The Forgotten Girl~Daco S.Auffenorde

She lost her memory. Now she might lose her life. A beautiful woman wakes in a hospital bed, t confused. She’s been in a coma for weeks. And can only remember her first name—Blue. Blue learns she fell from a window on the fourth floor of a hotel. Did she jump? Or was she pushed? To discover the truth, Blue must figure out who she is and what she was doing in that hotel. And she needs to do it fast. Because someone is out there, hunting Blue down, waiting for an opportunity to strike. Not knowing where to turn or who to trust, Blue must rely on her instincts to survive. Gradually, her memories begin to return, and they’re darker than she could ever have imagined. Will she put the pieces of her life back together before she’s silenced forever?

The premise of The Forgotten Girl really lured me in, despite the book being quite a large read with a lot of pages. However I did find it longer than it needed to be by about 100-150 pages and I was highly wary of the characters Lorraine and DeLuca, and something t about the way Blue suddenly had this amazing friend willing to support her just didn’t sit right at all. Plus the fact Blue was overly happy to share her memory loss with people she would certainly not have known prior to her fall seemed like a gamble to me. 

I did like Blue’s mother and her farm hands, however the book wasn’t sitting right in my brain, and I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve been in a massive reading slump this year with some time consuming personal and family issues or if it just didn’t have that spark for me.

On the whole it was a great idea, punctually perfect and use of descriptions bought it all to life and I applaud Auffendore for a genius idea but I hope for future books she keeps them slightly shorter and a little more enticing. The plot twist was good but just not quite at the top of the game in my opinion.

Author Bio

Daco S. Auffenorde is an award-winning author of thriller and suspense stories. She’s discussed her books in multiple interviews, including Bob Kustra’s National Public Radio show Reader’s Corner and George R.R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema. The daughter of a physicist, Daco is a southern girl from Huntsville, Alabama (known as Rocket City for its role in building the rocket that took astronauts into space), who pens fast-paced, edge-of-your seat tales that keep the reader guessing.

Daco holds a B.A. and M.A.S. from The University of Alabama in Huntsville and a J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Alabama Writers’ Forum, Authors Guild, and Alabama State Bar. When she’s not writing or reading, she enjoys long hikes, painting with watercolors, and hacking away at golf balls.

The Forgotten Girl is her first psychological thriller with Inkubator Books.

A Stranger in the House~Shari Lapena

Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind. There’s a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town. The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good. Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won’t stop asking questions Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.

A Stranger in the House isn’t the first of Lapena’s books I’ve read (the first being The Couple Next Door-which I highly recommend!) and I really did enjoy it! Lapena has earned herself the Queen of The One-Sit Read and it’s not hard to see why; the way she writes is pure gold and the plot twists are so insane-yet-believable that it just keeps you enthralled even past the final page!

Karen and Tom are written so well; I wanted to dislike them but actually for a really long time I loved this couple! Brigid always came across as that nosey neighbour we all try to avoid and who loves to hear the sound of their own voice-and as the plot progresses she becomes a really nasty piece of work; granted still not entirely sure if it’s down to her wanting something she can’t have and manipulating the situation to get it or if she’s just been pushed over the edge by her obsession-quite probably both now I continue to think about. Karen was just fantastic! Without giving away the major plot twist, I was left craving more and hoping for a sequel!

If A Stranger in the House we’re ever to be made in to a TV adaptation, I would expect more of a follow up at the end, but I think it would make for easy viewing as there’s no complicated time hops or character changes and the plot twist was intense but without being confusing-like some plot twists can be, and I didn’t have to read that chapter twice to grasp it either. A perfect ending for a reader who likes loose ends tied up but also likes a bit of a “well I know the drama that’s coming next! Get popcorn!” moment.

I highly recommend Lapena’s books all round-despite having only read half of the available titles to date, the characters are written in such a way that you can relate to them somehow on a certain level or relate to a circumstance that surrounds them. Lapena writes so that you always try to find a level of empathy and then likes to rip the carpet out from under you with the most satisfying and delicious dog-leg turn that’s so sharp you end up coming around the corner and bumping in to your own back!

Author Bio.

Prior to being an incredible novelist, Shari Lapena was a Canadian born lawyer then English teacher. Her first novel Things Go Flying was published in 2008 and she isn’t looked back since and gone on to produce a torrent of incredible thriller novels including The Couple Next Door, An Unwanted Guest, Someone We Know and The End Of Her. The latest title of Lapena’s is Not A Happy Family and is available to buy now.

