One Night in Italy by Lucy Diamond

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Pop the prosecco and sip back and relax with this bubbly novel!

 
One Night in Italy, introduces us to a cast of characters who all meet at a local Italian Class. Taught by Sophie who has been living in Sorrento for the past two years and has returned home to Sheffield due to her Father’s ill health.
 
All of the characters become firm friends and chapter by chapter we discover their background stories. Anna is stuck in a dull relationship, Sophie has a rocky history with her parents and Catherine is striking out on her own after she catches her husband cheating on her.
 
There is fun, friendship and frolics mixed in with a splash of intrigue, family mysteries and budding romance .
 
One Night in Italy, is the perfect comfort read, just pair it with your favourite Italian dessert! 
 
You can find out more about Lucy Diamond, here – http://www.lucydiamond.co.uk/ and here – @LDiamondAuthor
 
Thank you to Netgalley and publishers @panmacmillan for my review copy.

The Long Fall by Julia Crouch

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Emma –

 
Greece, 1980, eighteen year old, lone traveller Emma, has arrived in Athens, low in spirit and felling isolated. Emma is approached by Jake, a fellow traveller who extends the hand of friendship, later in the evening whilst enjoying dinner they meet and welcome Beattie to their table.

 
Over the next few days the trio spend their days drinking, taking drugs and sleeping it all off on a hostel roof – the coolest place to sleep and escape the cloying heat. Emma’s mood is bolstered and a sense of belonging envelopes her.
 
The three of them decide to travel to one of the quieter Greek islands, Ikaria, longing to find paradise. Instead they are involved in a violent event. An event which Emma will never forget.
 
Kate –
 
In London, Kate lives a magazine perfect life. A long marriage, a huge house filled with modern art, a famous face of the charity she began and no money troubles.
 
Except somebody has tracked Kate down, somebody from her very distant past. Somebody who wants revenge and knows just how to get it.
 
This novel is a dark, twisty, absorbing psychological thriller. The two timelines work brilliantly together adding to the menacing atmosphere as bit by bit the full story is revealed.
 
You can find out more about Julia Crouch here – http://juliacrouch.co.uk/ and here –  
 
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers @headlinepg for my review copy.
 
 
 
 
 

That Night by Chevy Stevens

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“Eighteen-year-old Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were wrongly convicted of the murder of her younger sister.”

 
I thought this was a fantastic read, I loved the writing, the pace and the characters.
 
Toni and Ryan are teenagers in love, bending the rules, sneaking around and dabbling in a few things they shouldn’t. One night a tragic incident happens involving Toni’s younger sister Nicole. A group of girls who have been making life hell for Toni provide witness statements firmly sealing Toni and Ryan’s fate. 
 
The book alternates between Toni and Ryan’s story when they are eighteen and their following years in prison.  I found this a great way of getting an insight into the characters and their relationships. The friends, enemies, relatives and prison family are all well developed. 
 
There is a definite sense of dread as Toni tries to prove her innocence, when you have a reputation and are not believed, outing the truth can be the most difficult thing.
 
Dangerous secrets simmer beneath the surface and everything seems to be delicately balanced like a house of cards.
 
Can Toni and Ryan clear their names before things come tumbling down?
 
Find more about Chevy Stevens here – @ChevyStevens and here – http://chevystevens.com/
 
Thank you to Netgalley and publishers   for my advance copy.

Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon

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Take one girl who has a fear of churches, who doesn’t believe in marriage and add thirteen weddings…

 
Bronte arrives in London, from Australia, to attend the wedding of childhood friend Polly. During the hen night celebrations Bronte meets Alex. They share one blissful night together but in the morning Alex receives a text message from his ex, Zara, asking to meet and Bronte flies home to Australia.
 
Bronte soon returns to London, landing a job at a magazine, not expecting to see Alex again, she is shocked to find out he is her new colleague. 
 
