BOOK TOUR: Quarter To Midnight (New Orleans #1) by Karen Rose

“The truth of what happened that night lies with a secret witness.”

The first book in a new series by Karen Rose, Quarter To Midnight sees Rocky Hebert walks into his death at quarter to midnight one New Orleans night. His son Gabe can’t accept the official verdict of suicide and enlists the help of the Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency to discover the real cause of death. PI Molly Sutton will go to any lengths to crack the investigation, as they soon realise that Rocky was working on an investigation of his own; one that threatened to expose the deep corruption going all the way to the top of the police department. Just what did Rocky know? And who might have shut him up?

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Book Review: Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

“I felt that thread that had come between us, tugging, tugging at my heart – so hard, it hurt me. A hundred times I almost rose, almost went in to her; a hundred times I thought, Go to her! Why are you waiting? Go back to her side! But every time, I thought of what would happen if I did. I knew that I couldn’t lie beside her, without wanting to touch her. I couldn’t have felt her breath upon my mouth, without wanting to kiss her. And I couldn’t have kissed her, without wanting to save her.”

Published in 2002, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters follows orphan Sue Trinder is an orphan, left as an infant in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, whose household also hosts a transient family of petty thieves. One day, the most beloved thief of all arrives – Gentleman, an elegant con man, who carries with him an enticing proposition for Sue: If she wins a position as the maid to Maud Lilly, a naïve gentlewoman, and aids Gentleman in her seduction, they all will share in Maud’s vast inheritance. With dreams of paying back the kindness of her adopted family, Sue agrees to the plan. Once in, however, Sue begins to regret her decision.

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Audiobook Review: The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine

“All she wants… is everything you have!”

Published in 2017, The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine follows Amber Patterson who is tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who melts into the background. She deserves more. She deserves a life of wealth, luxury and leisure.

Daphne Parrish is golden girl of the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut. With her modelesque looks, her picture-perfect mansion and her millionaire husband, Jackson, she has everything Amber has ever wanted.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive—if she didn’t have a plan. Gradually, Amber insinuates herself into the Parrish family’s life. Before long, she has become Daphne’s closest confidante, and is catching the eye of Jackson. But a skeleton from her past could undermine everything Amber has worked for, and if discovered, her well-laid plan may end in disaster…

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Book Review: Normal People by Sally Rooney

“I’m not a religious person but I do sometimes think God made you for me.”

Published in 2018, Normal People by Sally Rooney follows Connell and Marianne who grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation – awkward but electrifying – something life-changing begins.

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BOOK TOUR: Hide And Seek by Andrea Mara

“Close your eyes. Count to ten. And when you open them, your child is gone.”

Set to be published on 4th August, Hide And Seek by Andrea Mara sees the end of a game of hide and seek. Everyone has gone home, but little Lily Murphy hasn’t been found. Her parents search the woods and tell themselves that the worst hasn’t happened – but deep down they know this peaceful Dublin suburb will never be the same again.

Years later, Joanna moves into a new house. It seems perfect in every way, until she learns that this was once Lily Murphy’s home. From that moment onwards, a sense of dread seems to follow her from room to room. As Joanna unravels the secrets at the heart of this close-knit community, her own dark past begins to resurface. Because she thinks she knows what really happened to Lily – and if the truth gets out, it might be her undoing…

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Book Review: The Places I’ve Cried In Public by Holly Bourne

“You never know if happy memories are going to become sad ones. They glow and shine in the vast realms of our subconscious, making that part of our brain feel like it’s filled with glitter. We pick them up and cradle them like expensive cats, or wriggle into them like they are jumpers we’ve left to warm on a radiator. Until the day when, for one reason or another, life can suddenly make this happy memory into a sad memory instead. Good memories exist in the naivety of not knowing any better.”