The Lake Templeton~H.S Burnley

When the body of Sharon Reese, a dedicated government employee, washes up on the shores of Lake Templeton, a small town on the coast of Vancouver Island, Private Investigator, Fati Rizvi, is determined to find out why. Everyone liked her, but no one knew much about her. Was she hiding something? Maybe a questionable past riddled with scandal. And did it lead to her plunge to death, in a drunken stupor, off the dock outside her secluded lakefront lodge? Was it an accident? A suicide? Or cold-blooded murder? With so many questions and secrets than run deeper than anyone could have imagined, it’s up to Fati to figure out how Sharon’s murder is connected to a cult escape, corrupt politics, a failing business and a multi-million dollar project before another body is discovered.

This is a first novel from Burnley and what really got me hooked was the fact that our heroine went against her Muslim family’s wished and joined Vancouver Police Force and then went on to become a Private Investigator after discovering the red tape stopped her doing her job to her own high standards. And she’s also in her mid 30’s and unmarried-even in modern times it’s still not a very common occurrence among her community. Which made me really like her so much more! Who doesn’t love a rebellious daughter who literally kicks butt and saves the day?!

The characters are well portrayed and solidly written, the plot is good, the twists are right there under your nose but you just don’t think about them until they’re right in front of you-what more could any crime thriller reader want from a brand new writer? I enjoyed it thoroughly!

Admittedly It took me a lot longer than anticipated to read this book, and I found my Kindle seem d to have formatted it weirdly (it was sent to me to read for this review so I’m not sure if it’s an error on my end or not) and despite a lot of difficult personal circumstances that I’ve been my sole focus lately, I still found myself drawn to reading it despite feeling like I just didn’t have the energy to do much else.

Keep an eye out for Burnley over the next few years. I think this is one to watch.

Author Biography.

HS Burney writes fast-moving, action-packed mysteries set against the backdrop of majestic mountains and crystalline ocean in West Coast Canada. She loves creating characters that keep you on your toes. A corporate executive by day and a novelist by night, HS Burney received her Bachelors’ in Creative Writing from Lafayette College. A proud Canadian immigrant, she takes her readers into worlds populated by diverse characters with unique cultural backgrounds. When not writing, she is out hiking, waiting for the next story idea to strike, and pull her into a new world.

Author Interview with Gill Merton

Gill Merton is the non de plume of five writers based around Edinburgh and the Lothians: Simon Bramwell, Coreen Connell, Sheila Corrigan, Anne Hamilton and Elizabeth Nallon. I was given the amazing opportunity to take part in an author Q&A with the group after the release of their first collaborative novel Entitled as part of the blog tour via ZooLoo’s Book Tours.

1. First things first; how did you come up with the name of Gill Merton? There are five of you so how did you settle on this name? Strangely, this was probably the easiest decision of all! Our writing group meets at the GilmertonCommunity Centre, in Edinburgh, so by democratic vote Gil became Gill and we had our name. It was that or an acronym of our initials, and that doesn’t have the same ring to it.


2. The book is adapted from a short story by Sheila Corrigan, whose idea was it to elaborate on the characters and themes already in situ and how did you work out who was writing what? It was one of those off-the-cuff remarks from a previous member of the group that started the whole project. Sheila’s story came from a (now long-forgotten) writing prompt, and the reaction was, ‘That could be a novel’. At the time, we weren’t thinking that big, but we did decide to expand the story – a novel-in-flash, perhaps. There was only loose planning: each week we had a chat (a lot of chat!) about plot, shared out characters and scenes – and then we wrote. We expected duplication and contradiction and confusion, as the story was evolving all the time, but the aim was to get some words down. Then we could chat some more, and edit, edit, edit. It was much later on we realised we had a potential novel.


3. The book flows so well, even the narrative from other characters, that it’s really hard to sense a shift or change in writing style- was that tricky to navigate with five authors? You couldn’t get five more different writers (or people!) so yes, it was a bit like mixing Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Scottish and sushi into one recipe and producing a not only edible but tempting plate of food. For us, the bonus was having been together as a group for a number of years and having already produced an anthology and a collaborative audio play. We’ve learned the hard, hard lesson of not getting too attached to ‘our’ characters or scenes, and being willing to ‘kill our darlings’ for the good of the bigger picture. Mutual respect, a lot of laughs and only seeing each other once a week – less through lockdown – helped. One of our members, Anne, is also our tutor, so she took on some of the initial development editing to maintain one voice, and having chapters narrated by different characters gave us the best of both worlds.