Meanwhile, Bronte, ends up connecting with wedding photographer, Rachel, who she met through her friend Polly. She agrees to help out with some of the weddings Rachel has booked for the rest of the year. At one of these weddings she meets Lachie, a fellow Australian whose easy going nature and good looks catch Bronte’s attention.
 
Bronte is torn between Alex and Lachie. Alex is now engaged to Zara and their wedding is booked. Lachie is single and slips in easily with Bronte’s group of friends. Bronte struggles with her feelings for Alex and what could have been and those for Lachie and what could be.
 
Family secrets simmer in the background, friendships are formed and difficult decisions are never far away.
 
A great summer read, consisting of love, friendship and travel. 
 
I really like the way Paige Toon also includes mentions of characters from previous books, it’s a great way of getting a snapshot update on past characters!
 
You can read more about Paige Toon here – http://www.paigetoon.com/ and here – @PaigeToonAuthor
 
Thank you to Netgalley and publishers  for my review copy.

The Accident by C.L. Taylor

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The Accident by C.L. Taylor is a gripping, suspenseful and fascinating read, perfect for fans of psychological thrillers.

Sue Jackson is married to Brian, has a daughter, a stepson and relaxes at night with a book and a glass of wine. On the surface life seems pretty rosy. Until her fifteen year old daughter, Charlotte, steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma. Sue doesn’t believe what happened was an accident and is drawn into a consuming search to uncover the truth.
The book follows Sue as she tries to piece together the actions leading up to this tragic event, driven on by a diary entry written by her daughter. The trail she follows veers towards a sinister undercurrent which leads back twenty years to Sue’s very own past.
The novel is interspersed with diary entries written by Sue during an abusive relationship with James. These entries contribute to the feeling of menace and give another dimension to Sue’s character.
Doubted by those close to her, Sue finds herself alone trying to protect her daughter as the ominous feeling rumbles throughout the pages.
A dark, full bodied read that would appeal to fans of Elizabeth Haynes, S J Watson and Elizabeth Forbes.
You can find out more about C. L. Taylor here http://www.callytaylor.co.uk/  and here https://twitter.com/callytaylor
Thank you to Netgalley   and Avon  for my review copy.

 

 

A Tap on the Window by Linwood Barclay

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Linwood Barclay is one of my most favourite authors. I love the fast pace of his novels and the twists and layers that are revealed throughout his books.

 
A Tap on the Window is a fantastically exciting read. It features Cal Weaver, an ex-cop turned private investigator. It’s a rainy evening, a teenage girl, Claire, is trying to hitch a lift. Cal knows it’s not the most sensible idea to pick her up but Claire knew his son and recognises him, Cal feels obliged to help her and lets her into his car.
 
“What if the hitch-hiker you picked up… isn’t the one you dropped off?”
 
From this point the plot twists and reveals just keep coming, Linwood Barclay is a master at keeping his stories fresh and exciting from start to finish, where nothing is quite as it seems.
 
In the town of Griffon, secrets begin to surface and connections are linked to past and present events. Suspense crackles throughout the pages as Cal tries to both clear his name and uncover the truth.
 
Linwood Barclay really pulls you into his books, the characters, towns and stories balance every day observations with real thriller type stories, I can’t wait for the next one!
 
You can read more about Linwood Barclay here – http://linwoodbarclay.com/home/  and here – https://twitter.com/linwood_barclay
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

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I have been a Dean Koontz fan for a long time, years in fact, starting from when I was probably around fifteen years old. His novels, regardless of if they veered more towards thriller, horror or fantasy territory, never failed to grip and engage with the pace and depth of both the characters and the story. I was thrilled to get this book to review, but reading it has been quite a lengthy process, taking almost two weeks!

 

The plot was interesting, John Calvino a police officer with a haunting and traumatic secret long since buried, is drawn to the case of Billy Lucas accused of killing his own family. John, unable to shake the unnerving feelings of his past, starts to investigate the circumstances of these killings, in the process isolating his family, job and colleagues. Whilst John is trying to find out about the past and present in order to prepare for the future, each of his family members start having strange and at times violent experiences, all linked to the one thing John is most scared of. I thought the character of Melody was extremely chilling, especially towards the end!