Published in 2019, The Places I’ve Cried In Public by Holly Bourne follows teenager Amelie. She loved Reese. And she thought he loved her. But she’s starting to realise love isn’t supposed to hurt like this. So now she’s retracing their story and untangling what happened by revisiting all the places he made her cry. Because if she works out what went wrong, perhaps she can finally learn to get over him.

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Book Review: Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena

“In this family, everyone is keeping secrets – even the dead.”

Published in 2021, Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena is set in the quiet, wealthy enclave of Brecken Hill where an older couple is brutally murdered hours after a tense Easter dinner with their three adult children. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their vindictive father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did someone snap after that dreadful evening? Or did another person appear later that night with the worst of intentions? That must be what happened. After all, if one of the family were capable of something as gruesome as this, you’d know. Wouldn’t you?

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Book Review: The Last Party (DC Ffion Morgan #1) by Clare Mackintosh

“At midnight, one of them is dead.
By morning, all of them are suspects.”

The first book in the DC Ffion Morgan series by Clare Mackintosh and set to be released on 4th August, The Last Party is set on New Year’s Eve, when Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests. His vacation homes on Mirror Lake are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbours. But by midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.

On New Year’s Day, Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects. The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbours, friends and family, and Ffion has her own secrets to protect. With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead, but who finally killed him.

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Audiobook Review: Perfect Death (D.I. Callanach #3) by Helen Fields

“There’s no easy way to die…”

Published in 2018 and the third book in Helen FieldsD.I. Callanach, Perfect Death follows DI Luc Callanach and the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner as, unbeknownst to them, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims in the coldest, most calculating way possible – engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it’s too late.

But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task…

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Book Review: The Lost Man by Jane Harper

“A choice is only really a choice if there’s a genuine alternative. Otherwise, it’s manipulation and it’s taking advantage.”

Published in 2018, The Lost Man by Jane Harper follows two brothers who meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland, at a landmark known as the stockman’s grave. The landmark is so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…

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Book Review: Confess by Colleen Hoover

“There are people you meet that you get to know, and then there are people you meet that you already know.”

Published in 2015, Confess by Colleen Hoover follows Auburn Reed who is determined to rebuild her shattered life and has no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to become deeply attracted to the studio’s enigmatic artist, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is hiding a huge secret. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything Auburn loves most, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it—but can she do it?

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Book Review: The Invitation by A.M. Castle

“Thirteen guests. One killer. No escape.”

The Invitation by A.M. Castle is set on an island on the coast of Cornwall, cut off from the mainland by the tides for most of the day, where thirteen old friends meet for a weekend of revelry. By the next evening, only twelve are still alive.

Amongst them is a killer – but who? As a storm traps them on the island and past betrayals and grievances are revealed, nerves fray and friendships begin to fracture. But with no escape and no way of calling for help it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again. And when everyone is keeping secrets, anybody could be the next victim…

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Book Review: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

“Follow the yellow brick road!”

Originally published in 1900, The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum follows Dorothy who thinks she is lost forever when a terrifying tornado crashes through Kansas and whisks her and her dog, Toto, far away to the magical land of Oz. To get home, Dorothy must follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City and find the wonderfully mysterious Wizard of Oz. Together with her companions – the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion – Dorothy embarks on a strange and enchanting adventure.

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Book Review: When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins

“She had lived a lie for thirteen years, and the perfect life as she had known it was about to change forever.”

Published in 2021, When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins follows sisters Sara and Shannon Carter who, when they were aged ten and twelve, lived in the beautiful house on the hill. Their Dad was the local GP, and their best friend, Brinley, lived next door. They would do anything for each other but everything shifted on that fateful day when Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were stabbed fourteen times with a pair of scissors in what has become the most talked about double murder of the modern age.

One of the girls, nicknamed the Angel of Death, spent eight years in a children’s secure unit accused of the brutal killings. The other lived in foster care out of the limelight and prying questions. Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down one of the sisters, persuading her to speak about the events of that night for the first time.

