Trust Me ~ Anna Ryan

Firstly I need to get something off my chest; the by-line is “you think she’s a bad mother, but is she a killer?” And I don’t like it one bit. Within the last few pages there’s a conversation that states people can get away with murder but they can never get away from it, and I feel

That THIS should have been the by-line as it would have likely changed my thoughts on my dragging feet when it came to finishing this book.

It was well written and my heart went out to Mercer for having lost the people she loves the most and then feeling that she has to cover the Ashlyn Bryant trial. I was frankly enraged when Mercer found her home being invaded by this young woman in order to write a true crime novel.

As time went on I literally wanted to shake Ashlyn; it really felt like she was giving Mercer the run around and leading her merry dance in all the wrong directions. Then after the 3/4 mark, I did wonder if Mercer would actually give Ashlyn the clean slate she desperately and eagerly wanted, only to discover Ashlyn was guilty all along and had actually gotten away with murder.

Not long after that, I thought maybe Ashlyn was innocent? And maybe Katherine wasn’t a very nice friend to Mercer at all. Didn’t believe for a second that Joe was involved in any way-it just didn’t read right to me; as if it was a blatantly obvious red herring with a sign above its head saying “I’m too much of a weak link and unbelievable to be true”.

The ending was perfect, and I feel that if the by-line was different then I wouldn’t have felt so restless reading this book at the moments I did. The characters were good and Mercer was a strong lead (despite her grieving and loss) and Ashlyn was written so well that I thought her an awful villain and the worst type of young woman to ever become a mother. Georgia annoyed me a bit as she couldn’t seem to put her finger on the pulse in the courtroom so was a bit of a miss for me (but I think I’d be the same if it were me in her shoes).

Overall it’s worth read and worth sticking with. I’d be interested in reading more of Ryan’s titles in the future.

My Lovely Wife ~ Samantha Downing

Anyone who loves a plot twist that’s big enough to have you literally unable to sit still while you read then this is for you!!!

It starts with a regular husband and wife living in a regular house with two regular children but takes a sinister turn and suddenly Mr & Mrs Regular become Mr & Mrs Murder-For-Fun (?!) but soon find they are each involved in the others game of cat and mouse.

At first I thought it was all down to the husband and the wife wanting to support, love and please him by going along with a simply irregular, dangerous and crazy plan to keep their marriage exciting. But soon I found that it wasn’t the wife going along with the husband at all.

Twists and turns are abundant in this thrilling read? It made it on to the Richard and Judy 2019 list and, although a lot of the Amazon reviews are pretty damming, I found I couldn’t put it down!

Bill and Ben Meet Banana Blake ~ Bunty-Marie Williams

I am so IN LOVE with this cute little book 💖 📖

This story follows two very cheeky and very naughty little dogs, Bill and Ben, as they decide what mischief to get get up that day; stealing Banana Blake from the neighbours bed and pulling out his stuffing! 😱 luckily, mid-steal, their only is foiled and they’re chased (rightly so) from the house and they leg back home. Not long later, Bunty and Cousin Marshall knock on the door and explain what happened. Obviously Bill and Ben’s human-mum says they’re angels and would do no such thing (if only she knew!) and tells Bunty and Marshall off, leaving them both very cross on their return home 🏡

This was written by a lovely little girl who has Golden Har Syndrome, ASD, PDA and SPD; all of which are physically limiting and painful as well as emotionally over whelming and at times frightening for her 💖

This book will set you back less than £5 with delivery from Amazon 📦 but I implore everyone to have a copy (whether it’s for a child or yourself) because not only are the illustrations superb BUT if you’re having one of those I-can’t-do-it days, you can simply realise that YES YOU CAN simply by looking at this book 🥰

I give this adorable read 10/10 ✅

Here To Stay ~ Mark Edwards

If you want an infuriatingly good read with three plot twists and a big mystery throughout then THIS book is for you!

Literally the in-laws from Hell!
Did she plan everything and want to get rid of the two thorns in her side? Was she oblivious? Were they as bad as she believed? Did she really love her husband at all?
None of it is revealed until the very last chapters.

I was reading this thinking “why can’t you just give them the boot?!” And then realised that the people we learn to loathe have their claws in so very deep and will stop at nothing to get what they want. It was gripping and it was shocking and it was bloody good!

markedwards #heretostay #murdermystery #plottwist #bookstagram

The Last Time I Lied ~ Riley Sager

Where to start with this one 🤔

This was a special buy from Aldi the other week and I’m glad I purchased it, however I’m not feeling 100% certain on my thoughts about the book.

For the very first and very last chapters, the author has you imagine a scenario (you awaken to sunlight…..you paint….you have memories etc) and there are time hops (which actually aren’t as annoying as you might think because they’re full of narrative and description as well as placed in the perfect positions between chapters) and the last chapter for me was very good and I would like a follow on about the woman in the final painting (I don’t want to give too much away!) but sometimes it did feel like a chore to sit down and read for the first 3/4 of the book. I’m glad I stuck with it but it was hard work in some places. A review by Stephen King said “if you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like this” ; I did like Gone Girl very much and found it rather clever and did have to read it twice in order for something’s to click, however, if given a choice between Last Time I Lied and re-reading Gone Girl a third time, I’d pick Gone Girl.

I think maybe I was expecting too much; the characters lacked something I can’t quite put my finger on (strength? Personality? A back story?) but I am keen to read Sanger’s other books and if there is a follow up to Emma’s story then I’d be keen to read that as the ending was very good!