4. Not having read the original short by Corrigan, how vastly does Entitled differ from its early roots? Sheila’s original was a few hundred words long – flash fiction at its best. Sally and Malcolm were there from the start, along with the traumatic events that bind them, and subsequently lead Sally to do what she does. The rest? All that came later, ideas flying in from everywhere. The Scottish island setting and the little twist at the end of the story evolved as we wrote.


5. Will you be collaborating on novels again in the future as a group or pairs or will you be writing solo for the most part? Entitled has been three years, at least, in the making. It’s publication is funded by a National Lottery community grant. Could we do it again? We’ve done it once – something we never dreamed of at the start – so why not? The same goes for writing a sequel, because the novel’s ending is (as in all good stories!) is also a beginning. But would we? The lifeblood of the group is that we’re always trying new things, challenging ourselves, but mostly as individual writers supported by each other. So it’s back to our own projects for now – but let it be noted, we’re quite happy to try our hand at a screen adaptation, especially if it’s on location and we can all have cameo roles!


6. I imagine each of you will have a secret favourite character and a character you love to hate-who are they and why? Elizabeth says, ‘I love Sandy, he’s a practical, down to earth man, not one to stand on ceremony or who attempts to impress. He surrounds himself with those who matter most to him and their lives are all the better for knowing Sandy. His turn of phrase reminds me of older people and their conversations, when I was growing up.’ Coreen adds, ‘Aunt Maud reminds me of my Granny – I aways thought she had her own secret or two and she always kept mine. Like Maud, Granny survived the war, and her husband was her one true love. I would love to live Miss Maud’s life on the island!’ The most flawed characters have to be Malcolm and Martha, and their breathtakingly self-centred lives, which made them a guilty pleasure to write. Thecomic relief, then, comes in the form of Sergeant McLeish and Alisdair, a pair with whom Simon (his sci-fi and fantasy skills stoically put aside to write Entitled!) would have a wee cheeky dram and put the world to rights. Elizabeth sums it up: ‘The story involving the doctors is a cold one – the life on the island is a warm and colourful one.’ We all secretly want to live on Inniscuillin.


7. This will be one that I’m sure crops up frequently, but are any of the characters based on traits you have all come across in people in the past? The characters are as real as people we know by now – as is Inniscuillin, which is a totally fictional island. Sally is an enigma for all of us: we know why she does what she does; we might empathise – but is she justified? (Now there’s a reading group discussion!) None of them are based on real people – even if they once were, having five authors writing them would certainly change them beyond recognition. But Sheila’s first creations were pure fiction then, and we’ve just taken their traits and their flaws – and run with them.

8. How did you find working on the geographical locations? You’re all Scotland based so it’s not hard to imagine the terrain, but it’s a vast part of the country with differing locales and backdrops-did this help build up a location profile or was it awkward to navigate and get everyone’s vision down on paper to create the scenes?The story starts in England: Sally is from Yorkshire, has her life turned upside down in London, and ends up in Cambridge. From there, it’s a slow and revealing journey to Inniscuillin. The island is so integral to Entitled now, it’s strange to think it was something of a later addition. For a while, France, then Portugal featured, but international travel – for all kinds of plot-related reasons – was too complex. What we needed was somewhere remote, and since we are Scotland-based, where better than the Highlands and Islands? In the 1970s, links to the mainland were far fewer than they are now, and that suited the story perfectly. Naming Inniscuillin (and then spelling it consistently!) and pinpointing it geographically was a highly entertaining puzzle. Life on the island itself, we based on our own collective experiences, and literally made up as we went along. The trickiest thing of all was getting the book cover right: a rugged coastline, figures on the beach and a hint of the Big House – brought to life by our designer, Marta Lis – and then made into the dream of a real book of our own, by Claire Morley of

Entitled~Gill Merton

In 1971, Nan Douglas and her toddler twins arrive on the remote island of Inniscuiilin, long-lost family of the eccentric Miss Campbell. For fifteen years they all live quietly up at the Big House, until the twins start planning their future – forcing Nan to confront their past…. Because someone, somewhere believes that the twins aren’t twins. That they’re not even Nan’s children. And that Nan isn’t Nan. Only Nan herself can prove them wrong – but it’s a gamble. Win or lose, she’s still at risk of losing her beloved family.

