson
The Comfort of Black
by Carter Wilson (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by

 

EXCERPT: Hannah didn’t have a plan beyond setting her father on fire.

She hid in her closet tonight as Billy rampaged, cloaked in the dark amongst shoes too small to wear, clothes reeking of cigarette smoke no matter how many times she washed them, and a memory box containing only dried, blackened roses from her first and only boyfriend, a romance that lasted not much longer than the flowers. Hannah had spent much time in this closet before, and time itself stretched into magical proportions in the cramped darkness. Seconds were minutes, minutes were hours. But it would finally be over. Billy was predictable. When his rage ended, it would leave him fatigued, like a cheetah after a kill. He would sleep, and when he did, it would be Hannah’s turn to act.

THE BLURB: Though they seem to have everything, Hannah Parks has watched her husband, Dallin, become increasingly distant. Her hope is buoyed when the couple decides to start a family, but what Dallin reveals in his sleep one night rocks Hannah to her core. As she starts to investigate a much darker side of Dallin than she ever knew existed, Hannah peels away the layers of a diseased relationship closely tied to her own abusive past. When Dallin attempts to have Hannah abducted, she is forced to run, doing so with the aid of a man named Black–an ex-con and expert at helping people disappear. Together they must keep Hannah safe from her husband’s far-reaching grasp, all the while trying to solve the mystery behind Dallin’s sudden violence. Does Hannah’s dark family history hold the key to her survival?

MY THOUGHTS: 3 stars for this very changeable book by Carter Wilson, The Comfort of Black.

The title intrigued me, and the opening sentence definitely grabbed my attention. ‘Hannah didn’t have a plan beyond setting her father on fire.’ In fact, that would be one of the most attention grabbing opening sentences I have ever read.

The first third of the book was well written, taut. I found myself holding my breath as I read. But then all changed. It was almost as though someone else had written the middle third of the book. The Comfort of Black changed from being a psychological thriller to a story that used gratuitous violence to no good effect. In fact I did wonder, once I had finished reading, if the original book when finished was too short and so someone had added these pages to it to stretch it out…… To me, it was entirely out of context and totally unnecessary.

The final quarter of the book picked up the psychological thriller thread to some degree again, but for me the damage had been done.

Thank you to NetGalley and Oceanview Publishing for a digital ARC of The Comfort of Black for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. 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/1447074609

If You Only Knew by Cynthia Clark

 

If You Only Knew by Cynthia Clark
If You Only Knew
by Cynthia Clark

Reviewed by


EXCERPT:’…..there was the crisp white envelope with my name written in a handwriting I didn’t recognize and no sender’s address.

Tearing open the envelope, I’d taken out the plain sheet of paper.

I FINALLY FOUND YOU, was written in block capitals. I KNOW WHAT YOU DID AND YOU’RE GOING TO PAY.’

THE BLURB: A wife, a mother, a killer.

One wrong decision, one terrifying night, leaves student Elizabeth with a stark choice – kill or be killed. And the consequences of that choice will shape her whole life.

Now a wife, a mother, and a lawyer, she must find a way to out run her past, protect her family and live with her secret. But is it really possible to live a happy life with such a huge shadow cast by the past? And as it becomes clear that someone else knows her secret and is hunting her down, time is running out for Elizabeth to keep her family safe.

In the bestselling tradition of Clare Mackintosh and Jenny Blackhurst, Cynthia Clark has written a heart-stopping story about the choices we make and how far we’d go to protect our families. Even if it means deceiving the people we love most…

MY THOUGHTS: Living with guilt must be one of the hardest things to do. I can imagine it eating away at you rather like the sea undermining a cliff face. On top, everything looks fine. Underneath, the foundations are crumbling.

And that pretty much sums up Elizabeth’s life. When she made her decision, she had no idea how far the repercussions would reach over the years, nor that she would have to keep adding layer upon layer of lies to keep her secret safe.

Cynthia Clark has written an absorbing and unpredictable story of a woman trapped by the undertow of her past. If You Only Knew is a tale of duplicity, one that packs quite an emotional punch. She has captured the raw emotions of a woman whose carefully constructed facade is being systematically demolished around her, but who cannot give up trying to resurrect and shore up that facade despite knowing that she is ultimately fighting a losing battle; a woman who knows that when she finally loses the battle, she is likely to lose everything and everyone she loves.

As I said, If You Only Knew packs quite an emotional punch. I held my breath in anticipation, I got angry, I was sad, frustrated, and shook my head in denial. I guess you could call it an interactive read! But one thing I never felt was bored.

Thank you to Aria via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of If You Only Knew by Cynthia Clark for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. 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/2147531009