What You Did ~ Claire McGowen

I read this thinking perhaps a murder mystery as the blurb stated six uni friends have a reunion with shocking consequences. It was a murder mystery with an adulterous relationship throughout the book as well as a rape case (giving the plot away a bit too much BUT I wouldn’t want someone to read it in my recommendation and not fully know what’s within the pages). It was disturbing but gripping and there were a number of plot twists along the way with one final twist at the very end. Not for the faint hearted in anyway but intriguing to read how people perceive things and how they react (even fictional characters)

I did enjoy this title but it was very gritty and hard to read at times but I’m glad I picked it up and stuck with and will read more of McGowen’s books in the future

Beneath The Surface ~ Sibel Hodge

Yep, another 10/10 read from the ever talented Sibel Hodge; extremely thought provoking and stays with you long after you’ve turned the very last page.

This isn’t at all like the previous novels of hers I’ve read (Dark Shadows being the latest release) which I fondly nickname Becky Books and Carter Books (if you know, you know 😎) as this time around the style of the chapters is slightly different; it’s from the same view point with the exception of a few text messages between two bad guys whose identities aren’t revealed until the last moment.

The direction starts of as a murder/suicide and an investigation by a journalist with the beginnings of an alcohol dependency issue which becomes a dark and twisted conspiracy which sees those close to her places in great jeopardy. It’s dark and saddening, as any good murder mystery is, but the ending is beautifully just.

However the subject of the book is one that is close to me personally as a person who takes medication for their mental health. It was an eye opener and did have me thinking about what I willingly put in my body (which is no bad thing)and while this plot may have had the anxious person in me quivering in the corner and being overly cautious had I read it a few years ago, I actually found it a refreshing read; I’ve read countless murder mysteries and conspiracy novels over the years but this is one subject I’ve never given a great deal of though on. I was glad to read this and go on Holly Gold’s investigative journey with her and experience the highs and lows of her discoveries and mourned her losses and rejoiced in her happy ending.

Well worth a read!

Dark Shadows ~ Sibel Hodge

“Two suicides.One horrifying accident.Each involving a university student.The police don’t think it’s a coincidence. They just can’t prove it.” She’s only gone and bloody well done it again!! Dark Shadows is the latest crime novel wrapped around one the biggest conspiracy theories, from the tremendously talented Sibel Hodge and the first stand-alone Becky Harris novel (and I’m hoping not the only one!). I was so lucky to be gifted a digital copy shortly before general release by Sibel in exchange for feedback and I was so thrilled! I have loved Hodge’s writing style from the very book of hers I picked up and have been an avid reader of hers ever since!

When I first began to read this, I thought along the same lines of the boss man; cult. Then as more characters came in to play I understood the actual science behind the mysteries of St Albans university tragedies. I was GRIPPED once again! My favourite thing about Hodge’s writing style is how the chapters are from the point of view from the characters and as you only hear from the relevant people and the relevant and key time’s, there’s no overload of information fuelled imagination; yes you do tend to wonder off and follow different trains of thought, but you’re never left to wonder aimlessly and far from the core and heart of the story. The last few chapters really stuck with me during this difficult time and has piqued my interest and left my ears pricked up ready to hear more. Everyone needs to read this book. Right now. It’s the best decision.
Another 10/10 read!! If this gets made in to a series or film, I bagsy the role of Becky! 🤣🖐

An Anatomy Of A Scandal ~ Sarah Vaughan

Sitting on the fence a bit with this one. It’s one I’ve been seeing in magazine reviews and on social media, hearing good things, so added to my ever growing To Be Read list. I’m

Glad I read it as I actually learnt a lot from the book and found it interesting read as a former law student. However I did have to keep back-tracking until the halfway point when the author allows you to learn that the QC for the Prosecution is actually a former student with a life changing trauma that has paved the way for her drastic change in direction and formidable career and allows you to gain a deep empathy as well as understanding for her desire to prosecute the cases that she does (the seemingly impossible, he said/she said cases).

It was a well researched idea and you can see Vaughan’s desire to be precise within the use of the legal language at relevant points. It’s all very well written and I found myself picking my jaw up off the floor toward the end and was unhappy with the result (I don’t want to give too much away, but those who have finished the book will know what I mean) and I do feel a happy ending past the finishing page for the female characters.

I do recommend this book but it is not for those who are struggling with experience or knowledge of the crime in question during the entirety of the book. It does make for uncomfortable reading at times, and is not sugar coated (again this is pressed on by the importance of legal persons discussing facts of a case for the jury and the need to be blunt for lay persons of the court in order to make a decision beyond all reasonable doubt). I feel that this would be a prime series for a televised drama or mini series and would get high ratings and is definitely one I would watch, and having been told by Vaughan that it will be made in to a series for Netflix, I’m highly anticipating its release and can’t wait to see the cast line up!

I am looking forward to reading more of Vaughan’s books in the future (once I have ploughed through my Increasingly vast shelf of books not yet read!)

Their Last Breath ~ Sibel Hodge

The final (or is it??) book following DC Warren Carter ❤️ This instalment saw him investigating an illegal egg donation clinic and human trafficking among side murder and cover-up’s.
And I LOVED it!!! The last instalment I managed to sort through the plot pretty quickly but still thoroughly enjoyed. This time I didn’t get it quite so right or quite so quickly but I still really enjoyed it and I find having the story unfold from three different view points actually makes it clearer and easier to take in (some mystery novels literally need reading two or three times to fully understand parts, I find). Another cracking crime novel from Sibel Hodge and I can’t wait to read her stand-alone books.
I’m glad a certain person will get their comeuppance BUT I am sad that they lost the one thing they wanted more than anything (but I think that had I have read this a few years ago, I wouldn’t have felt so sad about that particular part)

I highly recommend anyone looking for a crime novel that has some office humour and conspiracies to read these books 📚