This is the second book I’ve read since I found myself in a major reading-slump in February (there’s a lot of things going on in my life and usually reading is an escape, but it’s just too much to be distracted from sadly) and it was the best read to bring me back to it! I was HOOKED after the third page! Literally even text my better half to say I wasn’t going to be able to put it down! I think he was pleased but also surprised by this given how slow I was to read my last book!

I LOVED how were first introduced to the character who would become Nan as a young girl, who was goi g to be one of less than half a dozen women going in to medical school, I liked how we were witness to the change in dynamic of her life and a totally new set of surroundings for this country-lass, watching how she grew and went on to fall in love only to be deeply and painfully betrayed. I was at one point wondering when Nan would come in to things, but as chapters went by and we were shown how Malcom’s life changed and how Sally’s did, it soon dawned on me that Nan was created through Malcom’s roguish and God-complex like behaviour.

There were a few plot twists band the best really was saved for last-I was part gob-smacked but also partly unsurprised, but I’ll keep the details to myself because unless you have read the book it would be a total pity to give it away!

The way book ended was a really good cliff-hanger and was very satisfying to read! I was slightly heart broken that one of the children followed with their fathers personality but so pleased the other did not-something that I’m sure would deeper explored if there were to be a sequel (which I truly hope there will be!£.

I highly recommend Entitled! I cannot rate it enough!

Author Biography.

Gill Merton is the non de plume of five writers based around Edinburgh and the Lothians: Simon Bramwell Coreen Connell Sheila Corrigan Anne Hamilton Elizabeth Nallon. Entitled is their first collaborative novel, adapted from an original short story by Sheila Corrigan, and was made possible by funding from The National Lottery Awards For All. Earlier publications include: The Writing Group: an original stage/radio play (First recorded 2017) A Way With Words: an anthology of prose and poetry (Pilrig Press, 2015)

The Promise~Emily Shiner

If you break the promise, you pay the price.

Scott will do anything to protect his wife, Erin. That’s why he secretly installs a tracking app on her phone and watches her through hidden cameras in their home.

When he learns there’s a chance one of Erin’s kidneys will fail, he vows to shield her from the truth and find a donor for her at any cost.

That’s how he meets Kathleen. She is the answer to his dreams, a perfect match for Erin. There’s only one problem – Kathleen has no intention of becoming a donor. That doesn’t bother Scott – he is confident he can manipulate her into giving him what he wants.

But Kathleen isn’t as innocent as she looks, she has her own agenda. And she doesn’t care who she hurts as long as she gets what she needs.

As lives hang in the balance, Erin and Kathleen are bound together by a terrible promise. But when that promise is broken, who will pay the ultimate price?

Zoë over at ZooLoo’s Book Tours has done it again! She sent me a book with an amazing write up and I started reading it thinking “yeah……..not for me…..” BUT then I got to this point where I was sucked in and literally couldn’t put it down!

The book is written from the point of view of three main characters- Erin the over-trusting and naive house wife, Scott the controlling and manipulative criminal defence lawyer husband and Katherine the one whose really unwell and is convinced her daughter is going to have the exact same fate as her so poisons her daughter to make her believe she’s as unwell as her mother.

Sounds complicated BUT actually the narrative is well written and there’s definitive changes when the chapters are focusing on other characters-not something all books manage to pull off as smoothly as this. Well done Shiner.

A few select times I was a little confused however it seems the character who was seemingly in control of the entire orchestration of the plan was also hit with confusion toward the end so I didn’t feel like I was the only one having a brain-fart-moment! And everything was made very clear a dozen or so pages later. The ending was a major cliff hanger and I can see that there is plenty to work with for a sequel focusing solely on the daughters of the main characters in the future. Something is actually be interested in reading, which doesn’t happen all that often of late.

All In all a very good read with very few confusing or uninteresting moments, so I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a rollercoaster ride!

Author Bio

Emily Shiner always dreamed of becoming an author but first served her time as a banker and a teacher. After a lifetime of devouring stacks of thrillers, she decided to try her hand at writing them herself. Now she gets to live out her dream of writing novels and sharing her stories with people around the world. She lives in the Appalachian Mountains and loves hiking with her husband, daughter, and their two dogs. Emily writes psychological thrillers. The Secret Wife will be her first novel published with Inkubator Books.

The Midnight Library~Matt Haig

“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”

Wow, wow and WOW! I DEVOURED this book in four days and cannot rate it highly enough! I bought a copy of this incredible book from a local independent book shop in September of 2021 with every intention of reading it right away, but as per usual life got in the way and it’s only now I managed to pick it up! And I’m so glad I had it waiting for me!