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Book Review: You Can Stay by Elle Connel

“She’s the perfect host. He’s the perfect prey.”

Out now in ebook and set to be released in paperback on 15th September, You Can Stay by Elle Connel follows military soldier Connor who is taking part in Selection, the elite Special Forces training programme in the wilderness of Bodmin Moor. Here, he must evade capture by a squad of paratroopers for several days. When he’s offered proper rest and recuperation by the owner of a local farmhouse, he knows he is breaking the rules. But what’s the harm in accepting the kindness of strangers? Especially as his training partner Dele appears to have deserted him in the dead of night.

Eilidh is an impeccable host. Connor can barely bring himself to leave her charming farmhouse, though he’s running out of time to make his next rendezvous and re-join his partner. But he doesn’t realise what he’s walked into – because the choice isn’t his to make. This isn’t Eilidh’s first kidnapping. She’s done this before, but they never came as close to perfection as Connor. Why would she let him leave?

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BOOK TOUR: No Sleep For Bear by Duncan Beedie

No Sleep For Bear by Duncan Beedie sees the return of Bear as Winter approaches and it’s time for Bear to have a nice long sleep. But the more he tries to get to sleep, the more AWAKE he feels. So he decides to copy his forest friends who seem to doze off without any trouble: he sings in the trees like Blackbird, burrows underground like Badger, and even hangs upside down from his cave roof like a bat. But nothing works – until the wise Frog shows him how to relax, and soon the forest is reverberating with his snores!

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Orion Turns 30: The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

“There is no client as scary as an innocent man.”

Originally published in 2005 and the first book in the Mickey Haller series, The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly follows criminal defence attorney Mickey Haller who operates out of the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car. Travelling between the courthouses of LA, he defends clients of every kind – bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers. For Haller, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence — it’s about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it’s even about justice.

But when a Beverly Hills playboy is arrested for attacking a woman and he chooses Haller to defend him, Mickey has his first high-paying client in years. It is a defence attorney’s dream. And, as the evidence stacks up, Haller comes to believe this may be the easiest case of his career. But then someone close to him is murdered, and Haller discovers that his search for innocence has brought him face-to-face with pure evil. To escape without being burned, he must deploy every tactic — this time to save his own life.

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Audiobook Review: The Invitation by Lucy Foley

“That spring was the start of everything, for me. Before then, I might have been half-asleep, drifting through life.”

The Invitation by Lucy Foley is set in Rome, 1953, when Hal and Stella meet by chance, two outcasts in a city far from home. It’s a bright awakening for Hal. He believes he’s found the love of his life – his Stella, his star. To his dismay, the mysterious girl disappears as quickly as she swept in, and Hal’s life as a journalist falls back into its familiar routine. But when he’s asked by an Italian Contessa to assist on a trip of a lifetime – acting as the reporter on a tremendous yacht, skimming its way along the Italian Riviera towards Cannes film festival, Hal can’t believe his good fortune. Especially when a familiar beauty becomes a passenger.

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Book Review: Ragdoll (Fawkes and Baxter #1) by Daniel Cole

“One body
Six victims
No suspects”

Published in 2017 and the first book in Daniel Cole‘s Fawkes and Baxter series, Ragdoll follows controversial detective William Fawkes, known as The Wolf, who has just been reinstated to his post after he was suspended for assaulting a vindicated suspect. Still under psychological evaluation, Fawkes returns to the force eager for a big case. When his former partner and friend, Detective Emily Baxter, calls him to a crime scene, he’s sure this is it: the body is made of the dismembered parts of six victims, sewn together like a puppet–a corpse that becomes known as “The Ragdoll.”

Fawkes is tasked with identifying the six victims, but that gets dicey when his reporter ex-wife anonymously receives photographs from the crime scene, along with a list of six names, and the dates on which the Ragdoll Killer plans to murder them. The final name on the list is Fawkes.

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