 

Although I did like the story, I felt it was missing the excitement and tension I have come to associate with Dean Koontz, which in turn dampened the plot a bit for me. If you haven’t been tempted to pick up a Dean Koontz book before, I wouldn’t suggest you start with this one, but would highly urge and recommend you to try one of his back catalogue novels; Intensity, one of my favourite books ever!

The Generation Game by Sophie Duffy

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This was an incredibly engaging novel; it has to be one of the best books I’ve read recently!

 

This is the story of Philippa Smith’s life, starting with her birth in 1965. Alongside this, there are chapters which detail Philippa’s present life in 2006, featuring the birth of her very own daughter. The two timelines slot seamlessly together and merge perfectly towards the end of the book. Helena, Philippa’s mother, is young and unmarried; leaving London behind with a Harrod’s bag full of nappies, she heads to Torquay with Philippa. Torquay becomes the place where friendships are made, lifelong bonds are formed, and secrets are both buried and revealed.

 

The Generation Game spans the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties and finishes comfortably in the 2000’s. We are treated to some really nostalgic memories within the chapters, which I’m sure, will be familiar with many! Each chapter that tells Philippa’s history is named after a game show and there are references to major news events dotted throughout. The characters are all brilliant; I loved and rooted for each one of them. The writing is fantastic and the story has such depth to it, with many layers and numerous small reveals connecting everything with each turn of the page.

 

The synopsis on the back of the book does a great job of detailing the overall story, but doesn’t hint in any way to the bottomless pit of indulgent fiction between the covers, a veritable feast of a story! I’m not going to say anything more about it, as I really enjoyed finding out every single unknown detail for myself and want future readers to experience the same.

 

Please don’t miss this one, the characters will stay with me for a while and I know I will remember the story for a long time to come.

 

You can find and follow this author at – http://www.sophieduffy.com/ or https://twitter.com/sophiestenduffy

How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman

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Set within an insular, Scandinavian community, we are introduced to Marta and Hector, husband and wife who follow the well-trodden path of many shared years together. Hector, heading towards retirement, and Marta, twenty years younger and coming to terms with her adult son, Kylan leaving home.

The writing creates a fantastically menacing air, and alongside the troubling thoughts of Marta, the reader finds themselves devouring a dark and at times peculiar tale.

I read this book in one sitting and enjoyed the slow reveal of Marta’s story. Fragments are pieced together to form a narrative that has two possible realities running side by side. Once I’d finished I was left wondering about the characters and where they slotted into the true story.

A book which will have you guessing, questioning and wanting to talk about it once you reach the end – I quite fancy giving this a second reading to see if I can now spot hints I may have missed the first time!

Love Virtually by Daniel Glattauer

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This is the story of Leo and Emmi, who have an accidental meeting of emails when Emmi sends an email to Leo in an attempt to cancel a magazine subscription. From this follows a handful of witty emails between the two of them. When an obvious connection through words evolves the correspondence continues. It soon begins to form an important part of both their days, both looking forward to contact from the other and if both are online together at the same time emails ping between themselves as conversation deepens and becomes more intimate.


Very quickly emotions develop and are written about as a dangerous closeness rises to the surface – Emmi is married and has two step children.

I thought the novel was excellent, I read it in one sitting as I just couldn’t put it down, I had to see how it was going to continue. The email format makes for a very addictive read, most of us today are familiar with email correspondence and this seemed so genuine, it was slightly voyeuristic! 

It shows how important and addictive the Internet can be, the impact it can have on personal lives and emotions and its place in modern society.

An added bonus is that the book has a sequel, so there is more to read of Leo and Emmi, I will definitely be seeking it out as I just wanted to continue reading when I came to the end.

A love story for the Internet age and one that will not fail to pull you in – excellent.