The Midnight Library is unlike any other book I’ve read! The concept is brilliant and I think it’s a book that everyone needs to read at some point in their lives! We follow Nora on what seems to be the worst possible day of her life, and we see her make an almost successful attempt to bring her root life to an end (a term that will make sense as you read further in to the book), however Nora finds herself in the oddest building with her old high school librarian (whom she had a close bond with) going through her very own Book of Regrets and choosing various lives to live, and each time being bought back to the library when Nora realises it’s not the life she truly and deeply wants (or needs). Nora attempts hundreds of differing lives and scenarios and by the end has pretty much seen and done it all. But each life teachers her something valuable even if she doesn’t realise it at first or what it is.

About three quarters of the way through the book I was really hoping for Nora to have a life with Ash, the man who knocked on her door after discovering her cat (spoiler alert-the cat wasn’t alive but it isn’t always sad, I promise!) and I could see a real emerging pattern with Dan, the man she originally ditched before their wedding.

I don’t want to give too much away but I was so happy with the ending and it was such a brilliantly written novel and really humbling and I feel like it taught me a valuable lesson-and at the right time too!

I have Haig’s Reasons To Stay Alive and Notes on a Nervous Planet on my shelf and those are the two books I’m going to be picking up next! My mind is totally blown!

About the Author

Matt Haig is a British writer known for both fiction and non fiction works. His book A Boy Called Christmas was adapted for screen in 2021

Here For You~Nora Valters

A fresh start… or a living hell?

Jess’s life is back on track again: the messy divorce, bitter inheritance feud, and terrifying home invasion are well and truly behind her. After two years abroad, she is excited for a new beginning in a sleepy English seaside town where nobody knows her. So when Jess is attacked in the street, she thinks it’s rotten luck – her troubles are firmly in the past, after all. But, as more creepy things start to happen, she becomes convinced she’s being targeted. As the frightening events escalate, Jess is certain someone she thought she’d left behind has finally caught up with her – and they want revenge. But who? And just how far will they go to push her over the edge and into oblivion?

I have one major point I’d like to raise first before going on to my review; there is a fair amount of talk regarding domestic abuse, rape and miscarriages throughout this book, and the main theme which comes to light as the story progresses is gaslighting. I feel that this book, and all books of this nature, really need to come with a warning because I very nearly didn’t continue reading because of this and it really caught me unawares and made me feel quite triggered and distressed reading it.

But now that I have that off my chest, I can loudly and roundly say I read 95% of this book in one day! The characters at first irked me though, because frankly I’ve been “the newbie” in a town and workplace and I’ve never become that close and trusting with anyone the way Jess does in Here For You. So I felt that character and plot development moved way too fast to be realistic, however when reading the end I can plainly see why it was written in this way.

I really felt for the character of Jess, never ever liked Kevin and thought he was really odd and uncomfortable in his own skin and a pretty two dimensional character. Alex seemed a bit pushy at times but again this becomes clear as to why at the end. Tim on the other hand I had hoped was a real leaf-turner of a character but sadly not.

The ending was really happy though and I’m glad that Jess and Noah managed to stay together, although I’m not sure that’s something that would be allowed to happen in real life, but this is a work of fiction after all and a warm fuzzy ending was much needed.

If I had to rate this book out of 10, I’d give it a firm 7 and that’s purely because I feel the hook needed to come with a warning and that slightly more of a lead up was needed to Jess and Alex’s friendship.

I’d like to thank ZooLoo’s Book Tours for giving me a space on this blog tour and for arranging a digital copy of the book for me.

About the Author

Nora Valters grew up in the New Forest in the south of England and has lived in London, Manchester, Bournemouth, Oxford and Dubai.

She studied English Literature and Language at Oxford Brookes University before embarking on a career in marketing and copywriting. Her debut psychological thriller, Her Biggest Fan, was published in October 2020. Her second novel, Now You Know, came out in June 2021. She’s currently writing her third, which will be out soon. Nora loves to travel and has journeyed around the world. She enjoys exploring new places, painting, hiking, and is an avid reader. She’s also a bit obsessed with dogs. Nora writes psychological thrillers. Here For You will be her second novel published with Inkubator Books.

The Cat Who Saved Books~Sosuke Natsukawa

Natsuki Books was a tiny second-hand bookshop on the edge of town. Inside, towering shelves reached the ceiling, every one crammed full of wonderful books. Rintaro Natsuki loved this space that his grandfather had created. He spent many happy hours there, reading whatever he liked. It was the perfect refuge for a boy who tended to be something of a recluse. After the death of his grandfather, Rintaro is devastated and alone. It seems he will have to close the shop. Then, a talking tabby cat called Tiger appears and asks Rintaro for help. The cat needs a book lover to join him on a mission. This odd couple will go on three magical adventures to save books from people who have imprisoned, mistreated and betrayed them. Finally, there is one last rescue that Rintaro must attempt alone . . .

Second book of 2022 complete and it’s only the second week of January!

Where do I start with The Cat Who Saved Books? A few months back while hitting a popular online bookshop for some much needed retail therapy, I came across this title and thought to myself that it would be a lovely read; I like cats and I like books so clearly would be a good choice. I read the blurb and figured if it’s an adult book with a talking tabby cat as a character, then that’s a book I seriously need in my life! And I’m wasn’t disappointed in the slightest!

Standing at 217 pages it’s a small book but there are plenty of sentences and paragraphs which have a massive impact on the reader and the characters are whimsical but so very strong in personality!

I adore how Tiger the talking tabby cat pops up one day in Rintaro’s hour of need (in my view Rintaro doesn’t know it’s his hour of need but as I got toward the end of the book it hit me that he really needed help from the cat rather than the cat needing help from him) and really brings Rantaro in to his own skin, so to speak, and takes him on this fantastical adventure that only someone with a life long love for books could possibly feel the true meaning of.

For me, this was the perfect short read to break up my habit of crime thrillers and I can’t rave about it enough! I’d give it a full on 10/10 and whenever I picked it up to read and Tiger came along, I heard Eddie Izzard’s voice in my head for the whole of his narrative! because it’s a translated book there’s use of Japanese words and culture throughout the translation giving it a truly original and cultural feel.

Sosuke Natsukawa is a doctor in Nagano, Japan. His first book Kamisama No Karute (‘God’s Medical Records’) won the Shogakukan Fiction Prize and received second prize at the Japan Bookseller Awards. It sold over 1.5 million copies and was adapted into a film in Japan.

The Shape of Darkness~Laura Purcell

Day 5 of 2022 and I have finished my first book (no one needs to know I started it mid December though! Our secret!)!

I have been a fan of Purcell’s since I was loaned a copy of The Silent Companions back in 2017 and that was the second book to ever give me nightmares! So needless to say, I knew all the titles that would follow would come with an eery plot! And The Shape of Darkness didn’t fail!

The twists and turns in this book were incredible! I have to admit that as much as I liked reading Bone China, it felt as if Purcell had been in a rush to finish it in order to go on to a new idea (the same sort of feeling I get with some Stephen King novels) and felt like she had grown bored of her characters, so the final chapter left me a little deflated somehow, but this was the opposite! For me, it was as if she was back launching herself high above her original standard. I loved every second of her latest title!

Admittedly it took me longer that I would have liked to get though this book and I have Covid-19 to thank for that, but once I had hit the half way point I was off! I read obsessively in the nights in bed until my eyes were gritty and I was half asleep!

The plot is a woman believes her clients are being murdered and seeks guidance from a young spirit medium, with the added stress of looking after her young nephew and elderly mother as well as her own health being vulnerable. But all is not as it seems and this is where it becomes incredibly interesting!

I thought that maybe Constance was alive after all and taunting Agnes, and I also thought that it was Montague at one point and bounced between these two theories for such a long time! There were two incredible plot twists at the end and I couldn’t believe what I had read! It took me re-reading the final pages three times to let it sink in-and I still have so many questions!

Honestly The Colour of Darkness is worth the read! I wasn’t sure if I found it difficult at first because of being unwell and tired or because it’s a historical fiction or even both, but I’m so glad I stuck with it because it shows that Purcell is still hitting the mark with her plots and characters!

About The Author

Laura Purcell is a former bookseller living in Colchester, Essex with her husband and pet guinea pigs. She began her career with two historical novels about the Hanoverian monarchs, Queen of Bedlam and Mistress of the Court.

Her first Gothic novel The Silent Companions was a Radio 2 Book Club pick, was selected for the Zoe Ball ITV Book Club and was the winner of the Thumping Good Read Award. Her other Gothic titles include The Corset, Bone China and The Shape of Darkness.

In the USA Laura is published by Penguin Books, where The Corset is titled The Poison Thread and Bone China is called The House of Whispers-Which led me to get overly excited thinking there were two more books of hers I had yet to read! Her new title Something Wicked is due for release in August 2022 and available to pre-order now.